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Friday, May 16, 2008

Boeing Resumes Work on Military Helicopters

Work on the two Chinook CH-47Fs at the Boeing plant in Ridley Township, Penn., stopped as suspicions of sabotage dominated an unfolding investigation into how the two military helicopters were damaged as they were nearing completion for an Army contract that runs through 2018. The reports indicate that someone might have intentionally "hacked out" wiring on one helicopter and that a propeller washer was found in a combiner-box transmission area in another. That washer is critical to propeller operation. The helicopters are part of a new fleet that has not yet been deployed in combat. Each helicopter costs between $20 and $30 million. There was no explanation as to why someone would vandalize key military aircraft. The damage was detected earlier this week by Boeing quality-assurance staff. Work on the Chinook assembly line at the rotorcraft division came to a standstill Tuesday and remained off-line on Wednesday as investigators and government contracting officials inspected all eight aircraft on the line in various stages of production. The company said the other six helicopters appeared to be fine, but it would take a few weeks to make a final decision on how the damage occurred. Work began again yesterday. For related news
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