Boeing reportedly set to buy Vought facility in South Carolina

Acquisition would be part of an effort to get control of 787 supply chain; facility might also become second 787 assembly site.

Jon Ostrower, author of the Flightblogger Web site (www.flightglobal.com), reported on July 1 that The Boeing Co. (Chicago, Ill.) plans to acquire 787 aircraft operations currently run by Vought Aircraft Industries (Dallas, Texas) in North Charleston, S.C. The acquisition would significantly change the 787 supply chain because Vought provides a composite fuselage section for the airplane out of the South Carolina plant.

According to Ostrower, multiple sources familiar with the plan say that the Vought Aircraft Industries 787 arm is to be divested from parent company The Carlyle Group and sold to Boeing.

Further, according to Ostrower, the  same sources indicate that the sale of the Charleston 787 operations unit, known as the Advanced Aerosolutions (AAD), likely will be the key first key step in Boeing efforts to establish a second production site for the mid-sized, wide-body aircraft. Boeing reported several weeks ago that it was considering the establishment of a second 787 assembly facility to help it meet production goals.

For now, however, Boeing is focusing on first flight of the 787, which was delayed last week following discovery of unexpected stress in wing/fuselage attachment points. Boeing has put off first flight of the plane until reinforcement can be developed for the structure.