Boeing Set to Buy Vought?

Last Updated Jul 3, 2009 11:19 AM EDT

The always-reliable FlightBlogger is reporting that Boeing has decided to buy the 787 operations of one of its suppliers, Vought. This would appear to again highlight the difficulty that Boeing has encountered with its much-touted global supply chain.

It wasn't long ago that Boeing was crowing about how the 787 would be built in a completely different way. Pieces of the airplane were to be built by dozens of different suppliers. The company's mighty Dreamlifter would haul around the largest pieces, and they would all end up in Seattle, magically fitting together in final assembly. That dream hasn't been realized.

Instead, we've seen delay after delay on the 787 and often they are the result of pieces not quite coming together as planned. It would now seem that Boeing has gone somewhat too far in its efforts to diversify the production of this aircraft, and it's now looking at ways to fix things.

Acquiring Vought would, according to FlightBlogger, allow Boeing to open a second production line in the business-friendly South. This would allow Boeing to ramp up production and build aircraft that would need a lot fewer Dreamlifter flights for assembly.

While I imagine that we'll see a lot of tweaks like this as this airplane program moves forward, what will ultimately be most interesting is how Boeing approaches the 797, or whatever aircraft comes next. I imagine we'll see a lot more work being done on the inside.