Spirit AeroSystems is prepared to deliver Boeing 787 shipsets at a rate of seven a month should Boeing order a rate increase.

The head of the company's fuselage business Richard Buchanan says Boeing is holding a lower rate of deliveries early on to limit the amount of change incorporation it would have to do on already-assembled production aircraft.

Spirit will operate at a two shipset a month delivery rate for the second half of 2009 and hold that rate into 2010 until Boeing signals its readiness to ramp up.

Boeing plans to deliver 10 787s a month by 2012.

March 09 787 Line 
 © Boeing

Buchanan, whose comments came at Spirit's 3 June Investor Day, adds that the company will deliver 10-12 787 shipsets in 2009 to Boeing's final assembly operations in Everett, Washington.

He adds that "Line Unit 17", or the 10th production aircraft, will be the final 2009 delivery in December of this year.

The company has shipped three forward fuselages so far this year, including one for the first production 787 set for delivery to Japan's All Nippon Airways in the first quarter of 2010.

Spirit is responsible for fabrication of the forward fuselage (section 41), the leading edges of the wings and engine pylons for the 787-8.

Source: Flight International