Boeing Commercial Airplanes has finally reached a period of stability after several years of struggle with the 787 Dreamliner and a three-year period in which it executed 15 production-rate increases across its product line, according to senior v-p and general manager of airplane programs Pat Shanahan.
Seattle metropolitan area
The production system that promises to support a reduction in final assembly times for the Boeing 737 from 10 to nine days this year should become still more efficient with the introduction of a new automated panel assembly line (PAL) by early 2015. Built by Mukilteo, Washington-based Electroimpact, the PAL fastens stringers to wing skin panels at twice the rate Boeing now can manage using the current process at the 737 plant in Renton, Washington. Electroimpact designed the machine to “normalize” to the panel with an array of lasers that “see” the surface without touching it, allowing it to follow the panel curvature or contour. The process improves accuracy, consistency and “repeatability,” according to Boeing.
The union representing Boeing machinists scheduled a November 13 vote on a new contract offer from the company that is described as critical to its decision to base work on the new 777X widebody in the Puget Sound region of Washington state. The basing decision also depends on the state legislature’s approving an incentives package, according to Gov. Jay Inslee.
Boeing has achieved a production rate of 35 Next-Generation 737s a month at its factory in Renton, Wash., the company announced today.
Boeing has hung a proverbial carrot in front of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) by promising to build the new 737 MAX in Renton, Wash., in return for approval of an early contract extension for hourly employees in Washington, Oregon and Kansas.
Boeing has begun building the first Next-Generation 737 at the program’s new production rate of 35 airplanes a month from 31.5, the company announced on Tuesday evening.
Executive Flight, a 29-year-old FBO and charter and maintenance provider headquartered in Wenatchee, Wash., has opened a satellite repair station at Boeing Field in Seattle. Executive Flight has been maintaining its own air ambulance aircraft at Boeing Field for the past 14 years, according to Mike Mahood, director of maintenance for the charter operation and repair station accountable manager.
At 10:27 a.m. PST, Boeing 787 chief pilot Mike Carriker and test pilot Randy Neville took Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner on its maiden flight. The 787’s Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines powered up as two Lockheed T-33 chase planes dipped down to match the 787’s acceleration.
DE HAVILLAND DHC-8, SEATTLE, WASH., JAN. 19, 2004–At 11:38 a.m. the flight crew of Dash 8 C-GTAQ inadvertently landed on a taxiway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). There were no injuries to the captain, first officer, flight attendant or any of the 32 passengers, nor was there any damage to the aircraft, which is owned and operated by Air Canada Jazz.
At press time, Boeing was close to concluding a deal in which it will be selling its business-jet finance division. Boeing hopes to announce the buyer at its board meeting on May 3. The business, currently under the direction of Louis Seno, is expected to remain headquartered in Broomfield Hills, Mich. Financing for new BBJ transactions will stay with Boeing, but will be handled by the company’s offices in Renton, Wash.