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Investigations Reveal Fake Chinese Titanium in Boeing and Airbus Jets

Investigations Reveal Fake Chinese Titanium in Boeing and Airbus Jets

Airliners manufactured by Boeing and Airbus have components made from titanium that was sold with fake documentation.

The Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A.) revealed the problem after Boeing reported it to the agency when it was notified by parts supplier Spirit AeroSystems. Spirit AeroSystems, the same company that made the door on the 737 Max plane which suffered a door blowout on January 5, is at the center of this issue.

The falsified documents are being investigated by Spirit AeroSystems, which supplies fuselages for Boeing and wings for Airbus, as well as the F.A.A. The investigation began after a parts supplier found small holes in the material from corrosion. Spirit was testing the metal to determine if it was up to standard and structurally sound enough.

“This is about documents that have been falsified, forged, and counterfeited,” Spirit AeroSystems stated. “Once we realized the counterfeit titanium made its way into the supply chain, we immediately contained all suspected parts to determine the scope of the issues.”

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The F.A.A. said in a statement that it “will investigate further the root cause of the document traceability issue and continues to monitor closely any new developments that could potentially lead to an unsafe condition in the fleet.” The agency is trying to determine the short- and long-term safety implications for planes made using the parts. It is unclear how many planes have parts made with the questionable material.

Boeing, in its statement, reported a voluntary disclosure to the F.A.A. regarding the procurement of material through a distributor who may have falsified or provided incorrect records. “Boeing issued a bulletin outlining ways suppliers should remain alert to the potential of falsified records,” the company added.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which oversees Airbus, said it learned of the issue from authorities in Italy and began an investigation. So far, the agency said, it has not found indications of a safety problem. The problem was discovered after a parts supplier found small holes in the titanium from corrosion.

The Italians reported that they had purchased a batch of titanium alloys from Turkey and India due to their low cost. They kept the Chinese titanium alloys for their own use and sold the Indian titanium alloys to the Americans.

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However, the batch from India was actually aluminum alloy, chosen for its lower cost. The Americans did not detect any issues during quality inspection, allegedly due to the use of forged reports.

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Airlines

Korean Air Rolls Out Next-Generation Business Class: ‘Prestige Suites 2.0’

Korean Air Rolls Out Next-Generation Business Class: ‘Prestige Suites 2.0’

Korean Air has introduced its latest business class offering, the Prestige Suites 2.0, set to make its debut aboard the airline’s new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner fleet.

This new product marks a significant upgrade from the previous Collins Apex forward-facing staggered seats, known as Prestige Suites. The Prestige Suites 2.0 is designed in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration, ensuring each passenger direct aisle access and ample privacy.

The seats offer 46 inches of pitch, 21 inches of width, and can be transformed into a flat bed measuring between 78.2 and 79.2 inches. A standout feature of these seats is the inclusion of privacy doors that stand 52 inches high, offering a more secluded experience even when positioned closer to the aisle.

Tech-savvy travelers will appreciate the suite’s cutting-edge features, which include a 23.8-inch ultra-high-definition entertainment monitor, 60W USB-C charging, AC power outlets, and wireless charging capabilities.

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Moreover, Korean Air’s Boeing 787-10s will be the first in the fleet to offer Wi-Fi, enhancing connectivity for passengers. The new business class seats come with a range of amenities aimed at maximizing comfort and convenience. These include a storage cubby, a handheld remote, USB-C charging ports, and universal outlets.

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The wireless charging pad is a notable highlight, reflecting the suite’s advanced technological integration. The layout of the Prestige Suites 2.0 comprises 10 rows of seats in a 1-2-1 arrangement, specifically rows 7-16 in the business class cabin. The cabin is flanked by lavatories and galleys at both the front and the rear, ensuring easy access for all passengers.

A striking departure from Korean Air’s traditional design, the new seats feature a bold brown color palette. This is a significant change from the airline’s iconic Morning Calm blue and bright white interiors.

The new design incorporates semi-matte deep brown side consoles with metallic tops, brushed coppery-almond cabinet doors, and textured tan interior shrouds, giving the cabin a modern and sophisticated look.

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