A community already well known to Boeing, Long Beach, Calif., is asking Boeing to resume commercial aircraft production in Southern California.
The City of Long Beach wants Boeing to reopen former production lines at that city’s airport to build the next versions of the company’s popular 737 single-aisle jet, the 737 MAX.
That puts Long Beach into direct competition with Renton where all 737s are now made. Boeing has said Renton’s track record makes it a strong competitor to build the new plane, but the company said it will consider other sites.
Long Beach was McDonnell-Douglas Corp.’s assembly center for commercial airliners for decades before Boeing shut down the airliner assembly operations there in 2006. Boeing merged with McDonnell-Douglas in 1997.
The company kept building single-aisle twin engine planes after the merger in Long Beach. That aircraft, once known as the MD-95, became the Boeing 717.
Boeing built 156 of the planes until demand disappeared.
The huge assembly halls once used for aircraft production at Long Beach still exist. Plans to convert them to a movie studio or to an electric car factory fell through.
Boeing still builds the C-17 military transport in Long Beach, but that plane’s production could be reaching an end as the Air Force says it needs no more of the planes. Boeing is marketing the four-engine plane to foreign air forces with some success, but that market is limited.
The Boeing 737 MAX is a 737 updated with more fuel-efficient engines and aerodynamic tweaks. It will be a rival to Airbus’s A320neo, a re-engined version of the popular A320.
John Gillie: 253-597-8663 john. firstname.lastname@example.org