"It's the fastest we've ever gone on any airplane," said Jack Jones,
vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina.
A 787 entered production at the new rate on November 14, Boeing
said, but has not been completed.
Hitting the target would put Boeing on track to deliver at least 60
planes this year, Jones said. It has delivered 54 through November,
despite a halt to deliveries for three months earlier this year
because of overheating batteries.
Hitting the target also puts Boeing closer to its next goals of
building 12 787s a month by mid-2016 and 14 a month by approximately
2019, Jones said.
Final assembly of the airplane takes place in North Charleston and
at the company's huge factory in Everett, Washington. The aft- and
mid-body fuselages for all 787s are made in North Charleston.
The South Carolina facility will begin commercial production of
Boeing's larger 787-9 model, which is being tested, next fall, Jones
"We want Seattle to wring out all the issues and bugs like we would
any airplane because they have the smarts, they have the
sophistication. Once they do that, we'll be ready" to start
Boeing also will announce in the first quarter of 2014 where it will
build it planned "stretch" 787-10, now on the drawing board, Jones
The South Carolina facility will build its aft- and mid-body
fuselages, and speculation has centered on South Carolina to
assemble the final airplane because the fuselage might be too big to
fit on Boeing's large cargo plane, called the Dreamlifter.
With modifications, "there's a possibility that it could get on
there," Jones said, referring to the Dreamlifter.
[to top of second column]
This year, Boeing's South Carolina plant has expanded its aft- and
mid-body factories, added an information technology center and an
engineering design center, and has broken ground on a propulsion
center. Boeing research and technology has added a manufacturing
technology center in North Charleston.
"We won't have to rely on Seattle as much," Jones said.
Boeing has about 6,700 employees in South Carolina, he said. The
North Charleston facility has about 400 engineers, said Dan Mooney,
vice president of engineering for Boeing South Carolina, who
relocated from Seattle.
Last week, Boeing leased 468 more acres in North Charleston to add
to its current campus of 264 acres. The company plans a new paint
facility on part of the acreage but has not said what it will build
on the rest.
"We do not have any other plans (for the land)," Jones said.
"There's no plan on the side or in secret."
(Reporting by Harriet McLeod; editing by Alwyn Scott and Tim Dobbyn)
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