BLAGNAC, France—Airbus is poised to increase assembly of the A350 after getting off to a deliberately slow start to curb risks. After delivering one aircraft in December and another in the first quarter, Airbus expects to deliver six aircraft between now and August.
EVERETT, WA—Boeing will shut down a temporary extra assembly line used to build 787 Dreamliners at the end of this year and convert it for use in early production of the forthcoming 777X jet. Two final assembly lines in Everett are currently producing seven 787s per month. Workers on the temporary line, known as the “surge line,” will transition to the other assembly line, which will step up production to match the rate from both assembly lines.
SOUTH BEND, IN—It’s 20 feet tall, weighs about 400,000 pounds and is now making its way from South Bend to Connecticut: It's the world's largest friction welding machine. Pratt & Whitney will use the machine, made by Manufacturing Technology Inc., to weld large-diameter jet engine components.
SEATTLE—Employees at one of Boeing’s Washington assembly plants are using an odd looking tablet PC with a dozen or more 0.63-millimeter silver balls attached to it. This is Boeing’s vision of the future of augmented reality integrated on the assembly line.
INDIANAPOLIS—Jet engine maker Rolls-Royce Corp. is planning to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade its assembly plant here, a project that would bring the factory up to par with newer company facilities elsewhere.
SIMSBURY, CT—The woman who was the model for the Norman Rockwell painting that came to symbolize the strength and contributions of women in the war effort during World War II has died. Mary Doyle Keefe was 92.
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC—The Machinists union may withdraw its request to hold a union vote next week for production workers at Boeing’s manufacturing operations here. The union has faced political opposition and may not win a majority vote from workers.
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