Boeing’s delayed 787 looks to defense sector for help

I just published a news story on FlightGlobal.com about Boeing’s decision to open a modification line for the 787 airliner in San Antonio. Check out the full story here.

I don’t mention this in the article, but I believe this carries some significance for the US defense industry and for Boeing’s defense division, in particular.

San Antonio is the home of Boeing’s maintenance and modification center for the KC-135, KC-10, C-17 and the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program.

This is the first time I can think of that a Boeing commercial program has leaned on a defense program to play a major role in production and not vice versa. In the past, Boeing’s defense sector has borrowed the 737, 767 and even the 747 to sell militarized derivatives to the Department of Defense and other militaries.

But this is the first time I can think of that a Boeing airliner program has reached out to its defense brethern to play a major role in the production of a commercial aircraft.

I’m sure there must be other examples of this sort of thing US aerospace industry, but none immediately come to mind. Please feel free to share if you can think of some.

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