Boeing is studying launching a military-only 767 production line that could greatly reduce modification costs and bridge a likely gap in production as the US Air Force reconsiders its tanker modernisation strategy.

An analysis by Flight International sister business AvSoft estimates the 767 production line will expire in 2007, forcing Boeing to decide whether to close the line as early as mid-year. An alternative is to re-configure the line after the last commercial delivery to complete the tanker modifications, rather than flying a green aircraft to Wichita to complete the work.

Boeing chief executive Harry Stonecipher says the military-only 767 production line could be transplanted to a new location, but adds: "Everett is a great place, so why would you want to move anywhere?"

Source: Flight International