1 Thing Investors Need to Know About Boeing's 787 Landing Gear Incident

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What's happening in the headlines can impact you as an investor. Here's what's going on, what you need to know, and what you should do.

The cold, hard facts
An All Nippon Airways Boeing (NYS: BA) 787, one of the aircraft manufacturing giant's brand-new Dreamliners, experienced a landing gear malfunction on Sunday, forcing the pilots to deploy the gear using a manual backup system. The aircraft landed safely and no one was injured.

Some context
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is Boeing's latest and greatest passenger jet. It is built almost entirely of lightweight carbon composites, rather than traditional aluminum, to save on fuel.

This 787 is one of only two in operation, both of which are flying with All Nippon Airways. It was delivered in September after three years of production delays, and made its inaugural flight with the airline on Oct. 26. Reuters is reporting that the jet has been repaired and is back in service, and that Boeing and the airline are investigating the problem.

One thing you need to know
The Dreamliner has been a long time coming. It's about three years behind its original development schedule because of snags in the extensive global supply chain. And because it incorporates so many design and manufacturing firsts, the airplane is under increased scrutiny from the aviation community.

But teething problems are common for a new jetliner entering service. Landing gear malfunctions in particular are a relatively common occurrence, hence the manual backup system. Airbus, the other commercial aircraft giant, has had to deal with similar problems in the testing and deployment of new aircraft, as do military aircraft manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin (NYS: LMT) , Northrop Grumman (NYS: NOC) , and General Dynamics (NYS: GD) .

So long as Boeing hops right on this issue and stays on top of it -- both from an engineering and a public relations perspective -- the company will be fine. And Boeing appears to be doing just that; the stock price actually rose in trading yesterday. Go figure.

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At the time this article was published Fool contributor and newshound John Grgurich loves his Reuters feed so much he wants to marry it, but he owns no shares of any of the companies mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a scintillating disclosure policy.

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