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Boeing to shut down C-17 production

Blackadder1916

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Boeing to shut down C-17 production
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060818/ap_on_bi_ge/boeing_cargo_plane

By GARY GENTILE, AP Business Writer

Boeing Co. said Friday it will begin shutting down production of its C-17 cargo plane, the last to be built in Southern California, because Congress has not funded new purchases.

The decision could affect thousands of Boeing workers in four states and thousands of others employed by companies that supply parts for the C-17.

The Chicago-based company said it has told its suppliers and subcontractors to stop work on planes beyond those already on order. Boeing said it has enough orders to continue production through the middle of 2009.

The company has spent millions to keep its supply line active, in hopes Congress would authorize new purchases. But Friday, Boeing said it could no longer afford to keep the program going.

"The C-17 is one of the Defense Department's most successful acquisition programs ever," said Ron Marcotte, vice president and general manager of Boeing Global Mobility Systems. "But we can't continue carrying the program without additional orders from the U.S. Government."

The decision affects long lead-time items purchased from suppliers, many of which have to be ordered as long as 34 months in advance.

The company left open the possibility that it could continue production if it receives new orders.

"This move will be the first step in an orderly shutdown of the production supply chain, should no further orders be received from the U.S. government," Boeing said in a press release.

The move could ultimately affect 5,500 Boeing employees in California, Missouri, Georgia and Arizona who are directly tied to the C-17 program. Thousands more work to support existing planes. Boeing this week signed a contract to provide support and spare parts for the Royal Australian Air Force's C-17 fleet.

But the decision will first hit the 25,000 employees of the nearly 700 companies in 42 states that supply parts and systems for the plane, Boeing said.

The giant cargo plane, nicknamed the Globemaster III, has been used since 1991 to airlift heavy equipment and transport troops. Supporters say its ability to land on short dirt runways has helped take the load off supply trucks that come under heavy fire in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Production could be restarted if Congress approves funding, which could happen as early as next month. But restarting the supply chain would be costly and add millions of dollars to the cost of each plane — about $154 million each.

The C-17 plant is the last major airplane factory left in Southern California, which once was a center for aircraft production. Earlier this year, Boeing delivered its last 717 passenger jet, also built in Long Beach.



Will this announcement have any effect on the acquisition of heavy lifters by Canada?  Will the government accelerate the process? 
 

SupersonicMax

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The list of the first guys to be trained on the C-17 in Oklahoma was out just yerterday so I guess we WILL have C-17s!

Max
 

civmick

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I read a different article that basically said Boeing already committed to more C-17s that it had sold to keep the line open this long, and that essentially the RAAF, the 5th RAF and the CF C-17s were pretty much sold out of that "overproduction" and that there might be a few "white tails" left even after the CF get theirs.  Can't find the original to link at the moment though.
 

toglmonster

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Does anyone know, or have a educated guess as to where the C-17 will be stationed up here ???
 

GO!!!

Fallen Comrade
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toglmonster said:
Does anyone know, or have a educated guess as to where the C-17 will be stationed up here ???

Almost certainly Trenton.

Trenton has the existing infrastructure, is somewhat central, and close to a large number of CF units.
 

Zoomie

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toglmonster said:
Does anyone know, or have a educated guess as to where the C-17 will be stationed up here ???

Initially Trenton - but there are talks of other un-disclosed locations possibly fitting the bill.
 

SupersonicMax

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Trenton is already at Max Capacity.  Mirabel or Winnipeg are next on the list..

Max
 

ringo

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Boeing had been trying to interest NATO in a few C-17, if there are whitetails at the end of production Canada should aquire one or two additional aircraft.
 

Zoomie

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The initial allotment of 4 aircraft will meet the CFs need - as any number over zero is better than what we have now.

Keeping in mind that this baby burns 20,000 pounds of fuel per hour (approx 10,000 litres/hr) - we must be aware that the operating costs alone for this fleet will outstrip most, if not every, vehicle currently in CF service.

There is talk of these aircraft joining 437 Sqn in Trenton - who currently fly the CC-150 Polaris.  Four aircraft does not necessarily warrant the standing up of an entirely new squadron - the Airforce is in a PY saving binge.
 

GO!!!

Fallen Comrade
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Quagmire said:
How will the shut down effect the fleet we do get ie repairs, parts etc.

Probably not all that much, as much of the maintenance and repair work is written into the contract, to be done by Boeing over the life of the product.

The parts come from a myriad of smaller suppliers, so if Boeing is on the hook for maintenance and repair, I would expect that they will make a final large order of parts from their suppliers before they shut down.

The real problem will be at the end of the maintenance contract when we have no - one to buy parts from because production shut down 2 decades ago!!
 
A

aesop081

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GO!!! said:
The real problem will be at the end of the maintenance contract when we have no - one to buy parts from because production shut down 2 decades ago!!

We have aircraft older than 20 years who's servicing contracts have long expired and production long shut down.  Although OEM ( original equipment manufacturer) parts are usualy not available, some companies specialize in providing such parts for older aircraft.
 

Gunnerlove

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Don't worry about parts, someone out there is already planning to provide needed parts at a huge profit. Big money solves a great number of problems and everything related to aircraft is big money.

For example you can still order a brand new (2006 build date) wing spar for your spitfire, and it is better than OEM. 
 

I_am_John_Galt

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SupersonicMax said:
Trenton is already at Max Capacity.  Mirabel or Winnipeg are next on the list..

I thought Ujjie D. told us they were going to be stationed somewhere in a secret underground facility in the 'States, the whereabouts of which would be known only to Amerikkaners, and that we would have to get an Act of Congress every time we wanted to use them ...
 

Zoomie

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LOL - yeh that would be great.

Winnipeg, Mirabel or Trenton - take your pick, it will be one of those.
 
D

DavidAkin

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I phoned Boeing up this morning and asked them about this shutdown.
Boeing's guy told me that Boeing will be making 44 C-17s between now and the shutdown of the line in 2009. Though Canada has not yet signed the deal with Boeing, Canada's planes are part of the 44. He says Canada likely won't get the last planes. First plane can be delivered mid-07 with the last one delivered in 2008.
 

geo

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There was something out last month that there's an agreement whereby we will be getting 1 C17 out of the RAAF order and they would get one off of ours.  Something that was discussed when the Aussie PM visited earlier this summer.
 

Spencer100

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David,

Great to see someone from the "evil" MSM getting info from the horse's mouth :D

Keep up the good work

 

Cloud Cover

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GO!!! said:
Probably not all that much, as much of the maintenance and repair work is written into the contract, to be done by Boeing over the life of the product.

The parts come from a myriad of smaller suppliers, so if Boeing is on the hook for maintenance and repair, I would expect that they will make a final large order of parts from their suppliers before they shut down.

The real problem will be at the end of the maintenance contract when we have no - one to buy parts from because production shut down 2 decades ago!!

Interesting. You must have seen the contract.
 

GO!!!

Fallen Comrade
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whiskey601 said:
Interesting. You must have seen the contract.

Why yes, I had my people call up Boeing legal div, who couriered me a copy, did'nt you? ::)

Considering that;
- the only C-17 maintenance facilities are in the US,
- this was a stated aim of the acquisition package,
- it is done by the other two nations that use the C-17 (UK/Aus)
- and it makes sense,

it's a pretty reasonable assumption to me.
 
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