Aviation Week — To avoid a repeat of the painful experiences of the recent 787 and 747-8 development programs, Boeing is creating a new organization called Airplane Development that will be dedicated to bringing aircraft through development and certification.
Announcing the development, Boeing Commercial President Ray Conner says the effort will “clarify responsibility, streamline decision-making and accelerate our progress,” as the company ramps up to historically high production levels and simultaneously tackles five new development programs. These include the 787-9, first flight of which is due in 2013; the 737 MAX which will reach final design configuration next year; KC-46A tanker; and the likely launch of the 787-10X. The list also includes the proposed 777X derivative, which is expected to move closer to definition in 2013.
Leading the new organization as VP will be Scott Fancher, who successfully steered the 787 through the recovery process and to certification after its initial delays. The Airplane Development unit “will focus on bringing the new-generation models–737 MAX, 767 Tanker and 787-9–through development and certification, and will provide leadership on the 777X and 787-10X development work,” says Conner.
While Airplane Development will lead the design, development, certification and testing of the new products, the integration of these programs into Boeing’s regular production system will be managed by Airplane Programs, which will continue under the leadership of Pat Shanahan. This unit “will oversee the management of profit and loss for each program,” adds Conner.
Development program leaders will report directly to Fancher and function as development deputies working within Airplane Programs. “This will ensure we maintain a single plan that integrates production and development for each program,” Conner adds. “Scott and Pat will work together to ensure seamless integration with each of these organizations, including Product Development, which will continue to be led by Larry Schneider; he continues to report to Mike Delaney, VP-engineering. Scott will maintain responsibility for the 777 and 777X programs until new leaders are named in the near future.”
Under other changes announced today, Boeing South Carolina, which until now has functioned as a relatively stand-alone unit under Jack Jones, will transition into Airplane Programs. The move will “form one team focused on rate increases, quality and on-time deliveries for the 787 program,” says Conner. Jones will now report to Shanahan. Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) Manufacturing and Quality also will be reconfigured as separate organizations with VP Tim Copes continuing to lead BCA Manufacturing, which will be renamed BCA Manufacturing & Safety. Quality will continue to be led by VP Lindsay Anderson.
Boeing’s Commercial Aviation Services unit will continue to be headed by Senior VP Lou Mancini.
By Guy Norris
Photo: Aviation Week
Posted on December 3,2012
Aviation Week | Boeing Creates Airplane Development Unit For New Products