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Boeing Completes More 787 Repairs

Plane maker said it finished fixing structural problems in two more of its 787 jetliners, which forced Boeing to further delay delivery of the plane earlier this year.

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) -- Boeing Co. said Monday it has finished fixing structural problems in two more of its 787 jetliners. The flaws had forced the airplane maker to further delay delivery of the highly anticipated plane earlier this year.

Chicago-based Boeing said last week it has completed similar repairs to the first of six test versions of the plane, which is built for fuel efficiency with lightweight carbon composite parts.

Boeing cited the problem -- weak points near the area where the wings attach to the fuselage -- when it postponed the 787's first test flight and deliveries for a fifth time in June, putting the plane more than two years behind schedule. Repeated delays of the 787 have cost Boeing credibility and billions of dollars in anticipated expenses and fines.

Boeing said workers at its commercial aircraft plant in Everett, Wash., had finished adding reinforcements to the areas on the second of the 787 test planes over the weekend.

The company reiterated its plan to fly the plane for the first time by the end of 2009.

Boeing is now focused on completing a so-called static test -- essentially bending the wings -- later this month to test the repairs, said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program.

Access doors, systems, seals and fasteners removed for earlier tests on the first two 787s are being reinstalled to prepare for further testing, he said.

Boeing says the 787 will be more efficient, quieter and have lower emissions than other airplanes. The midsize plane also will have wider seats and aisles, and larger windows.

Boeing has taken a new approach to building airplanes with the 787, relying on suppliers around the world to build huge sections of the plane. But that approach so far has proved problematic, with ill-fitting parts and other problems hampering production.

Some airlines have been forced to cancel or postpone plans to buy new 787s, partly due to weak travel demand amid the global economic downturn. Yet the 787 remains Boeing's best-selling new plane to date.

Shares of Boeing edged up $1.32, or 2.6 percent, to $52 in morning trading.

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