Boeing 787
Boeing 787. REUTERS

Boeing Co. appointed a new executive to oversee the production of the carbon-plastic 787 Dreamliner to make sure that the delays are overcome and targets are achieved.

Chicago-based Boeing has named Larry Loftis as vice president and general manager of the 787 program.

Loftis previously led the 777 program and will be succeeded by Scott Fancher, the current Dreamliner chief. Loftis led the 777 program to a record year of 200 net orders last year.

Jim Albaugh, head of Boeing's commercial-airliner unit, said the move was designed to better align the organization for the challenges ahead.

The company stated that Fancher, who led the 787 program as it hit the crucial milestone of making the first delivery last year, would work on such duties as helping to define the next variant of the 777.

The 787 is the airliner built mainly out of the new materials, which help airlines save fuel by reducing aircraft weight. It is more fuel efficient than previous Boeing models. Again it is the first big commercial jet made largely from plastic reinforced by carbon fiber, instead of aluminum. Time and again the development of the plane faced postponements subsequent to hitches in the composite global supply chain.

The company has reported that 787 Dreamliner jets may have a recently discovered flaw in the fuselage while reiterating that the world's first carbon-plastic passenger plane is safe to fly.

Boeing has made 55 Dreamliners so far. However, it has delivered only five (to Japan's All Nippon Airways Co Ltd). Boeing is under pressure to sharply increase 787 deliveries to reduce a backlog of more than 850 planes.

As this program transitions into production, this appointment will take advantage of Larry's more than 32 years of commercial product experience and knowledge of Boeing's production system, Albaugh said.

This will allow us to take advantage of Scott's vast experience on development programs and allow him to align the 777 production system with the next generation 777, added Albaugh.