Air Capital Insider

Spirit marks 10 years in business

A robot at Spirit AeroSystems inspects the forward section of a 787 fuselage for any irregularities in the composite structure. The robot is used to access hard to reach areas of the nose section improving safety, efficiency, and cost of the inspection process.
A robot at Spirit AeroSystems inspects the forward section of a 787 fuselage for any irregularities in the composite structure. The robot is used to access hard to reach areas of the nose section improving safety, efficiency, and cost of the inspection process. Spirit AeroSystems

Spirit AeroSystems turned 10 on Wednesday.

The publicly held company, formed from the 2005 sale of the Wichita division and Oklahoma operations of Boeing Commercial Airplanes to Onex Corp., had $9 billion in its backlog of work at its inception.

As of the end of the first quarter of 2015, it had $46 billion — a 411 percent increase.

The aerostructures designer and supplier has also grown its customer base during that time, from largely a Boeing supplier to a company that provides large parts to Airbus, Sikorsky Helicopter, Bell Helicopter, Rolls-Royce, Mitsubishi and Bombardier.

“Spirit’s capabilities have grown in the last decade from primarily a designer and builder of aluminum structures to being one of the foremost experts in the world on large complex composite structures,” Spirit CEO Larry Lawson said in a news release Wednesday.

The company said its build rate in 2005 was 27 shipsets per month. Today, it is nearly 120 per month. Its core products include aircraft fuselages, pylons, nacelles and wing components.

Spirit employs about 15,000 people worldwide, including about 11,000 in Wichita, where it is based. In addition to Wichita and Chanute, Kan., the company has operations in Tulsa and McAlester, Okla.; Kinston, N.C.; Prestwick, Scotland; Preston, England; Subang, Malaysia; and Saint-Nazaire, France.

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