Boeing announces another 787 test/production schedule and has to buy another plant

Posted on 27. Aug, 2009 by in Airline Safety, Blog

Here we go again; another schedule and another outsourcing plant has to bought for the Boeing 787 program. I’m sounding like a broken record so I’ll let others have a word; This from Design News:

Two years ago, Pat Russell, director of global supply at Vought Aircraft, made this comment about the bold global outsourcing program in place for the Dreamliner 787. “What Boeing is trying to do will really set the standard for how you reduce time to market, from design to implementation.”

Boeing contracted with more than 50 suppliers, 28 of them outside the U.S.

Flash forward to today:

This summer Boeing announced it is buying the key Vought assembly plant in South Carolina in an effort to reel in that supply chain. Supply chain and design problems have contributed to a two-year delay — so far.

And the overall result:

The bad news began to roll in early in the process, starting with the announcement that companies such as Alcoa could not supply fasteners quickly enough to meet early production demand. Plant capacities were slashed following the reduction in demand in 2003-2004, and had not ramped up to meet demand for an ambitious aircraft program.
Then the bad news just kept coming — delays at various plants around the world.

What I find surprising is that these are the exact reasons why the US Navy cancelled the multi-billion dollar A-12 program, with McDonnell Douglass. Boeing now owns Mac D. Didn’t anyone offer up the history of the last attempt? Didn’t any of the executives ask?

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