Boeing creates Airplane Development group, names Fancher to lead

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Boeing's commercial airplanes (BCA) division has created a new Airplane Development group with responsibility to move aircraft from the drawing boards and into service.

Scott Fancher, the vice president currently assigned to lead the 777 programme, has been appointed to lead the new group, and is immediately assigned to lead three programmes -- 787-9, 767 Tanker and the 737 Max programmes - through development and certification.

Fancher's role also will include leading development of the double-stretch 787-10X and the re-engined 777X programme, if they are launched by Boeing's board.

After extended and costly delays with introducing the 787-8 and 747-8, the role may indicate that Boeing wishes to invest more leadership resources on the development phase of new aircraft programmes.

"I believe this alignment will help us focus on our priorities and deliver on our commitments," writes Ray Conner, BCA president, in a message to employees.

Fancher, who has not yet been replaced on the 777 programme, will report directly to Conner, along with senior vice president of commercial aircraft services Lou Mancini and senior vice president of airplane programmes Pat Shanahan.

The moves are part of a broader restructuring that also moves the standalone Boeing South Carolina division under Shanahan's portfolio, while Charleston-based vice president Jack Jones will continue to be a member of the overall BCA leadership team.

Finally, Boeing is also splitting BCA manufacturing and quality into two organisations, and adding safety to the title of the former.