13 November 2012

Spirit AeroSystems CEO "extremely disappointed" in their management of the complexity on new programs, included A350 XWB

During the presentation of the Third Quarter 2012 Financial Results on 1st November, Spirit AeroSystems CEO Jeff Turner stated: “As demonstrated by the third quarter results, our core programs are performing well and we are financially healthy.”

“While new airplane programs are always challenging, I am extremely disappointed in our management of the complexity on these programs. We have struggled with the development and early production on certain programs as highlighted by the charges in the quarter. However, it is important to note that as these programs are now transitioning to full rate production and experiencing rate increases we are applying our lessons learned and focusing on driving operational performance and cost improvement into these programs,” Turner continued.

As a summary, Spirit AeroSystems reported third quarter 2012 financial results reflecting continued strong demand for large commercial aircraft, solid core program operating performance, the impact of new program charges, and the final insurance settlement for claims relating to the April 14, 2012 severe weather event at its Wichita, Kan. facility. Spirit’s third quarter 2012 revenues were $1.365 billion, up 21% from $1.130 billion for the same period of 2011, driven by higher production volumes.

“Strong market demand for our products continues as large commercial aircraft deliveries increased 7%  and deliveries across all programs increased 12% over the third quarter of 2011,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Turner.

The current quarter compared to the same period of 2011 includes an additional $50 million customer advance associated with a customer agreement on the A350 fuselage program, partially offset by the timing of accounts receivable and accounts payable.
 The complex section 15 centre fuselage, produced by Spirit AeroSystems, is one of the critical components. It was the source of concern for MSN5000 Static Test specimen and MSN001. And remains identified as critical; Didier Evrard "can't say everything is fully bridged" regarding the production process. Spirit AeroSystems Inc., the largest U.S. supplier for the A350 structure is still working to produce parts of the plane more efficiently, said chief executive Jeff Turner in an interview. “It’s not going as well as I’d like,” he said. Spirit and Airbus have said they are cooperating to meet ambitious production targets for the plane.
·         Fuselage composite panels fabrication in AFP
·         transport corridor (AGV) for Fuselage panels
·         detail assembly bay for Fuselage panels
·         frame shop
·         trim and inspection (with Torressonic)
·         Spar composite fabrication

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