Sunday, February 12, 2012

Boeing to ramp up Dreamliner production

Boeing aims to ramp up production of its much-delayed 787 Dreamliner to 10 planes a month by the end of 2013, up from the current two to three, a top company executive said on Sunday.

Mark Jenks, vice president of development of the 787 programme which is running three years behind schedule, said the company has fixed the latest problem in the planes currently under production.

Boeing said last month it had discovered a shimming problem on some 787 fuselages. Shims, or spacers, are used to fill small gaps that occur between parts that don't fit together exactly.

"It is a straightforward issue... it has been fixed upstream on aircraft we are building now," Jenks said at a news conference in the city-state ahead of the Singapore Airshow which kicks off on Tuesday.

"It should not have significant impact on our production line. We should need to go through a process of inspecting other planes. If they require any work we can do it fairly quickly."

He admitted however it was "frustrating and we rather it did not happen."

Jenks said Boeing's current "big focus" is on increasing production of the fuel-efficient mid-sized Dreamliner.

"We move from the current production of two or three a month to a maximum rate of 10 and possibly higher," he said.

Boeing has been dogged by production delays to its showpiece aircraft, which will take centre stage at the airshow from February 14-19.

The US aircraft maker delivered the first Dreamliners to Japan's All Nippon Airways last year.

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