Well, there’s been a lot of talk about how Boeing’s global supply chain for the 787 has or has not worked. And a lot of folks have been thinking that, in the future, Boeing probably won’t rely as much on shipping various parts from vendors around the world without any quality control until final assembly. But I have a feeling that not too many people thought that they’d go in the exact opposite direction!
So, as I mentioned, we hosted Senator Murray, Senator Cantwell and Congressman Inslee in their press conference to celebrate the Air Force’s award of their aerial refueling tanker contract to the Boeing Company. And I thought that maybe y’all would like to watch that press conference.
So, a funny thing happened when I was watching the live stream of the Pentagon Channel yesterday. I was watching a lovely story about military dentists providing cleanings to Korean children, when all of the sudden a press conference came on to announce the awarding of the Air Force aerial refueling tanker. Imagine my surprise!
Of course, I was actually watching the Pentagon Channel for the press conference (although I did see some fascinating things while I waited), and I did indeed jump up and down when I heard the announcement that Boeing had been awarded the contract. In fact, there is much jubilation and celebration across the region, as it’s clearly great news: 11,000 direct and indirect jobs, many of them current 767 machinists in Everett whose jobs would have been otherwise phased out. Regional leaders made statements, issued press releases and generally rejoiced.
But the most amazing thing to me is not just that Boeing won the contract, which most of us had given up hope for, but why they won it. It wasn’t for any of the reasons we thought.
Assuming that “defensive” is the adjective describing a region with a lot of defense-related contracting activities…
The news about UW’s big defense contract got me thinking about all the defense-related contracting that goes on in our region. Obviously, Prosperity Partnership has been focused on that topic a lot since the creation of our Military Cluster Strategy in 2008, but for those of you who haven’t picked that up in a while, we’re talking $3.7 billion in contracts in the four-county Puget Sound region. A lot of those come from aerospace and engineering related activities, as well as your basic procurement for things like construction, janitorial, and medical services, and other base support services. Read the rest of this entry »
So, Airbus’s parent company announced today that they’d be bidding for the Air Force aerial refueling tanker contract, meaning that Boeing won’t be a sole bidder after all. I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of concern and analysis about this move, and what it means for Boeing’s chances of winning the contract. But I have to tell you – speaking purely from my perspective – that I think it’s much better for Boeing in the big picture. Read the rest of this entry »
So, at the end of last week, the idea that Boeing was going to be sole bidder on the Air Force aerial refueling tanker “took a nose dive.” (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) EADS talked about applying on their own without an American partner, the Air Force said that they’d extend the deadline to accommodate EADS doing so, and then a rumor broke out that the Russian aerospace company United Aircraft would be applying too. Apparently, at least that last one isn’t true, but it is still a sign of the times to come. Read the rest of this entry »
Tank-er? I Hardly…Well, Yes, I Guess I Do Know ‘Er Since It’s Based on the Locally Built 767 PlatformMarch 4, 2010
It’s been awfully quiet on this blog on the aerospace front recently. It’s almost as if our own Bill McSherry hasn’t been flying back and forth across the country, working with eight other states to help Governor Gregoire launch the U.S. Tanker 2010 coalition (he has). You know, the bi-partisan effort led by governors from across the country who support awarding the U.S. Air Force Refueling Tanker Contract to The Boeing Company? Well, if you don’t, you should. Here’s everything you need to know: Read the rest of this entry »
Of course, landing the tanker deal for Boeing is going to be quite an undertaking, with many opinions on how to resolve it. But exciting to see so many players coming together to at least give it the ol’ college try!
Many of you have probably heard by now that Bill McSherry, Director of Economic Development at PSRC, will be taking a leave to help the Governor more effectively address our state’s competitiveness with regard to the aerospace industry. As the old saying goes, “It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.” And if anyone’s right for the job, it’s probably Bill, so we all wish him congratulations and good luck.
It seems to several of us, though, that a big part of success in ensuring our state’s aerospace future is really getting the dialogue going publicly about why this is all so important. So, over the next few months, I encourage all of you to use this space as a forum for having that discussion. Read the rest of this entry »