Boeing, one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturing companies, said on Tuesday that an outer panel fell off of an Air India 787 jet -- dubbed by its manufacturer the "Dreamliner" -- while the plane was in-flight from Delhi to Bangalore.
The pilots did not realize the eight-by-four-foot panel was missing until after the flight landed, according to the Times of India.
A photo on The Times of India website showed a large opening with components and aircraft structure visible inside.
The detached panel is a new problem in a long list of issues that has plagued the 787 and Boeing, which has been struggling to reassure airlines that its new, fuel-efficient and much-anticipated model meets expectations.
The jet has suffered a string of mishaps since it was introduced two years ago.
Last week, a 787 headed to Tokyo was diverted back to San Diego because of a problem with the deicing system. Another plane was grounded because of electrical problems that prevented its toilets from working, according to The Telegraph.
The Boeing 787 has also experienced other electrical and mechanical problems, including battery overheating issues that forced the company to ground the entire 787 fleet in January for three months.
Boeing has been in fierce competition with its main rival Airbus for years. It’s not clear how the 787’s problems have affected its sales, but last week the company was dealt a blow when Japan Airlines awarded a $9.5 billion contract to Airbus.
And the 787 isn’t Boeing’s only recent controversy. A report yesterday from Bloomberg News revealed that the U.S. Army had audited the company four times since 2008 for overcharging for used parts in military aircraft.
Al Jazeera and wire services