Boeing Selects Site for 777X Wing Manufacturing
Keeping work in Washington required concessions from machinists and reversed trend in outsourcing of large, high value parts
In a press release dated Feb 18, Boeing announced selecting its Everett, WA, site for a new composite wing center for the 777X program. According to the release, Boeing selected the site following the approval of an eight-year contract extension by International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 751. The new facility will support fabrication of 777X composite wings and will contain approximately 1 million ft2 (93,000 m2). Construction is scheduled to begin later this year, according to the company.
The AP reported the announcement was expected. The selection of a site near where final assembly of the plane will be done was considered the “logical choice,” according to the news service. The report noted that on Jan. 3 the machinists narrowly approved a contract in which they conceded some benefits in order to secure assembly of the new 777X in Washington state. The large size of the wing also necessitated a location close to the final assembly site to keep transport distances short. According to AP, the first 777x aircraft will be built in 2020.
Reuters (Scott), reported that the move marks a departure from large-scale outsourcing to overseas suppliers that had caused significant delay on Boeing's 787 jet. “Locating the factory in Everett is expected,” Reuters reported, “to reduce the risk that delivery of the first 777X jet would be delayed beyond the target date of 2020, analysts have said.”
Edited by Contributing Editor Bruce Morey
Published Date : 3/3/2014