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Boeing buying Utah site for composite manufacturing

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Jan. 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
January 11, 2013 2:20 pm

Boeing today announced the acquisition of an 850,000-square-foot building in West Jordan, Utah where it intends to build the horizontal stabilizer for its upcoming 787-9 Dreamliner.

The purchase of the building is the second recent Boeing acquisition of a site outside the Puget Sound area for manufacturing aircraft and aircraft components. The new site, set to open in 2014, will employ about 100 workers.

Boeing recently purchased a large tract of land adjacent to its North Charleston, S.C., plant for possible use for further manufacturing facilities.

The company in recent years has been establishing alternate sites for manufacturing outside Western Washington where most of its commercial airplanes are now built.

The North Charleston site is already producing Dreamliners.

Boeing, which now is building the horizontal stabilizers for the 787-9 at Boeing Field in Seattle, will move that production to both the new Utah site and to Italy where Alenia is building composite stabilizers for the 787-8.

The 787-9 is a larger version of the existing 787-8. Boeing encountered difficulties with horizontal stabilizers created by Alenia for the -8 because of construction defects.

The Utah facility will provide Boeing with an alternate source of those stabilizers for the larger version of the plane should Alenia err again.

Boeing located its first new airliner final assembly plant in the South in part to gain leverage against its unions. The workers in South Carolina are non-union.

Until Boeing built the North Charleston 787 plant, a union strike would have shut down all airliner production at Boeing.

Boeing already has a parts fabrication plant in Salt Lake City about 20 miles from the new site.

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