Hugh Pickens writes "Boeing has discovered microscopic wrinkles in the skin of the 787's fuselage and has ordered Italian supplier Alenia Aeronautica to halt production of fuselage sections at a factory in Italy. 'In two areas on the fuselage, the structure doesn't have the long-term strength that we want,' says Boeing spokeswoman Lori Gunter. To repair the wrinkles, additional layers of carbon composite material are being added to a 787 at the South Carolina factory and twenty-two other planes must also be patched. Production of the 787 has been fraught with problems with ill-fitting parts, casting doubt on Boeing's strategy of relying on overseas suppliers to build big sections of the aircraft before assembling them at its facilities near Seattle. The 787, built for fuel efficiency from lightweight carbon composite parts, is a priority for Boeing as it struggles with dwindling orders amid the global recession. Customers had been expecting the first of the new jets in the first quarter of 2010 — nearly two years earlier than they will be delivered. The delays have cost Boeing credibility and billions of dollars in anticipated expenses and penalties. Orders for 72 planes have been canceled already this year, although Boeing still has confirmed orders for over 800 aircraft."
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