Boeing plans rate 2.5 for 787 in November

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Boeing plans to accelerate 787 production starting in November, advancing to 2.5 aircraft per month across its final assembly facilities and supply chain, maintaining its goal of reaching 10 aircraft per month by the end of 2013.

After reaching rate 2.5, the production acceleration will hold then in March or April, advance to 3.5 aircraft per month, said Boeing, which did not provide details on the rest its pacing to 10 per month by 2013. Boeing is currently producing two aircraft per month.

The new details show the pace of the 787 ramp-up has slowed since earlier this year. In March, Boeing chief financial officer James Bell projected the company would be delivering 2.5 aircraft per month by early in the third quarter, or between two and five months ahead of the current schedule

With 820 aircraft in its backlog, having delivered its first 787 to All Nippon Airways on 25 September, Boeing will utilise three final assembly lines - two at its Everett, Washington, final assembly centre, and one in North Charleston, South Carolina - to meet the unprecedented demand for the new majority-composite aircraft.

Boeing's lead Everett line is capitalised to produce seven aircraft per month, while the Charleston line will contribute an additional three, slowly ramping up the greenfield facility. Next year, Boeing will activate a duplicate surge line in Everett, bridging the gap to 10 per month as Charleston comes up to speed.

Programme sources have indicated that Boeing plans to accelerate its production rate beyond 10 per month to regain ground lost after three and a half years of delays to its flagship product, with indications the rate could push as high as 17 per month by mid-2016 by making the surge line permanent.