The Boeing Co. (Seattle, Wash.) on Dec. 22 announced that it has acquired Alenia North America's half of Global Aeronautica LLC, a South Carolina fuselage subassembly facility for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, and is now the sole owner of that entity. Alenia North America is a subsidiary of Italy's Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica company. Operationally, Boeing will integrate the Global Aeronautica facility with the rest of Boeing's organization in North Charleston, S.C.
"The Boeing Charleston site is critical to the success of the 787 program," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Through this acquisition, Boeing benefits by joining together two solid operations — including their talented employees and state-of-the-art facilities — into one Boeing team. Ultimately, we believe integration of the site will increase productivity for the 787 program and allow us to maintain our long-term competitiveness."
"We are proud of the major contribution we have made over the past four years through our partnership in Global Aeronautica to the 787 program and to the state of South Carolina," said Giuseppe Giordo, president and CEO of Alenia North America. "We are confident that the foundation we have developed will continue to flourish as it is integrated into Boeing Charleston."
The acquisition was effected through a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing; other terms were not disclosed. "We look forward to integrating the employees of both operations into one team in North Charleston, along with continuing our partnership with Alenia on the 787 program," said Albaugh.
Global Aeronautica LLC began in 2004 when Alenia North America and Vought Aircraft Industries (Dallas, Texas) formed a 50/50 joint venture in support of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. In 2008, Boeing purchased Vought's interest in Global Aeronautica, making the company a 50/50 joint venture between Alenia North America and Boeing.
Global Aeronautica's integration entails the joining of the composite mid-fuselage sections, the installation and testing of associated elements, and the application of surface finishes to more than 60 percent of the 787's fuselage. Global Aeronautica sits adjacent to the Boeing Charleston site and shares a 240-acre (97-hectare) campus.
In other Boeing news, the second 787 Dreamliner, ZA002, completed its first flight on Dec. 22. The all-new airplane, which features the livery of the Dreamliner's launch customer, ANA (All Nippon Airways) of Japan, took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., completed a two-hour flight and landed at Boeing Field in Seattle.
"We are delighted that the second Dreamliner is in the livery of our launch customer, ANA," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. "We are honored by the airline's support and look forward to delivering ANA the first production airplane next year."
Captain Randy Neville was at the controls for the flight, with Chief Pilot Mike Carriker operating as co-pilot. Neville and Carriker took the airplane to an altitude of 13,000 feet/3,962m and an airspeed of 200 knots, or about 230 mph/370 kph. The airplane took off at 9:09 a.m. PST and landed at 11:10 a.m. PST.
This is the second of six 787s being used in the airplane's flight-test program. Each of the airplanes will be used for a specific set of tests, with this airplane focusing on systems performance. Like its predecessor, ZA001, the airplane is powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. "We would like to convey our sincere congratulations to the Boeing team for its achievement of this milestone, and we look forward to the delivery into our fleet next year," said Shinichiro Ito, president and CEO of ANA.