Boeing to build 747 fuselage panels at Macon, Georgia facility

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) has announced that 747 fuselage panels will be built at its Macon, Georgia facility beginning in 2018.

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Boeing will take over the work from Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division, a wholly owned subsidiary of Triumph Group, Inc., with the Macon site providing assembled fuselage panels to Boeing’s 747 final assembly line in Everett, Washington. Boeing and Triumph Aerostructures have worked together to ensure a smooth transition for the 747 supply chain.

Boeing and Triumph Aerostructures have worked together for many months to ensure a smooth transition for the 747 supply chain. As part of this detailed process, the Boeing team selected the Boeing Defense, Space & Security Macon facility for 747 fuselage panel work.

Defense work currently performed at the Macon site includes replacement center wing sections for the A-10 Thunderbolt II, as well as sub-assemblies for the CH-47 Chinook helicopter. Fuselage panels for the C-17 Globemaster transport airplane were also produced at the site until earlier this year.

Current defense work at the facility is scheduled to be complete in mid-2016, at which time Boeing will transition the site for Commercial Airplanes work. Facility staffing will be temporarily reduced during the transition. The site will ramp up to full production on 747 fuselage panels by mid-2018, at which point it will employ up to 200 people.

Macon will become the twelfth manufacturing site for the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Fabrication organization, which has operations in three countries.

Boeing will invest approximately $80 million in employee training, tooling and building modifications over the next three years.

The fuselage panel assembly transfer to the Macon site is the first of several new work packages for the 747 currently supplied by Triumph Aerostructures that Boeing will announce in the coming months.

Other 747 structures work now done by Triumph Aerostructures, including the empennage, floor beams and flight surfaces, is currently being competitively bid to selected suppliers. Boeing expects to have sourcing decisions for all the work completed this year.

At Macon, Boeing will equip the site with new tooling and equipment, which will occupy the entirety of the 220,000 square foot facility. A new advanced manufacturing production system will reduce the time to produce fuselage panels while also increasing quality and enhancing employee safety.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. The 2015 version of Boeing’s support of the hometown NFL Seattle Seahawks. Boeing 747-83QF N841BA (msn 60119) lands back at Paine Field in the 12th Man livery.

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