Headline typo sends “NG” tanker to Wichita – briefly

My Google alert for KC-X caused me a few moments of wild panic this morning. The headline for the Wichita Eagle story on my blackberry screen read: “ng would finish tankers in Wichita”.

Stop the press!

Briefly ignoring the weirdly lower-case “ng”, my mind instantly translated the headline as, “Northrop Grumman would finish tankers in Wichita”. After all, NG is headline short-hand for Northrop Grumman, right? 

As an admittedly anorak KC-X watcher, I immediately smelled a minor scandal developing. Wichita, of course, is Boeing territory, so my interpretation of the headline appeared to suggest a new plot-twist in the competitive landscape. Moreover, Boeing had refused several opportunities to commit to basing its finishing center for US Air Force tankers in Wichita. Had Northrop Grumman struck an unexpected industrial coup, with not insignificant political spill-over?

Stand-down. After clicking the link, it was quickly obvious the headline was merely a typo, albeit an unfortunate one. The first four letters of Boeing’s name had been deleted, leaving only the “ng”. (No jokes about what puts the ‘ng’ in Boeing, please.)

But Molly McMillan’s excellent article is a must-read for KC-X news spotters. Boeing has finally committed to putting KC-X finishing work in Wichita. That means Boeing has backed off program manager Rick Lemaster’s statement to me in September, when he said Boeing is “looking at alternatives” to Kansas’ beleaguered aviation hub.

I’m just thankful there is no “ba” in Northrop Grumman, EADS North America or Airbus.

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2 Responses to Headline typo sends “NG” tanker to Wichita – briefly

  1. Royce 17 November, 2009 at 2:30 pm #

    Boeing’s decision makes a lot of sense. Wichita is hurting right now, and the Kansas congressional delegation would have gone nutso if Boeing wanted to put the work someplace else. In fact, it’s bizarre that Boeing was even letting the issue pop up into the media.

  2. Claudio 7 April, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    “ng” stands for Not Good, no?

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