Boeing (Chicago, IL, US) reported on Dec. 19 that it has begun construction of a 3,345m2 composites manufacturing center in St. Louis, MO, US, for the manufacture of parts for the 777X program.
Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2016, with work on 777X wing and empennage parts starting in 2017. The facility is an expansion of Boeing’s existing tooling center at the site and will include six autoclaves. Parts built by the St. Louis team will support 777X wing assembly work at the company’s composite wing center in Everett, WA, US.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, state and local elected officials and Boeing leaders joined Jim O’Neill, global services & support president and St. Louis site senior executive, at the event to celebrate the start of construction for the facility expansion.
Scott Fancher, senior vice president and general manager for Airplane Development, called the 777X work an exciting opportunity for Commercial Airplanes and Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) to further their “One Boeing” collaboration. "The 777X is key to Boeing’s widebody market strategy going forward and requires that we bring together all of the talent that Boeing has to offer,” Fancher said. “This work positions BDS to become part of a broader product space as a partner to [Commercial Airplanes]."
Said Bob Ciesla, vice president, Boeing Military Aircraft CrossEnterprise Design/Build: "As we move forward with construction of our new center, we will significantly enhance our aerospace composite capability in St. Louis, positioning us for today’s opportunities and tomorrow’s. This is a tremendous opportunity for Boeing St. Louis and the entire region, which enables us to bridge to the future as a site with both commercial and defense capabilities."
About 700 new jobs will be created for the 777X work in St. Louis. To date, the 777X has accumulated 300 orders and commitments.
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The project’s goal is to reduce product development and certification timelines by 30 percent for composite aircraft.