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Boeing Defends Fuselage Integrity Amid Whistleblower Allegations

Boeing employees walk the new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner down towards the delivery ramp area at the company's facility after conducting its first test flight at Charleston International Airport,

Boeing is addressing concerns raised by a whistleblower regarding the integrity of the fuselages on its 787 Dreamliner planes. The whistleblower, a Boeing engineer, expressed worries about potential panel breakage due to excessive force during assembly.

Boeing executives explained the meticulous process of fitting fuselage panels together, emphasizing the durability of the carbon-composite skin on the 787, which they claim is resistant to metal fatigue compared to traditional aluminum fuselages.

The company conducted extensive testing, simulating 165,000 flights on the composite structure with no signs of fatigue. Inspections on in-service Dreamliners have shown no evidence of fatigue in the composite skins, with only cracks found on metallic parts, prompting Boeing to issue inspection guidelines.

Despite past issues such as battery fires and gaps between fuselage panels, Boeing asserts the safety of the 787 Dreamliner, a popular choice for international flights due to its lightweight composite material that enhances fuel efficiency.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) closely monitors the production and inspection of each 787 before delivery to airlines. The FAA is reportedly investigating the whistleblower's claims, although it refrained from commenting on specific details.

Boeing maintains confidence in the safety of both the 787 Dreamliner and the older 777 model. The company encourages employees to report safety concerns, with a recent surge in employee reports indicating a proactive approach to addressing potential issues.

Whistleblower allegations and Boeing's responses will be further scrutinized as the whistleblower prepares to testify before a congressional panel, shedding light on the ongoing efforts to ensure the safety and reliability of Boeing's aircraft.

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