The Boeing Co. delivered 503 commercial aircraft through the end of August, keeping the company on pace for its delivery target of between 750 and 755 aircraft for the year.
That would be an increase over the record 723 commercial aircraft that Boeing delivered in 2014, though it could be an even greater increase if Boeing matches its second-half delivery totals from last year.
The current-year deliveries have kept work bustling in Wichita’s commercial aviation cluster, including the city’s largest employer, Spirit AeroSystems Inc.
Spirit has work on all Boeing commercial programs.
Boeing’s updated delivery numbers show the popular 737 model, as always, leading the way with 324 deliveries through the end of August.
Spirit, which itself recorded a record year in 2014, makes about 70 percent of the 737 in Wichita.
The total number of 737 deliveries was, however, 12 aircraft shy of the current build rate of 42 aircraft per month.
Aviation analysts told the Puget Sound Business Journal this week that Boeing may have a production gap on the 737 program between the current model and the arrival of the upgraded 737 MAX in the next few years.
Boeing also reported that it has delivered 90 of its 787 Dreamliners this year, with sources telling Reuters that the program should help propel Boeing to strong financial results later this year, as the bulk of payment for any aircraft typically doesn’t come unit it is delivered.
Deliveries on the 787 are outpacing the production rate of 10 aircraft per month as the company works through jets it already had in the pipeline. The delivery boost keeps it on pace to meet its target of 120 Dreamliner deliveries in 2015.
Spirit builds the forward fuselage and other components on the 787.
(Daniel McCoy - Wichita Business Journal)