Boeing Co. has altered the assembly dates for sections of some 787 Dreamliner jets by 16 working days as it assesses how an in-flight fire last month affects the plane’s delivery schedule.
The “adjustment” for moving 787s into the so-called final-body join, in which the wings, fuselage and other major parts are connected, took effect in late November, Scott Lefeber, a spokesman, said today in an e-mail. Boeing factories operate on a five-day week, he said.
Lefeber said Boeing’s adjustment of the assembly timetable doesn’t affect the first-delivery schedule.
The company, based in Chicago, began contacting some suppliers, which it refers to as partners, about the updated schedules on Nov. 21, Lefeber said.
“Rather than pass along out-of-sequence work to our final-assembly factory, we’ve asked those partners to take some additional time to complete the work at their facilities,” Lefeber said. The suppliers weren’t asked to stop production, he said.
The Dreamliner has been delayed six times and is about three years behind schedule because of parts shortages, redesigns and Boeing’s greater reliance on suppliers in a production system developed for the plane.
The company said in November it’s assessing the overall program schedule to help resolve issues associated with a test 787 that was forced to make an emergency landing in Laredo, Texas, after an electrical fire. Boeing expects to complete a revised program schedule in a few weeks, Lefeber said.
“We continue to make temporary schedule adjustments as needed to ensure the entire production system flows as designed and to minimize adverse impacts to final assembly,” Lefeber said. “That’s a process we began using earlier this year and will continue to use as needed going forward.”