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Wednesday, Nov 29, 2023

Local Unit Builds Parts for New Airbus Jet

Goodrich Corp.’s Aerostructures unit, based in Chula Vista, makes parts for the Boeing 717 and the Airbus 380 two very different aircraft that made the news this week as their programs reached production milestones.

The slender 717 is on its way out. Boeing announced Jan. 14 that it plans to discontinue the 100-passenger jet by 2006, and close its production line in Long Beach.

“The overall market for the airplane does not support continuing 717 production,” Boeing said in a statement.

The mammoth 380 is on its way in. Airbus unveiled the prototype of the 550-passenger, double-decker jet before European heads of state Jan. 18 in Toulouse, France. Airbus said Jan. 12 it had 149 orders for the aircraft.

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In the Boeing program, Aerostructures makes the housings, or nacelles, for the 717’s jet engines, as well as the engines’ thrust reversers. Additionally, Aerostructures is responsible for “engine build-up,” the process of integrating an engine with its casing. Some production is done in Chula Vista.

“Because we will be completing existing 717 orders, there will be minimal impact on our operating resources for the program for the next 15-20 months, and possibly into 2007,” said Valorie McClelland, a local spokeswoman for Aerostructures.

“There will be an accounting impact, but the company has been diligent in disclosing the financial risks and potential exposure associated with this program through the Goodrich 10-Q and other financial filings.”

In the Airbus program, Aerostructures is responsible for the aft pylon fairing of the A380, as well as a component called the rear secondary structure.

Airlines have a choice of engines for the A380. Aerostructures is making fan case sections for the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. Details on where the components are produced were not immediately available.

In addition to Chula Vista, Goodrich’s Aerostructures unit has manufacturing facilities in Riverside County as well as in Texas, Alabama, France and Germany. Goodrich is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C.

Goodrich chief executive Marshall Larsen attended the A380’s unveiling. The company’s various business units provide several other systems and components for the aircraft, including the landing gear.


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