(Charleston) Boeing prefers to focus on its aircraft undergoing certification, on stabilizing its supply chain and waiting for the maturation of new technologies before launching a brand new aircraft, said its boss Dave Calhoun.
“You have to be patient, you have to get everything to line up,” the manager said during a press briefing at the Charleston, South Carolina plant site held in recent days in preparation for the Bourget air show at the end of June.
The manufacturer is currently working on technologies of various kinds, from composite materials to autonomy. “There’s a lot of preparatory work going on, a lot of testing, to make sure they’re mature enough if we decide to include them,” he said.
Boeing also already has three passenger jets undergoing certification, the shorter version of its 737 MAX flagship, the 737-7, and the longer version, the 737-10, as well as its new long-haul, the 777X.
“It’s a huge and important job to complete these certifications,” said Mr. Calhoun.
In that regard, Development Programs Manager Mike Fleming said Wednesday that certification of the 737-7 is taking “longer” than he had anticipated.
“The amount of documentation we present [to the regulator] on these planes is much more than what we had to produce in the past,” he noted, stressing that he was still hoping for the green light from the authorities. here the end of the year.
As for the 737-10, Boeing hopes the aviation regulator will give approval for the test flight phase “sometime this year.”
To explain the lack of desire to quickly launch a new program, Dave Calhoun also highlighted the state of the supply chain after the pandemic, with many suppliers particularly struggling to recruit.
“Many suppliers only produce one part, and they are the only ones producing that part. When they make mistakes, or when they fail to keep pace, we suffer […]. But we can’t get angry with them, denounce them in the press, we have to work with them, “said the boss of Boeing.
While the manufacturer recently had to deal with quality problems on parts supplied by Spirit Aerosystems for the 737 MAX, the manager assured that he “did not want” to acquire his supplier to solve the problems.
“Of course we’re disappointed when any new issues arise that limit our frame rates, [but] I think we’ll get through this by letting the engineers collaborate,” he said.