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Boeing Just Started Producing Dreamliners Even Faster, Oh Joy


Jan 24, 2014 1:00 pm

Skift Take

More efficient manufacture of the troubled Boeing 787 Dreamliner should accrue to Boeing’s bottom line if hurrying up the production process doesn’t lead to quality lapses. You can’t really count on the FAA to keep close tabs on the process unless further problems surface.

— Dennis Schaal

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An Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner prepares for a flying display, during the 50th Paris Air Show, at the Le Bourget airport near Paris, June 20, 2013. Pascal Rossignol

Despite 2013’s battery woes and other ongoing and assorted glitches with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the aircraft manufacturer has acheived a milestone: Boeing is now turning them out faster than ever.

Boeing announced today that it “has rolled out the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner built at the rate of 10 airplanes per month,” with assembly and delivery taking place in Everett, Washington, and North Charleston, South Carolina.

That’s a rate of about one Dreamliner being assembled every three days.

In other words, they can put one of these aviation machines together over a long weekend.

The 10-per-month schedule for the aircraft is part of a gradual acceleration of Dreamliner production, which stood at five per month in November 2012 and seven per month in May 2013.

“The entire 787 team is now focused on capturing efficiencies at this historic level of production, as well as meeting our commitment to increase the production rate to 12 per month in 2016 and to 14 per month by the end of the decade,” said Larry Loftis, general manager of the 787 program.

Given all of the problems with the aircraft, let’s hope that quality assurance isn’t being sacrificed to speed. That, of course, wouldn’t be in the long-term interest of Boeing or its 60 customers that have put in orders for 1,030 aircraft.

So far 115 Dreamliners have been delivered to 16 airlines.

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