July 30, 2015: Scott Fancher, regarded as the person to come in and take over troubled programs at Boeing, has been named to take over the KC-46A program.
Fancher originally came to Boeing Commercial Airplanes from the Boeing defense unit to take over the 787 program at a time when development and design issues were rampant and the plane had yet to be delivered to a single customer.
After that was straightened out, Fancher took over new airplane programs and then moved to oversee development of the 777X, which is Boeing’s response to the Airbus A350 XWB. Although the 777X is a derivative, Boeing’s 747-8 derivative was two years late (in no small part due to the knock-on effects of the 787 program problems). Fancher’s charge with 777X was to be sure it comes in on time and on budget.
But last week Boeing took an $835m pre-tax charge for the KC-46A, a majority prorated to Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It’s the second big charge, which now totals just under $1.3bn pre-tax. The test flights are running up to eight months behind schedule and the margins in the program are gone. Although Boeing and the US Air Force say Boeing still plans to deliver 18 KC-46As in 2017, per the contract, with no more margin, delivering the 18 planes on time is a major challenge.
The Seattle Times today reported yet another setback for the tanker, when a mislabeled chemical was run through the fuel system. The tanker is grounded for repairs.
Allegiant Air, an ultra low cost carrier, is under multiple investigations by the Federal Aviation Administration, reports SkyWriter Aviation. A “fuel emergency” at Fargo (ND) with Allegiant a few days ago garnered national attention, but there’s a lot more to it than that, apparently.