Boeing Sues Alcoa Over Faulty F-22 Parts

Boeing in late March field suit against Alcoa over defective titanium structural supports that the latter provided from 2000 to 2005 for the aft section of the F-22, the Seattle Times reported April 11. Boeing builds the F-22’s wings and aft fuselage for Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for the stealth fighter. The Chicago-based company seeks more than $12 million from Alcoa, alleging that it “failed to follow required procedures” in heat-treating the forged supports, which are used to connect F-22 wings to the aircraft’s fuselage, the newspaper reported, citing Boeing’s court complaint. Because of the alleged shoddy manufacturing, 71 of 459 supports inspected to date from the 695 in total that Alcoa provided up until April 2005 have been found to be defective, according to the newspaper. “The Air Force has determined there is not a safety-of fight issue here and they have not grounded the aircraft,” Boeing F-22 spokesman Doug Cantwell told the newspaper. But the Air Force will have to inspect the aircraft more frequently to monitor for cracks in the supports to prevent the risk to the pilots of their catastrophic failure in flight. The faulty supports are resident in only the first 101 of the 183 F-22s that the Air Force has on order. As of April 9, USAF said it has taken delivery of 116 F-22s.