The Federal Aviation Administration said it would investigate allegations that titanium had entered the supply chain via falsified documents.

Boeing and Airbus, the two biggest commercial airline makers, may have used titanium sold using fake documents, according to evidence from a supplier that has triggered a Federal Aviation Administration investigation.

The FAA said in a statement to NBC News on Friday morning it would look into allegations from Spirit Aerosystems that the two aviation giants used titanium in their planes that came with paperwork verifying its authenticity that could have been falsified.

The news adds to a troubled period for Boeing, which is the subject of ongoing federal investigations for alleged safety problems. But the news also brings its fierce rival, France-headquartered Airbus, into the wider scrutiny the aviation industry is facing.

  • @aeronmelon
    link
    99
    edit-2
    1 month ago

    At this point, if you told me that the Made in America logo on all the planes can be scratched off and it says Made in Myanmar underneath, I would absolutely not be surprised.

  • @madeinthebackseat
    link
    79
    edit-2
    1 month ago

    The wholly predictable outcome of poorly regulating capitalism.

    “The market will create competition and the best products.” No. The market will seek the optimal method to make the most money, and if that optimal method includes killing people, that will be the method selected.

    Start putting people in jail and taking businesses into receivership for bad behavior, and then the optional method for maximizing profit will also result in better products.

    • @[email protected]
      link
      fedilink
      English
      61 month ago

      To add, we need to stop bailing them out too. These companies should have gone out of business twice already; in 2008 and 2020.

      Yes indeed that would have sucked for everyone. When you don’t allow controlled forest fires, the dry brush builds up anyways… and here we are. They’ll keep getting worse and worse until we let them go under.

  • @FinishingDutch
    link
    211 month ago

    This certainly sounds iffy.

    I’ll say this: if this sort of thing poses an actual potential risk to passengers and crew, the people involved need to be given the harshest possible sentences. Take them out back and feed them into a woodchipper slowly if they wilfully endanger lives.

    • @[email protected]
      link
      fedilink
      281 month ago

      The main thing here is that falsified paperwork means the source of the titanium is suspect. The raw titanium could have been sourced from a sanctioned nation. Or the subcontractor changed their titanium source and did not update their documentation.

      Titanium was certainly supplied and used. The audit is questioning other aspects of where it came from.

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        31 month ago

        Titanium is such a unique metal to machine that anyone could tell if it wasn’t actually titanium. The only way you could get away with passing off another metal as titanium is if you had a massive fraud conspiracy spanning from the contractors/subcontractors all the way up to the aerospace manufacturers. Not to say it would be impossible but there would need to be a lot of corrupt people involved.

    • @CarbonatedPastaSauce
      link
      English
      01 month ago

      I’d prefer a 2 page spread of pictures in CEO magazine but I guess out back works.

  • @Treczoks
    link
    151 month ago

    How the heck does one not notice that a sheet of titanium is fake? That stuff is special, and if your sheets are suddenly totally different, one should notice that by a number of parameters.

    • Buelldozer
      link
      fedilink
      681 month ago

      It’s not that the titanium metal is fake, it’s probably real. By “fake” what they mean is that the part made with the titanium isn’t what the documentation for it claims. It may have been made by a different company than what the documentation says or it may not have been tested in the way that the documentation says.

      Every last piece, down to the tiniest screw, in a commercial airplane has a paper trail and for these parts someone is saying that the paper trail has been falsified. That’s the “fake” part.

      • @Kaput
        link
        141 month ago

        The question is how they found out. Lucky audit or failing parts?

        • @Warl0k3
          link
          21
          edit-2
          1 month ago

          Probably someone in QA was doing a spot check and was unable to verify the documentation from an upstream manufacturer for the materials. For example, the mine the titanium was sourced from may have had a specific ore lot listed an absurd number of times or the foundry was listed as performing material analysis done in house for procedures they normally would be required to have done by an independent lab.

    • @[email protected]
      link
      fedilink
      281 month ago

      Still titanium, but likely sourced differently and not batch tested to verify exact mechanical properties. Only time you’d tell the difference is when it fails prematurely.

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        21 month ago

        Presumably there must be something physically different about the weaker titanium, like a different structure of all the crystals in it or something? Is there any way to measure that?

        • @[email protected]
          link
          fedilink
          131 month ago

          Sometimes only by destructive testing. But either way, the high cost of the parts is the paper trail verifying the testing to a certain standard.

          • @[email protected]
            link
            fedilink
            11 month ago

            I’m aware that it can analyze chemical composition (I work in a factory that relates to such devices), but I’m unaware of them being able to detect things like weaknesses in a grain structure, the devices I’m familiar with at least would just tell you if a piece of titanium has other elements contaminating it. Unless there’s more that can be done with them than I’ve had explained to me, which is possible

            • @[email protected]
              link
              fedilink
              English
              11 month ago

              I don’t know about crystalline structure, but impurities are probably the most common way that a sample might fail testing. I’m sure that improper annealing or something would also cause problems, but I’m not a metallurgist so I can’t say for sure.

    • @[email protected]
      link
      fedilink
      English
      111 month ago

      It’s not like they swapped titanium for balsa wood. The origin docs were falsified or missing, which could mean anything from they weren’t the right purity but were shipped anyway to they were imported from Russia and illegally bypassing sanctions.

    • @[email protected]
      link
      fedilink
      91 month ago

      This is a supply chain integrity thing. They’re not alleging that the titanium wasn’t actually titanium (which as you said, would be noticed immediately).

    • @[email protected]
      link
      fedilink
      English
      71 month ago

      How the heck does one not notice that a sheet of titanium is fake?

      Contains a certain level of impurities that doesn’t meet with guarantees?

      • @Treczoks
        link
        11 month ago

        Ok, that might be a thing.

    • SuiXi3D
      link
      fedilink
      51 month ago

      Right, but they were likely so cheap that it didn’t matter.

  • @nutsack
    link
    31 month ago

    if you want to buy some of this stuff hit me up I’ve got a guy