Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Flightblogger: Boeing to buy Vought's 787 Operations

Flightblogger got a major scoop today by saying that Vought (owned by the Carlyle Group) has agreed to sell Boeing the 787 operations in Charleston, SC where the rear fuselage section is constructed. Now this deal has not been made public but will be done so in a short amount of time. Jon said that sources have indicated that this acquisition can give Boeing the momentum to start a 2nd 787 production line in Charleston which has been hinted at in the past and should allow them to get production running to 10/month by 2012 according to Boeing's plans.
This deal will bring Boeing back into a much more involved role as manufacturer of the 787 then their initial plans when the program was launched in 2003.

With this Boeing would not be directly responsible for the manufacture and integration of the complete rear fuselage section (47/48) as well as the vertical stabilizer (tail). They're also heavily involved in Global Aeronautica, owning a 50% stake in that venture which they also purchased from Vought.

Now if Boeing decides (as I believe they will) to start a 2nd line in Charleston, one issue people are going to bring up is the lack of skilled aeronautical workers in the area. It should be noted that when Boeing started the 787 final assembly line in Everett many of the MT (manufacturing techs) were new hires who did not have direct aerospace manufacturing experience but who had skill sets that would be of use on the final assembly line after undergoing an intensive period of training and testing before being hired to work on the 787 final assembly line. I do think that Boeing will set up a similar education and training facility to train 787 MTs in South Carolina for the 2nd assembly line similar to what they did for the 787 line in Everett.

Boeing buys Vought 787 facility

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