Boeing bekommt die Probleme mit der 787 nicht in den Griff

Zehn Jahre ist es her, dass Boeing den ersten 787-Langstreckenjet ausgeliefert hat. Seither plagen das Programm Pannen und Produktionsmängel und den Hersteller Milliarden an Zusatzkosten.

Boeing bekommt die Probleme mit der 787 nicht in den Griff
© Foto: Keystone Elegant ist er, aber für Boeing teilweise ein Albtraum: Dreamliner im Einsatz für Qantas.

Der Boeing-Konzern hat neben dem jahrelangen Grounding seines Kurz- und Mittelstreckenjets und der Corona-Pandemie ein weiteres grosses Problem: Vor gut einem Jahr haben Technikerinnen und Techniker zum ersten Mal Fertigungsmängel am derzeit meistverkauften Langstreckenflugzeug des Konzerns entdeckt, dem Langstreckenflugzeug 787 Dreamliner.

Winzige Spalten zwischen den Rumpfsektionen aus Kohlefaser waren es, die allerdings grösser waren als erlaubt. Über tausend bereits ausgelieferte 787 sind von den Mängeln betroffen. Schon Corona-bedingt hatte Boeing 2020 bis Oktober nur 53 der Maschinen ausgeliefert, danach aufgrund der Produktionsfehler keine einzige mehr. Im laufenden Jahr waren es gar nur 14, und seit Juni sind die Lieferungen wieder ganz gestoppt.

Nun ist ein internes Memo der amerikanischen Luftfahrtbehörde Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bekannt geworden, von dem zuerst das «Wall Street Journal» und die «Seattle Times» berichtet haben. Dem Schreiben zufolge gibt es ein neues Problem.

Produktionsfehler dürften die Auslieferung weiter verzögern

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries – für den Bau der 787-Tragflächen zuständig – hatte zunächst kleine Verunreinigungen des Faserverbundwerkstoffes mit Teflon entdeckt, die während des Produktionsprozesses entstanden sind. Später meldeten auch andere Lieferanten, die das Leitwerk und den Rumpf bauen, den gleichen Fehler.

In einigen Fällen sei die Verbindung zwischen den verunreinigten Teilen deshalb nicht mehr so stark wie von Boeing vorgeschrieben. Die gute Nachricht aus Sicht des Herstellers: Es besteht weder wegen der Spalten noch wegen der verunreinigten Stellen unmittelbare Sicherheitsbedenken. Die beiden schlechten: Es ist zu befürchten, dass das Material schneller altert und damit aufwendige Reparaturen früher als erwartet notwendig werden.

Und Boeing debattiert offenbar hinter den Kulissen weiterhin mit der FAA darüber, wie die Probleme beseitigt werden können, sprich: Es ist unklar, wann die 787 wieder ausgeliefert werden. Die Kosten für Reparaturen und Entschädigungen, die die Kundinnen und Kunden einfordern, dürften erneut in die Milliarden gehen.

Boeing bekommt die Probleme mit der 787 nicht in den Griff
© Foto: Visualisierung Lufthansa Welches Langstreckenmodell erhält die Swiss? Die Lufthansa-Gruppe hat von Airbus die A350 und von Boeing die 777 und die 787 bestellt (v.l.n.r.).

Für Boeing ist die 787 mittlerweile ein nicht enden wollendes Drama. Erst 2011, mehr als drei Jahre später als ursprünglich geplant, wurde die erste Maschine ausgeliefert. Doch auch zehn Jahre später hat der Hersteller die Produktion des ersten weitgehend aus Kunststoff gebauten Grossraumjets noch nicht im Griff. Mal gab es Probleme mit den Batterien – 2013 galt deswegen ein zeitweiliges Flugverbot –, dann mit den Rolls-Royce-Motoren.

Mittlerweile ist klar, dass Boeing sich mit den Neuerungen übernommen hat: Die 787 war nicht nur technologisch ein riesiger Schritt voran, Boeing vergab zugleich viel grössere Anteile am Flugzeug an Lieferanten, die den neuen Aufgaben nicht gewachsen waren.

Airlines schätzen den niedrigen Verbrauch

Aber auch intern hat Boeing Fehler gemacht. Vor allem aus Kostengründen hat der Konzern die Endmontage komplett vom Traditionsstandort Everett, wo es genügend erfahrene Technikerinnen und Ingenieure gab, nach Charleston in South Carolina verlagert, wo das Know-how erst wieder neu aufgebaut werden muss.

Dabei ist die 787 bei Airlines, Passagierinnen und Passagieren durchaus beliebt: Die Fluggesellschaften schätzen den niedrigen Verbrauch und die grosse Reichweite, die Fluggäste den vergleichsweise hohen Luftdruck, die grossen Fenster und die geräumigen Gepäckfächer.

Die Lufthansa hat 25 Maschinen bestellt und wird sie teilweise an ihre Töchter verteilen. Dass einige davon an die Swiss gehen, ist in den letzten Wochen jedoch unwahrscheinlich geworden. Laut dem Branchenportal «Aerotelegraph» dürfte die Swiss stattdessen das europäische Konkurrenzmodell Airbus A350 erhalten.

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