Boeing supplier Vought outlines 787 challenges

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Key Boeing 787 supplier Vought Aircraft Industries has disclosed it is facing “ongoing schedule slippage” in obtaining parts it is supposed to install before shipping fuselage sections to Boeing, a company memo obtained by the Seattle press reveals.

Shortly after it was reported the head of 787 operations at Vought, Ted Perdue, had left the company, Vought CEO Elmer Doty sent a memo to employees setting clear the firm faced challenges but noting it was acting quickly to address the issues.

While Vought has not released a statement on the subject, and could not immediately be reached for comment, details of the memo have been published by the Seattle Post.

“Bottom line up front: We have some challenges – just like everybody else,” Doty tells employees in the memo.

“Our job is to identify, attack and fix challenges as they arise. We are today responding the right way – fast, decisive and with our best resources.”

Vought builds the Boeing 787’s aft fuselage, the first of which was recently delivered to Boeing’s Everett facilities.

“Our thorniest problem is the ongoing schedule slippage of some key purchased components that we install in the fuselage,” the memo says, but notes the company’s experience in supplier management means it knows what action to take.

“Given urgency of the schedule, we had to hit this one fast and hard and we have. Other issues we are facing are pretty routine to fix, once the right resources are applied,” he says.

“We have some work to do, but there is nothing we haven’t done before and we can get these issues corrected in short order.”

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