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I've seen many articles on the internet (here, here & here) claiming that Boeing used a team of ferrets to run cables through hard to reach areas when building aeroplanes, but I've never seen any official sources to back these claims.

Is there any truth to this, or are they just baseless internet rumours?

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    $\begingroup$ Surely you jest @Sam, everyone knows the internet is the golden source of ultimate truth! $\endgroup$ – GdD Nov 8 at 15:19
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    $\begingroup$ Using a cute rodent-like animal to do actually-useful work by running wires through tight spots in a jumbo aircraft is literally YouTube-viral material. They'd be crazy not to farm the upvotes, given the recent ongoing troubles /s $\endgroup$ – aerobot Nov 8 at 17:23
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    $\begingroup$ Imagine all of the interesting places service crews would find corrosion from rodent urine. Maybe a few extra wire bundles that always seem to lead to ferret skeletons. $\endgroup$ – acpilot Nov 9 at 6:25
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    $\begingroup$ @acpilot: Ferrets are carnivores, not rodents. $\endgroup$ – Sean Nov 9 at 22:36
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That's a clever idea... No, they won't do that Too many accidents, defect in an airplane is from tiny things like a wrong gasket, wrong pipe fitting, small crack that you'd have to take out a microscope to see. There are better tools and ways for doing that.

However, I can not say this isn't an idea somebody has tried, there are some reasonable truth to it... but definitely they won't use this method on the critical part of the airplane

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  • $\begingroup$ I mean, it was in the 1960s. I could actually imagine this to be true. $\endgroup$ – Noah Krasser Nov 10 at 10:06
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    $\begingroup$ @NoahKrasser Yes, the ferrets of the 60s where much more trainable than those reluctant and rebellious beasts of today. $\endgroup$ – PerlDuck Nov 10 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ Felicia was used as a pipecleaner in the National Accelerator Laboratory history.fnal.gov/felicia.html $\endgroup$ – Owain 2 days ago

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