The Airliner Production Problem

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By Bjorn Fehrm

September 14, 2023, © Leeham News: For more than a year, we have heard all the Airliner OEMs complain that they can’t increase production rates because of delivery problems in their supply chain. It’s a problem that is not easy to fix; it just goes on and on.

What is the root problem behind the persistent problem of increasing production of our airliners? There are specific problems for each aircraft type and time, but some fundamental problems are behind the overall problem of increasing the production numbers.

We analyze these fundamental problems in a series of articles.

Figure 1. The Airbus A321, a model which a new customer gets delivered six years from now if the production increases to plan. Source: Airbus.

  • We start describing the realities of airliner production, and what a gigantic puzzle it is.
  • We also delve into the learning curve, and why it has such importance for production rates.

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