Troubles for aerospace major
The Boeing Co.
) seem to see no end with federal records revealing that the
regulators had warned of cracking and corrosion problems on
Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had issued
an Airworthiness Directive (AD) to inspect U.S. registered 777
planes in operation for cracking and corrosion in the fuselage
skin. The directive was initially drawn in September last year
and approved in Feb 2014. This was due to take effect on Apr 9,
2014. Hence, this revelation appeared before the Malaysia
Airlines flight MH370 disappeared.
The cracking and corrosion problem on Boeing 777s could lead to
rapid decompression and mid-air break-up. The FAA ordered checks
on many Boeing 777s after receiving a report of cracking in the
fuselage skin underneath a satellite antenna from one operator.
This revelation is particularly telling in the light of the
mysteriously vanished Malaysia Airlines' Flight 370, a Boeing 777
aircraft, with desperate searches still in progress.
The directive was issued on all Boeing 777-200, -200LR, -300,
-300ER, and -777F series airplanes. However, Boeing claimed that
the missing Malaysia Airlines flight - the 777-2H6/ER - did not
have that antenna installed.
That said, the Boeing 777 aircraft is considered as one of the
company's most popular and top-selling wide-body jets with a
flawless safety record. In its 19 years of service, the plane met
with only one critical accident.
However, just as Boeing is trying its level best to iron out
wrinkles, it seems that for each effort, more creases are popping
out in its place. On Mar 7, Boeing announced that about 40 of its
787 Dreamliners were found with possible hairline fractures in
the wings on the production line following a change in a
supplier's manufacturing process.
The fallout of a manufacturing defect by Boeing's wing
manufacturer, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Inc. of Japan, could
further delay production of the 787 Dreamliner and hit Boeing's
first-quarter 787 delivery target. Yet, the defect in the 787
planes has been noted before delivery to clients and the hairline
cracks have not been found in the planes in use.
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The company's most precious 787 Dreamliner was marred by glitches
from the very beginning. Following its delayed launch, the two
battery overheating incidents in Jan 2013 grounded the entire
fleet of 50 Boeing 787 airplanes. However, in Apr 2013, Boeing
received the green light from FAA for the 787 Dreamliner's
Boeing currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). There are other
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accumulating now. These are Zacks Ranked #1 (Strong Buy)
Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.
), and Zacks Ranked #2 (Buy)
Lockheed Martin Corp.
Northrop Grumman Corp.