A small team of top machinists at Boeing’s Auburn plant is building high-strength containment boxes for the lithium-ion batteries on the 787 as part of a redesign to get the planes flying again as soon as April.
Major Boeing customers say the jet maker has tapped the brakes on its plan to develop a new version of its star widebody jet, the 777, a plane that Washington state's aerospace industry dearly wants to see built here.
That the very large aircraft market has its limits has long been recognized by Boeing and Airbus. But five years after entry into service of the Airbus A380 and two years after the Boeing 747-8F was first delivered, even their existing backlogs appear to be partially under threat.
At an awards ceremony in April, Boeing Co honored 14 "suppliers of the year." Prominent among them: BAE Systems Plc, the British arms maker now in talks to merge with Boeing's biggest civilian rival, EADS, maker of Airbus jets.