FOLEY, AL—UTC Aerospace Systems is building a new 80,000-square-foot assembly plant here to supply parts for Airbus’ assembly plant in nearby Mobile. Slated to open in 2017, the factory is expected to create 260 jobs.
When pilots fly the Boeing Co. Dreamliner 787-9 over Utah, they probably don’t point out to passengers the headquarters of Orbital ATK’s aerospace structures division (ASD) in the town of Clearfield. Nevertheless, it’s safe to assume they’re happy the facility is there.
When Boeing was founded 100 years ago, engineers were concerned about how to use wiring to brace wings. As aircraft became more complex, engineers turned their attention to solving numerous wire harness assembly challenges. Many of their innovative solutions have been chronicled in the pages of ASSEMBLY magazine.
Airbus is investing in automation to tackle huge backlogs for its commercial jetliners. Bernard Duprieu, head of manufacturing technologies research at the Airbus Centre of Competence, Industrial Strategy and System, tells ASSEMBLY about the company’s FuturAssy automation strategy.
When the first issue of ASSEMBLY rolled off the printing press in October 1958, the jet age was just beginning. Aerospace manufacturers were busy churning out bigger, faster, quicker and lighter products for a wide range of commercial and military applications.
Boeing and its heritage companies, such as Douglas Aircraft Co., McDonnell Aircraft Corp. and North American Aviation Inc., have produced hundreds of different types of airplanes, helicopters, missiles, rockets, satellites, spacecraft and other flying objects over the last 10 decades.
The world was a much different place when William Boeing started to build aeroplanes in a small boathouse along the shore of Seattle’s Lake Union in 1916. Flying machines were still a novelty. Most aviation records, such as altitude, distance and speed, were held by European aircraft manufacturers and pilots.