Boeing Builds Aircraft in China, Who Orders Fleets of Planes and Spacecraft
Economical Narrow-Body 737 Airliners
Massive Chinese Commercial Aircraft Market
Boeing Co. predicts that the Chinese passenger plane market for 737s will reach $1Trillion in new orders for aircraft from 2015 - 2035. This coincides with other private sector aerospace companies' plans to mine asteroids and land on Mars well before the end of that two-decade period. Boeing hopes to be the leader in design and manufacturing of new airliners.
Commercial Crew Build Planes For China
Boeing Co. has been a major member of the NASA Commercial Crew by providing the design and manufacture of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, the next step up from the 787 Dreamliner passenger plane.
Boeing and the Commercial Crew became more visible and active after the final US Space Shuttle Launch in July 2011. Boeing and its brothers and sisters in the Crew were the saving actors to preserve the American Space Program and aerospace business in both public and private sectors. Americans who knew about this were elated! Others believed the US penetration into outer space was over.
Four years later, Boeing was building aircraft for the Chinese, to whom the USA owed billions of trillions of dollars in debt resulting from financial need during the Great Recession (2008 - 2010) and its lingering after math.
America's military forces had already partnered with the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) to clean up near-Earth space of debris, but also likely to patrol the skies in general. In late 2015, the US contracted to provide aircraft - likely to include spacecraft or spacecraft parts - to the Chinese communist government. The two projects seem at cross purposes, although a large influx of revenue to Boeing is welcomed.
Boeing is not building planes for China specifically in its role as a member of the NASA Commercial Crew, but it is difficult to separate the two roles. Where some individuals feel that Boeing is helping a potential American enemy, company leaders see good business prospects.
USA Helps China In Aircraft Construction 2001 - Present
The USA has aided China in aircraft construction since a 2001 large project that used parts from GE, Eaton, CFM, Honeywell, BF Goodrich, Boeing, Moog, Rockwell and other American companies.
China Gains American Technologies
The huge aircraft order for China was announced during the tour of Commercial Crew member Boeing Co. headquarters by the Chinese president Xi Jingpin. The public knew nothing concrete about this partnership beforehand, although some may have suspected it. Secrecy surrounds the buyers of a number of planes that company officials report as "previously ordered."
The order is initially for 200 to 250 Boeing 737 planes and 50 planes with wider bodies.
Boeing leaders reported that the company plans to build an aircraft center in China specifically for completing the assembly of 737s. The aircraft manufacturing process begins at Renton, Washington and ends in China. Some Boeing manufacturing workers that belong to unions feared that they would lose their jobs to relation overseas during this time in which America seemed to be wanting to bring back such outsourced jobs.
Once a finishing center is completed in China, it is possible that the Chinese government may also use it for the design and manufacture of experimental aircraft and other production. How and if Boeing will be involved in these speculated projects is unknown. However, it is widely known that the USAF base at Wright Patterson in Dayton, Ohio has long been responsible for reverse engineering foreign technologies. To some minds, the US is more directly handing the Chinese some important technology. The results of such an action are not clear.
Cornering the Narrow-Body 737 Market
The French company Airbus Group has thus far cornered the Chinese market on narrow-body aircraft in the 1990s and 2000s. Next, company leaders placed an Airbus assembly plant in China to more quickly and efficiently serve the Chinese market at a rate of $97Million per plane.Boeing was late to the game on this move.
Boeing Co. in 2015 worked on a new, more efficient narrow-body design - the 737 MAX, but had only begun planning an assembly hub in China.
By late 2015, Boeing had already a history of building its 737s for 22 countries outside the USA, including Iran, whom many view as an enemy of America. However, these all have been 737 passenger airliners, rather than war planes.
Boeing may be able to take over the the global market narrow-body with its 737 MAX, if they can capture some of that market away from Airbus and its successful presence in China.
However, Airbus opened a brand new airliner factory in the United States in mid-September 2015, in Mobile, Alabama -- Who is taking over whom? A bright spot for US business is that the Boeing Chinese order for $38Billion surpasses the last most lucrative narrow-body order, that of $26Billion for Airbus in India in 2015.
Alabama, the home of space-faring Huntsville, has been courting Chinese business for some time and with Airbus in Mobile, the state may capture both French and Chinese business.
The French Airbus Group assembles narrow-body airliners in Tanjin, China at the cost of $97 million per plane.
The Future - Boeing Dreamliners
United Airlines has planned an interior route into the interior of China for its Boeing 787 Dreamliners and is seeking approval of that route.
The Chinese President admired the Dreamliner during his tour of Boeing headquarters in 2015, so he may consider purchasing a group of these upscale passenger planes in the near future. They can fly up to nearly 600 mph.
If Boeing can sell the 787 to the commercial airlines-hungry Chinese, then the company may become the leader of commercial aircraft sales there.
© 2015 Patty Inglish MS