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:
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.
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.