Boeing will hold shipments of 787 fuselage sections at Boeing Charleston and other supplier partners, halting deliveries until June.

The airframer says the halt in shipments will allow supplier partners dealing with part shortages, as well as design change incorporation, to catch up with production ramp up.

Boeing has struggled to find a steady drumbeat in its supply chain, which was unprepared for the steep ramp up the airframer initially planned, resulting in more than two years in delays to the programme.

Boeing 787 in flight




With this hold, which is lasting for 24 manufacturing days, the airframer seeks to avoid introducing out of sequence work to final assembly in Everett.

The stoppage in deliveries, known as a "schedule float", is effective immediately and should last until early June with the rescheduled commencement of final assembly for Airplane 23.

A typical month contains 22 manufacturing days with a 5-day work week. Programme sources say the hold is expected to last a total of four weeks and four days.

Boeing has been running 787 production at a two aircraft per month pace, accepting fuselage deliveries from Boeing Charleston and supply partners every 10 manufacturing days. The airframer says that despite the current hold, the planned production schedule and deliveries will not be impacted. Boeing Commercial Airplane CEO, Jim Albaugh said recently that 787 production would accelerate to two and a half aircraft per month beginning in August.

The company emphasises that the halt in deliveries to Everett will not cease production activities at final assembly. Boeing currently has four airframes in final assembly, Airplanes 19, 20, 21 and 22. The wings for Airplane 23 recently arrived from Japan.

Programme sources say that Airplane 22 had planned to advance one assembly position on 9 May, signaling the loading of Airplane 23 into the final body join tooling. Instead, the aircraft will be held in place while the proceeding aircraft will continue the build process.

Boeing aims to built 10 787s per month by 2013.

First delivery to All Nippon Airways is expected by year end.

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