Boeing has recently confirmed that they will be ramping up production of the 787 Dreamliner to 14 per month from their current rate of 12 per month, already the fastest production rate in the industry for a widebody passenger plane.
The new rate is scheduled to be in place by 2019. This 17 percent increase is significant, considering the aircraft’s $250 million plus price tag. (Image courtesy of Boeing.) The move is timed to coincide with a predicted upcoming wave of replacements by major international airlines. “We see a significant widebody replacement wave coming early in the next decade, as we have a number of widebodies globally that are going to hit the 25-year-point,” CEO Dennis Muilenburg said. “Much of that demand will also be satisfied with 787s.”
The aerospace giant had a backlog of orders for some 689 Dreamliner planes as of August 2017. The 787 rolls off lines in Everett, Washington and Charleston, South Carolina. In 2007, executives planned for a staggering 16 planes per month, but were stymied by slowdowns stemming from the 787’s design and production process. According to Bloomberg , some analysts are concerned that the production increase could chew through that backlog, hurting suppliers with the rate cut that would follow.
The increased production rate will put more pressure on the production lines, but Boeing is confident that faster delivery times will help support a favorable trend in sales seen in the past 3 years, with a mere 42 ordered in 2014, 99 in 2015 and 80 in 2016. So far in 2017, 82 planes have been ordered, with the fourth quarter remaining to be seen. The 787 airframe is made of a composite carbon material, the first of its kind in an airliner. Other design features include raked wingtips and noise-reducing chevron-shaped teeth on the engine ducts. The airliner is compatible with the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 and the General Electric GEnx engines. Take a look at this video on their production: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJZk9vNS8NE For more on aerospace engineering, check out this article .