John Glenn, the famous astronaut and politician, wrote about his history-making earth orbit flight, “As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind: Every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder.” Today, we are all John Glenn.
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC—A practice designed to boost production at Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner factories in North Charleston, SC, and Everett, WA, has been so successful that it’s spreading to the aerospace giant’s other divisions. Called “champion times,” the practice measures the amount of time it takes Boeing workers to complete tasks at each stage of a Dreamliner’s assembly. The lowest total after all of the hours worked have been tallied is considered a champion time.
EVERETT, WA——More than 1,800 union members will soon leave Boeing under a buyout plan offered last month, the first step in a continuing company job-cutting effort that’s expected to include layoffs later this year. The machinists union said 1,500 of its members applied for a buyout and were approved to leave the company. The engineering union said 305 of its members were approved and are expected to leave the company in April.
Whenever anyone mentions hybrid-electric vehicles today, most people automatically think of cars, buses and trucks. But, up in the sky, the technology is also getting a lot of attention from aerospace engineers. That’s because electric systems are greener, lighter, quieter and more energy-efficient than traditional alternatives.
SEATTLE—Boeing is looking on the bright side after the World Trade Organization ruled that the aircraft manufacturer illegally benefitted from subsidies from Washington state. Boeing said the decision was a victory in that the WTO rejected all but one of the claims from the European Union saying the incentives were anti-competitive and unfair to rival Airbus.
EVERETT, WA—The Boeing Co. is streamlining 767 production as it prepares to make more of the durable widebody jet in 2017. Boeing plans to increase the production rate for 767s from two a month to 2.5 planes a month next year.
CHICAGO—Boeing is honing designs for midrange planes that could fill the gap between the largest single-aisle 737 and the smallest widebody 787 — a relatively untapped market where Airbus is starting to extend its reach.