Boeing buys Vought 787 facilities

Update, 9:10 AM PDT: Innovation Analysis Group has a podcast with Jon Ostrower, who broke the news last week, about the likely purchase of Vought, and us. We look at the prospect of where Line 2 will be and the political implications.

Update, 8:10 AM PDT: Gov. Gregoire issued this statement. More reaction continues to roll in, also in the story linked in this update.

Update, 6:20 AM PDT: See our new Post on more Line 2 information.

Update. 5:15 AM PDT: It’s official: Boeing announced at 5:15 AM PDT Tuesday it has purchased the Vought 787 facilities in South Carolina. Here is a link to the press release.

The repeated delays in the 787 program strained Vought’s financial resouces. Vought’s CEO, Elmer Doty, always acknowledged Vought was the riskiest industrial partner in the 787 program.

Vought continues to work on the 747-8, 737, 767, 777, C-17 and V-22 programs at other facilities.

Within minutes of the Boeing-issued press release, the Aerospace Futures Alliance issued its own press release:

Below, please find a copy of The Boeing Company News Release announcing the purchase of Vought Operations in South Carolina.  While this is not a final decision by The Boeing Co. regarding production of the 787 second line it should register a loud wake up call for all of us.

  • It is time for business, community leaders, labor and government to unite efforts to keep production of the 787 second line in Washington State.
  • It is time for all of us to pull together and create a competitive environment to promote and enhance Washington’s aerospace industry.

It will take all of us and we must act now!

Don’t underestimate the significance of the AFA’s swift action and its meaning. The AFA is primarily funded by Boeing and we think it’s no coincidence that the AFA was ready within minutes of the Boeing release with its own clarion call.

Boeing now has the fundamentals in place to select Charleston for a second 787 line. Those who think little more than Boeing posturing is going on don’t “get it.” For Puget Sound, this is a Big Deal.

Original Post:

KING 5 TV (NBC-Seattle) reported Monday afternoon that the expected puchase by Boeing of the Charleston, SC, Vought 787 facility will be announced Tuesday morning. (We understand the annoucement will be at 9 AM CDT.)

Vought produces large sections of the 787’s aft fuselage. Boeing previously purchased Vought’s 50% share of Global Aeronautica.

Although Boeing didn’t plan it this way, the Vought purchases now give Boeing ownership interests in major production facilities outside the state of Washington. In a way, this is back to the future. Boeing previously owned the Commercial facility at Wichita (then called Boeing Wichita). Boeing sold this facility to the Canadian company Onex and renamed it Spirit Aerosystems, which makes 737, 787 and 747 fuselage sections.

With major interests in the growing aerospace cluster in Charleston, many–including us–view this as Boeing move as the next step in creating and assembling an entire 787 production line there, the first time an entire line would be outside Washington.

One Comment on “Boeing buys Vought 787 facilities

  1. If I recall it right, Vought Aircraft Industries will be building the 787’s aft fuselage sections 47 and 48 there.
    The main problem of the Charleston SC area is a relatively poor education level of its inhabitants.
    To gather enough professionals for competitive production, most of them must be attracted from other cities. This may be easy during recession, but it will prove very difficult once the economy gains momentum again.

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