Boeing held a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday to mark the start of construction of its new 777X Composite Wing Center at the company’s Everett, Washington campus. The company gained permits for the new 1 million-square-foot facility some seven weeks earlier than anticipated, allowing for an accelerated start to construction.
Boeing has committed more than $1 billion in the Everett site for construction and outfitting of the new facility, located on the north side of the main final assembly building.
“We're excited with the progress being made on this new facility that will play a crucial role in bringing the 777X to market,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner. “We wouldn't be in this position without the support of our teammates and partners throughout the Puget Sound region and in Olympia; we owe them all a debt of gratitude.”
Completion of the new building, expected in May 2016, will require some 3.5 million hours of work, said Boeing. The company expects to project to require about 1,200 contract workers at its peak employment level, as well as 31,000 tons of steel, 480 miles of electrical cable, 80,000 linear feet of process piping, 530,000 cubic yards of fill material and 170,000 tons of conrete.
The 777X program has drawn orders and commitments for 300 airplanes. The family consists of two models, namely the 777-8X, which will seat some 350 and fly to a range of more than 9,300 nautical miles, and the 777-9X, expected to carry some 400 passengers as far as 8,200 nautical miles. Boeing expects to deliver the first 777X in 2020.