Flightblogger’s Jon Ostrower has this story that the head of the 747-8 program has been replaced as delays mount, flight testing stalls and new delivery delays are expected to be announced within weeks.
Vice president and general manager Mo Yahyavi has been replaced by Pat Shanahan, the head of all commercial programs, and Elizabeth Lund, who has been the head of the 767 program.
Lund’s appoint is indicative of how badly are going for the 747 program despite the unadulterated cheerleading professed by some. Lund was responsible for the transition of the 767 production line from its historic system operating since the 1982 introduction of the airplane to a new, Lean Production Line that is to open in January. The new Lean line will take half the space of the old line and this makes way for the 787 Surge Line.
Lund was also preparing the 767 line in anticipation of Boeing winning the KC-X tanker award.
The 747-8 program has been best by fall-out from the 787 program since 2007, before the 787’s roll-out, as engineering and other resources were diverted to or retained by the 787. Boeing outsourced engineering to Russia, Spain and India, and found it necessary for SPEEA to rework important pieces of it when the data came back.
The plane has been plagued with aerodynamic difficulties and flight testing has fallen behind schedule.
Boeing has telegraphed a likely new delay in first delivery to at least the first quarter, but hasn’t made it official. An announcement is expected within weeks, according to our information, that may set first delivery in the second quarter.