Silly argument by jilted Kansas

Politicians in Kansas have asked for a review on national security grounds of the Boeing decision to close its defense operations in Wichita, according to this news report.

This is just silly.

Boeing has plenty of security clearances and secure facilities in Puget Sound, San Antonio and Oklahoma City, where the Wichita work is going.

This is a desperate move by Kansas.  The Secretary of the Air Force should reject this effort as a complete waste of everybody’s time.

16 Comments on “Silly argument by jilted Kansas

  1. Don’t fret sen,Jerry Moran &rep Mike Pompeo go rub the salt into McBoeing pick up the phone say sorry to Airbus and invite the co to set up Witchita for the A320neo & maybe a A380 Airforce one MADE IN THE U.S.A?

    • Would someone clarify, why would Airbus want to set up Final Assembly Line in the US? Final Assembly is not constrained in Airbus’ current system. Leahy says they have capacity for 50/mo, the problem is the supply chain. What good, other than PR, would it do? The US FAL would have higher costs, due to shipping all the assemblies from Europe, just like Tianjin does. It’s also not likely to gain any further sales in the US as US airlines don’t particularly care whether a plane is built in the US or not. In fact, it may make them shy away as initial quality concerns would be more important to them. So more expensive, no further sales, and a marginal PR bonus… what’s the attraction?

    • Why not? the wings where designed in Witchita, the panel’s made in Alabama, turbines made in the USA landing gear USA so about 50%+ of the A380 is made in the USA if that’s the problem of the U.S Air force of not having two the have got outher aircraft made one this side of the pond.

      • Wings were NOT designed in Wichita, they were designed in Filton and in Bremen. Wichita did some small amount of engineering work as a satellite work force for the Filton office.

        The 50% US content is ludicrousness, Airbus themselves only claim 20%, and even that is a bit dodgy because they claim as US content work that is done by US companies but performed in Europe.

        Alabama panels? Kindly clarify. What sort of panels do you refer to?

  2. Another fine mess you got us into Ollie !

    Boeing could care less – uncle sugar picks up the cost for clearance – and benefits –

    There are no intelligence tests for becoming a Congresscritter

  3. Doubt you’ll ever see an Airbus widebody assembly site in the US and certainly not for the A380. Although Airbus has been talking about a NEO site recently and it makes some sense as North America is still the largest market in the world for narrow body aircraft in the 737/A320 class. In which case Mobile, Alabama would probably ask for a security review of EADS if they decided to locate it in Wichita instead of Alabama. You really can’t win in the game of jilted former assembly sites.

    • Maybe an outfitting center ?
      That is a (THE?) bottleneck currently afaics.
      LH got “fastpath” due to assembling their own plane via LH-Technik staff.

      The A350 seems to get additional stuffing ( complete cabin AC ducts afaik)
      pre join of segments. Hmm, could this be a solution for the A380 as well?

      • Things are getting better. The outfitting time in Hamburg is down considerably, of course, that assumes the BFE items actually show up when needed.

  4. Yes, a bit of a silly and desperate ploy by the Kansas politicians. Though Don in comment 3 has pointed out something that stinks a bit. If Boeing is making redundant a whole bunch of people in Kansas who are working on secure items, should the government really be on the hook for paying for new security clearances for those replacing them?

    Airbus has already gone on record about their intention not to compete in an Air Force One bid.

    Guess they learned enough from just wanting to supply some tankers. Imagine the rhetoric coming out over the plane that will fly the president around!

    • I haven’t seen as I haven’t followed closely, but isn’t Boeing offering jobs to those people in Wichita provided they relocate? If that is the case, then it is up to the individual to decide, and not Boeing or the government’s fault if they don’t.

      • That’s a bit disnegenuous isn’t it Howard?

        Try to imagine living in Wichita (with a very low cost of living) and then having to uproot the whole family how many thousands of miles to expensive Seattle.

        Even if the pay stays the same, what one takes home at the end of the day is that much less. I also wonder what, if anything, Boeing would offer to pay for the relocation.

        Just how many people do you believe are going to jump at that offer?
        If not many, you should ask yourself why.

  5. There is more than meets the eye on the issue of security and government contracts ( with the possible exception of the tanker )

    For decades, those who worked on military/government contracts enjoyed a 5 to 10 percent higher pay than their exact counterparts in the commercial division. I know, I’ve been in both.

    This was because the benefits package – medical- pension – cost was paid for by the government. When a program was cancelled or dropped, the ‘ excess” ( benefits ) were supposed to be repaid by uncle. This then created a problem for those transferring to commercial. Their higher pay average meant that in many-most cases zip raises for a few years until they got on the commericial curve.

    And a few decades ago, somehow Boeing got tagged re the repayment of certain benefit packages. But it was only for a few millions of $$

    It was not unusual to move a significant number of near retirement types to a military program for a ‘ boost” – or to send low performers to such areas. OTOH- in some cases, Engineering insisted on getting the TOP of the performers in commercial into such programs.
    Because of the type of contract on the Tanker, the above game **may** not apply.

  6. I thought only tankers build in Germany / France / UK / Spain posed a direct danger to US national security. Now it’s everybody not from here.. Well, it worked last time..

  7. Aero Ninja :
    Even if the pay stays the same, what one takes home at the end of the day is that much less. I also wonder what, if anything, Boeing would offer to pay for the relocation.

    They cover all of your costs, unless you happen to have a home machine shop or a couple of classic cars, or boats, or something along those lines, at which point you are responsible for moving those.

    • In Germany we’ve found that moving production to people is oftentimes more synergetic than the other way round. See the Meyerwerft shipyard and Airbus plants in Lower Saxony between Bremen and the Dutch border. A region with excellent workers that tend to be unwilling to leave the region.

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