Boeing Close to Building Ten 787s A Month
Production rates increase even as Boeing buys more land near 787 site, realigns research unit. Will South Carolina evolve into new Boeing hub?
Reuters (12/20, McLeod) reports that Jack Jones, vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina, said the company is close to its goal of producing ten 787 Dreamliners a month. A 787 entered production at the new rate on November 14, Boeing said, but has not been completed, according to the article.
The article also notes that “ ‘Hitting the target would put Boeing on track to deliver at least 60 planes this year,’Jones said. It has delivered 54 through November, despite a halt to deliveries for three months earlier this year because of overheating batteries”
Earlier, The Post and Courier (12/12, Wise) reported that Boeing will nearly triple its real estate footprint near Charleston International Airport and its 787 production facility. Analysts speculate this may allow Boeing to move all 787 production to North Charleston, SC. Boeing remains largely silent on the topic. Noted aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group of Virginia was quoted in the article as saying "It shows a commitment by Boeing, and that's great for Charleston," he said.
A new 230,000 square foot paint facility was already in the planning stages, as reported in Aerospace Manufacturing and Design (12/19). (Today all South Carolina built 787s are flown to Fort Worth, Texas, for final paint and then flown back to South Carolina for customer delivery.)
In related news, in a Press Release dated Dec. 12, Boeing announced its intent to realign Research & Technology units. Establishing research centers in five states, the move will consolidate work on strategic technologies. One of those centers, focusing on manufacturing technology, is slated for North Charleston, SC. 300 to 400 additional employees are anticipated.
Other centers include Huntsville, Ala, an unspecified location in Southern California, St. Louis MO, and Seattle, WA.
Published Date : 1/6/2014