Boeing engineers taxed by suppliers

Sept. 21, 2010 at 4:03 PM
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CHICAGO, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Delivery delays with U.S. plane maker Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and 747-8 jets can be traced to suppliers, the head of Boeing's engineering union said.

Ray Goforth, executive director of Boeing's engineering union, said, "There's a lot of dreadful work coming out of the partners the company is working with and also some great work," The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

Goforth, head of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, said Boeing had "really saddled themselves with some partners who are just not capable of doing the job."

Industry analyst Scott Hamilton said Boeing's engineers were taxed by problems with the long overdue Dreamliner, which is not expected to be delivered until mid-2011.

"I've been warning for years the insidious effect the 787 program was having on the entire company. It was sucking up resources from all over," Hamilton said.

Boeing spokesman Tim Bader said Boeing, which has constructed 11 of the 747-8 jumbo freighters, was working to iron out wing vibrations and problems with the inboard aileron actuator, which controls flaps that manage rolling and banking, the Tribune said.

With the 747-8, like the Dreamliner, "There's a high probability of deliveries moving into 2011," he said.

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