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Boeing establishing engineering design centers in California, Washington and South Carolina

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, May 31, 2013, at 11:43 a.m.
  • Updated Friday, May 31, 2013, at 11:58 a.m.

Boeing is establishing engineering design centers in Washington state, South Carolina and Southern California as it works to diversify, the company said Friday.

The centers will operate independently but cooperate with one another and with the existing commercial airplane design center in Moscow.

The centers will add capability and capacity in engineering and propulsion as the company works to meet demand for commercial airplanes and services, the company said.

Boeing is forecasting strong growth in commercial aviation over the next 20 years with a market for 34,000 new airplanes valued at $4.5 trillion. The services market is estimated at $2.4 trillion.

The company is establishing a propulsion operation in South Carolina and will begin with the design and assembly of the 737 Max engine nacelle inlet. It will then expand to take on future airplane programs, it said.

United Technologies now builds and designs the engine nacelle inlet for 737 Next Generation single-aisle commercial airplanes, said Boeing spokesman Doug Alder. United Technologies will continue to supply the inlet for that program.

The 737 Max is an upgraded version of the 737 with new engines.

The action “really is about our efforts to try and bring work back in-house,” Alder said. “We learned a lot of lessons from the 787… Boeing got that program back on track by bringing a lot of that work back in-house.”

The goal with the engineering centers is to grow and diversify.

That way “if something happens in one location, we can do the work in another location,” Alder said.

The new center in Southern California will do engineering support work for out-of-production airplanes. The engineering team in Long Beach currently supports heritage McDonnell Douglas airplanes.

In the next six-to-nine months, most of out-of-production airplane support, including support for the 707, 727, 737-100, -200, -300, -400, -500 and the 757, will move from Puget Sound to Long Beach.

Boeing is also exploring the development of a design center in Kiev, Ukraine, to support its center in Moscow, the company said.

Contact Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com.

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