“The public might not be reassured by seeing tape on the surfaces of the fenders”, nevertheless indicated the American manufacturer.
Boeing wants to take matters into its own hands. After noticing several paint chips on the wings and horizontal stabilizers of his planes 787 Dreamliner, linked to exposure to ultraviolet rays, the American aircraft manufacturer has asked the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) – the body responsible for civil aviation regulations in the United States – to approve a plan to solve this problem. Among the temporary solutions, Boeing recommends using… adhesive tape on the affected areas. “Even if the use of tape has no effect on aircraft safety, the public may not be reassured by seeing tape on the wing surfaces,” nevertheless recalled the American manufacturer in its request to the FAA. Another recommendation from Boeing, that of a coat of black paint blocking certain ultraviolet rays on the wings.
The FAA has indicated that it will review “carefully” these requests. Boeing, which has not reacted officially, considers that the urgency comes from the much more frequent need than before to repaint the wings and the horizontal stabilizer of its planes. Paint problems have also become an issue for other manufacturers. Airbus is also in the midst of legal disputes, for concerns over the surfaces of its A350 aircraft, with Qatar Airways, where the paint has often given way to spots of corrosion. Twenty-nine of the company’s machines were thus shut down for safety risks.
If Qatar Airways, which has since refused to take delivery of new A350s, has requested damages from Airbus, the manufacturer claims that its planes are safe, despite manufacturing defects. In August, the European giant had already decided to cancel the last A350 orders from the Gulf company, corresponding to 19 long-haul flights with a total value of 7 billion dollars. This decision came after the cancellation, in early 2022, of another contract for 50 A321neos.