Boeing partner delivers worries Vought Aircraft top boss resigns amid supply issue

CHARLESTON, S.C. - The top executive of Vought Aircraft Industries' operations in South Carolina, a key partner on Boeing Co.'s 787 Dreamliner program, has resigned amid reports of supplier problems.

Ted Perdue resigned to pursue other opportunities, Vought spokeswoman Lynn Warne said Friday. She said she could not discuss personnel matters.

A telephone number for Perdue was not listed in South Carolina.

Boeing's partners are responsible for manufacturing and some assembly of the Dreamliner's massive wings and fuselage barrels, part of which are made at a North Charleston plant.

Last week, aircraft industry analysts reviewed the Vought operations in North Charleston. Heidi Wood, an analyst with Morgan Stanley, issued a report that described problems at the plant, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported in Friday's editions.

"We have written about factory tours from other 787 suppliers. Vought compared, in our opinion, less favorably but not sufficiently to upset confidence the 787 will remain on track," Wood wrote.

Elmer Doty, Vought's chief executive, earlier told reporters in a first-quarter earnings call that some of the fuselage barrels delivered to Boeing's plant in Everett were missing parts.

"Shipments with missing detailed parts isn't abnormal for the first article in a big complex program like this," he said.

Warne reiterated Friday that wasn't unusual.

"We do have some supplier issues. We're working diligently to get those resolved," she said.

The first Dreamliner is in Everett in a month. The first flight is expected later this summer.