From Zero Hedge
By Tyler Durden
At this rate, maybe President Trump is right, Boeing should change their name and rebrand the company.
A new problem for Boeing has developed in the last several weeks, and it's not related to the 737 MAX, but rather an earlier 737, called the 737 Next Generation, or 737NG.
After a comprehensive inspection of 737NGs across the world, Boeing has said 36 737NGs have developed cracked wing supports, resulting in emergency groundings of the damaged planes with pending repairs, USA Today reported.
The 36 planes only represent 5% of the 686 planes inspected. From 1997, Boeing produced 7,043 of the aircraft (as of Aug. 29, 2019 figures), there is no report on how many of these planes are currently flying and or how many Boeing plans to inspect.
Several major carriers have already been affected by the major design flaw.
Brazilian carrier GOL grounded 11 planes with pending repairs. Southwest Airlines grounded two planes with pending repairs, as well.
"Boeing regrets the impact this issue is having on GOL, as well as our 737NG customers worldwide," the company said in a statement. "We are actively working with our customers with inspection findings to procure parts, develop repair and replace plans, and provide all the technical support needed to safely return every impacted airplane to service as soon as possible."
USA Today says the cracks were discovered when several 737NGs were converted from passenger planes, stripped down to bare bones for future use in the air freight industry. What engineers found when they deconstructed the airplanes was surprising.
The damaged component is called the pickle fork, and it looks exactly like it sounds -- a fork that attaches the wings to the fuselage. The cracks were discovered on 737NGs that were heavily flown. The FAA warns the cracks could "adversely affect the structural integrity of the airplane and result in loss of control of the airplane" if not fixed immediately.
The news of cracked wings comes several days after European flight regulators raised new concerns about the flight-control system of the Boeing 737 MAX.