Boeing says Vought challenges are not impacting 787 schedule

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Challenges faced by key Boeing 787 supplier, Vought Aircraft Industries, are not impacting the airframer’s overall programme schedule for the twinjet, Boeing says.

A memo to Vought employees obtained by newspapers in Seattle, home of Boeing,  reveals the company has experienced “ongoing schedule slippage” in obtaining parts it is supposed to install before shipping fuselage sections to Boeing.

This comes after reports surfaced that the head of 787 operations at Vought, Ted Perdue, recently left the company.

“There have been no schedule changes. We’re just managing [the issue] company-to-company,” says a Boeing spokeswoman.

“What we’re doing with Vought is the same thing we’re doing with all our partners…implementing contingency plans for travelled work.”

She says: “There are suppliers that have different issues at different times. I would not say that this is any more serious than others.”

Vought says the issues faced by the company “are typical” and that Boeing has plans in place “for all of this”.

“The parts that were missing from our 787 aft barrels were identified well before we shipped them,” says a Vought spokeswoman, adding: “No piece gets delivered without Boeing accepting it.”

Vought continues to face some supply challenges. “We are not alone. There is a worldwide shortage for different components,” says the Vought spokeswoman. But, she stresses, Vought is “identifying them [challenges]…attacking them, and doing everything we can to overcome them.”

She declines to comment on Perdue’s departure, saying only that he left the company to pursue other interests.

The first 787 is scheduled for roll-out on July 8.

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