Boeing S.C. adding 737 MAX design work

This artist’s rendering shows the concept for a Boeing 737 MAX-8. (Image/Boeing Co.)
This artist’s rendering shows the concept for a Boeing 737 MAX-8. (Image/Boeing Co.)
By Matt Tomsic
mtomsic@scbiznews.com
Published May 6, 2013

Boeing South Carolina is getting a small piece of another airplane program now that the company has placed some 737 MAX design work in North Charleston.

The company will base about 20 employees at Boeing South Carolina who will be responsible for designing a portion of the 737 MAX, according to job postings on the company’s website.

“As part of our overall Boeing Commercial Airplane strategy, we’re moving more design work inside Boeing to strengthen our production system, protect our intellectual property and enhance our long-term competitiveness,” said Candy Eslinger, a company spokeswoman, in an email. “With unprecedented demand for commercial airplanes —including a forecast of another 34,000 airplanes required over the next 20 years — Boeing is positioned for significant and sustained growth in the years ahead, and we have been investing in our people, products and facilities to deliver that growth and to better serve our customers.”

The company posted the positions in March. Boeing was performing the work in Long Beach, Calif., while it decided where to place the work permanently.

“Now that we’ve settled on South Carolina, the work will transition there,” Eslinger said. “This work is done by a supplier on the next-generation 737 and has moved inside Boeing for the 737 MAX.”

The employees will design the engine inlet on the 737 MAX, and postings for a propulsion engineer and structural analysis engineer have been listed on the company’s website.

The engine inlet sits upstream of an engine’s compressor and provides air intake for the engine. Inlet design can impact an engine’s thrust. The 737 MAX is the next generation for the company’s single-aisle 737. Boeing hopes to have the MAX’s first flight in 2016 and to begin deliveries in 2017. Sixteen customers have placed more than 1,000 orders for the airplane.

The 737 MAX jobs follow other announcements earlier this year, including the designation of North Charleston as an IT center of excellence, the construction of a Dreamlifter Operations Center, the purchase of hundreds of acres of land from the Charleston County Aviation Authority and the announcement that the company will begin its second phase in the Lowcountry, adding 2,000 jobs and investing roughly $1 billion in the state during the next eight years.

Contact Matt Tomsic at 843-849-3144.

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