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Boeing now finds a defect with 737s. What is it?

In an official statement, Boeing said that it had relayed the defective lot number to aircraft owners so they can inspect the parts in question
New Delhi: Boeing has discovered a defective wing part on some of its medium-haul 737s, including the 737 MAX 8, which could impact the takeoff and landing of the aircraft. However, no reports have emerged so far of flight issues linked arising due to the defect. In an official statement, Boeing said that it had relayed the defective lot number to aircraft owners so they can inspect the parts in question. “If operators find the defective parts on their aircraft, they should replace them before putting the plane back in service,” it said. The problems have been detected with a batch of a part involved in deploying the wings’ leading edge.

How can the defect impact aircraft operation?

The leading edge of an aircraft plays a crucial role in landing and take-off as it is meant to improve the wing’s drag and therefore the jet’s aerodynamics. “This is a device considered critical because if the leading edge slats don’t deploy symmetrically, there could be a lift differential that can be dangerous especially on takeoff and landing,” an expert was quoted as saying.

The backdrop

The news comes just months after Boeing’s 737 Max 8 planes were grounded by countries across the globe following two deadly crashes, one in Ethiopia in March and another in October 2018 in Indonesia.