Boeing Aims to Build 787s at a Rate of 180 Per Year

At a press conference commemorating the production of its 1,000th 767, Boeing’s President of Commercial Airplanes, Jim Albaugh, said the company aims to produce 15 787s a month once it gets its assembly lines up to speed according to The Herald.

Boeing has laid out an aggressive strategy for the production of the 787 despite the fact that the plane has yet to be delivered to a single customer. The company is aiming to deliver the first 787 to launch customer, All Nippon Airways, sometime during the third quarter of this year.

Boeing has a massive backorder that totals over 800 orders for the 787 and is hoping to ramp up deliveries at a fast pace in order to meet demand as soon as the plane launches with the company betting that it can produce 10 787s a month by the end of 2013, only two years after its first delivery.

Making the increased production possible for the 787 will be the opening of a second assembly line in South Carolina which is expected to open later this year, along with increased capacity at the company’s Everett plant thanks to a shrinkage in the 767’s production space.

But as Airbus has experienced with the A380, increasing production rates with a new plane can be difficult due to the costs associated with such expansion and with the 787 yet to be certified, it may be premature to assume that Boeing will be able to completely avoid similar setbacks.

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