Boeing plans to increase production of the 787-8 to five per month in the fourth quarter, says James Albaugh, president and chief executive of Boeing commercial airplanes during the company's annual investor conference.

Albaugh says that production is at 3.5 per month and will increase to five once it has "stabilised" the supply chain for the aircraft.

Boeing is targeting a production rate of 10 787s per month by the end of 2013, with aircraft coming from the manufacturer's factories in Everett, Washington and Charleston, South Carolina. Albaugh says that the manufacturer needs to install an additional drilling machine, improve the mid-body join and reduce the amount of shimming that is required during production to achieve this rate increase.

Boeing's 787 line has had a successful year to date. Japan Airlines received its first 787-8 in March and the manufacturer's Charleston assembly line rolled out its first of the type in April.

Separately, the manufacturer says it is developing the stretched 787-10X and the next generation 777 in tandem with each other. While a decision on these models could occur as early as the fourth quarter, development will not begin until after it has completed the 787-9.

The first flight of the 787-9 is scheduled for 2013 with a first delivery to Air New Zealand in either the first or second quarter of 2014.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news