Leaders from the Society of Professional Engineers in Aerospace (SPEEA) are meeting with engineers and technicians working at various “choke points” within Boeing Commercial Airplanes in the Seattle area and Portland, Oregon, in preparation for a strike as early as February.
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Sales of U.S. military aircraft will fall by 2.4 percent this year to $58.2 billion, the lowest level since 2006, according to a preliminary estimate of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). Sales are expected to decline by another 10 percent in next year as budget cuts force the Pentagon to reduce procurement spending, the association said in its year-end review and forecast, released earlier this month.
The U.S. aerospace industry’s sales tally grew by 3.4 percent this year, to $218 billion, led by a strong performance in the civil sector, according to preliminary estimates released by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) on December 5. The figure marks the industry’s ninth consecutive year of growth.
Boeing employees last week rolled out the first 787 Dreamliner built at the new production rate of five airplanes per month, the company announced today. The 83rd Dreamliner ever built, the airplane marks the passage of yet another milestone in Boeing’s quest to raise its production rate to 10 per month by late 2013.
The lingering economic downturn has impacted all areas of the aviation industry and has presented challenges for component manufacturers and suppliers. As operators and manufacturers seek to lower costs without compromising component quality, greater emphasis has been placed on the need to diversify operations to offset short-term revenue declines in certain segments. Global supplier Aviall is meeting those challenges with a multi-pronged approach covering various segments of the industry.
Boeing on Tuesday began building the first 777 at the highest rate ever for any of its twin-aisle models, the company said today. The rate of 8.3 airplanes per month amounts to a nearly 20-percent increase over the previous rate of seven per month.
Workers loaded into position the first part—the lower lobe of the 777’s aft fuselage—for assembly under the new rate in its factory in Everett, Washington.
The Discovery Channel’s Curiosity Show ran an episode last week titled “Plane Crash” that gave viewers a look inside one of the most spectacular safety experiments ever conducted into the survivability of aircraft crashes.
Air cargo will grow by an average of 5.2 percent annually over the next 20 years, according to Boeing. The U.S. airframer’s World Cargo Forecast 2012/13, published on October 3, predicts that the global freighter fleet will expand to nearly 3,200 aircraft by 2031. Boeing’s forecast is based on the assumption that worldwide gross domestic product will nearly double over the 20-year forecast period.
The Society for Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) expected to finish counting ballots cast by Boeing engineers and technicians on a new four-year contract proposal on Monday evening. Boeing’s offer, which SPEEA leadership urged its 23,000 Boeing members to reject, calls for an average 3.5-percent raise for engineers for each year of the agreement and average pay hikes for technicians of 3 percent for the first year, followed by 2.5 percent in each subsequent year.
Governments on opposite sides of the Atlantic remain at loggerheads over subsidies to their respective aerospace industries following a European Union rebuke last week of a U.S. claim that it has met a World Trade Organization deadline to withdraw illegal support to Boeing.