Strange Partnerships

Strange Partnerships

This morning I read an interesting newspaper article relating to globalization in The Seattle Times (October 18, 2005) – Parent of Airbus to build portion of 787’s fuselage by Dominic Gates, Seattle Times aerospace reporter. The gist of the story is that European Aeronautic Defence & Space (EADS), the company that owns 80% of Airbus, will build a major portion of the rear fuselage for Boeing’s future 787 Dreamliner. If you follow at any level the global commercial aircraft industry, you are aware that Boeing and Airbus are fierce competitors.

The way the story unfolds is that Boeing outsourced the entire rear fuselage to Texas, USA based Vought Aircraft Industries. Yesterday, Vought released a list of their second-tier suppliers which included the EADS role.

The Boeing spokeswoman was quoted as saying “it’s one of ‘the ironies of life’ in the new global manufacturing market that the parent of Boeing’s nemesis is now a partner on Boeing’s newest jet. But Boeing doesn’t have an issue with that outcome …”

It would appear that the goal of achieving greater efficiency and productivity in the manufacturing process, won out over politics and nationalism. As the saying goes … the proof will be in the pudding … hopefully, the global partnership will work from the first aircraft through to 100th, 200th, etc.

-- Timothy Chen