Possible flaws might mean new 787 delay

The Boeing Co. is performing more inspections on the horizontal tails of its fleet of 787 Dreamliners to determine if the structures were produced with flaws by their Italian maker.

The horizontal structures are made of composite materials by Italy’s Alenia Aeronautica.

Boeing spokeswoman Lori Gunter said any defects discovered can be readily fixed. The company will assess whether fixing those flaws will further delay Dreamliner deliveries.

The first 787 Dreamliners are set to be delivered late this year, but Boeing has said that schedule might slip again because of instrument testing delays and because of construction issues.

The Dreamliner is already 2½ years late meeting delivery deadlines to commercial airlines.

Jim Albaugh, president of Boeing’s Puget Sound-based commercial airplanes division, said this week that Boeing is considering bringing more parts production inside the company.

Boeing has already bought major subassembly construction facilities from Vought and Alenia in North Charleston, S.C.