What Boeing needs to do for digital, production transformation for new commercial airliner

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By Scott Hamilton

Greg Hyslop. Credit: Leeham News.

July 4, 2022, © Leeham News: When Boeing launches its next new commercial airplane program, whatever the design, advanced development, and production are intended to be a key part of the plan.

Officials have been hinting at this approach since the administration of CEO Jim McNerney. His successor, Dennis Muilenburg, opened the veil a bit more. David Calhoun, Muilenburg’s successor, has been more open about the concept.

Last month, Greg Hyslop, the executive vice president of Engineering, Test & Technology and the chief engineer for Boeing, was the most revealing yet. In a briefing in advance of the Farnborough Air Show that begins on July 18, detailed how digital design and advanced production will fit into the Next Boeing Airplane (NBA) plan.

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Boeing's new approach to aircraft design, production, and assembly is illustrated above. The Defense unit used this for the T-7 Red Hawk trainer and the MQ-25 unmanned Navy refueling tanker. But a lot of work is necessary to migrate this to Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Credit: Boeing.

However, Hyslop acknowledged that these advanced design and production processes must transition from low-rate defense projects to high-rate commercial airplanes. This is the “maturity” Boeing CEO said recently is required before the NBA proceeds.

  • Scalability is key to migrating digital and production transformation from defense to commercial.
  • Lessons learned from 787 an important step.
  • Rebuilding the workforce also required for the next new Boeing airplane.

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