Re: Why "IGW" instead of "ER", and other question about 777's...

Date:         09 May 97 03:29:00 
From:         Robert Nielsen <robert.h.nielsen@worldnet.att.net>
Organization: AT&T WorldNet Services
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Boeing is not exactly out of space to build 777s. All the existing
airplanes have come from one assembly hall in Everett (the world's
largest building), however, there is another assembly hall just to the
east which contained the huge structure that held the "test to
destruction" airframe, This hall was designed to produce 777s, and even
contains a wing-body join station that is the beginning of final
assembly. All that would be necessary would be the liberal application
of  money and people. There is also another assembly hall in Everett
which was at one time used for a second 747 line; it is presently
devoted to other tasks, but could be easily restarted or adapted to
another model. Boeing hopes to produce more airplanes with existing
facilities by increasing productivity and assembly speed; it seems to be
working. Besides Everett, there is another line in Renton which is being
readied for 737s, and Wichita (which builds a good many of the pieces of
the 737), has long lobbied for final assembly. And all of this doesn't
even begin to consider the use of McDonnell Douglas facilities, which
can't be considered until the merger is done.

I suggest that Boeing's ability to build more airplanes is not limited
by final assembly space, but by the much greater difficulty of
coordinating increased output from a huge number of suppliers. It is
doubtful Boeing will turn down market share because of an inability to
manufacture product in required quantities; it's too tough a business
for that to be permitted.

Robert Nielsen
Airplane Dilettante