To get a complete picture of the history of Spirit AeroSystems, start in 1927, when aviation pioneer Lloyd Stearman moved his factory to Wichita, Kansas.

Spirit AeroSystems comprises the history of many aircraft and aerospace companies over the years, including industry leaders such as Stearman, Boeing, Rockwell and British Aerospace Corporation. Some of the company highlights include notable entrepreneurial endeavors and acquisitions:

1927 – Stearman Aircraft Company moves from California to Wichita
1929 – Stearman Aircraft Company purchased by Boeing’s parent company, then known as the United Aircraft and Transport Corporation

1930 – Stearman moves to south Wichita – the present site of Spirit AeroSystems headquarters
1935 – Pioneer David McIntyre set up Scottish Aviation Ltd and acquired 348 acres of Ayrshire countryside.
1938 – Stearman Aircraft becomes the Stearman Division of Boeing Airplane Company

  bluearrowWichita produces 8,584 Stearman Kaydet Trainers

1940 – Manufacturing set up in “Palace of Engineering” in Scotland
1941 – Stearman Division becomes Wichita Division of The Boeing Company


  bluearrowU.K. produces World War II aircraft

bluearrowWichita produces 1,644 B-29 Superfortress Bombers



  bluearrowU.K. designs and manufactures “Pioneer”
  bluearrowWichita produces 1,390 B-47s
  bluearrowWichita produces 467 B-52s

– North American Aviation opens in Tulsa
1964 – North American Aviation opens the McAlester facility
1967 – North American Aviation and the Rockwell Standard Corporation merge and become known as North American Rockwell


  bluearrow747 development
  bluearrowFirst 737 body section
  bluearrowKC-135 aerial refueling aircraft engineering
  bluearrowC130 aerostructure and overhaul/repair of engines and airframes
  bluearrowSaturn III/Apollo programs
  bluearrowHound Dog cruise missile for B-52 bomber
  bluearrow747 wing
  bluearrowBell 301

– Scottish Aviation acquired Beagle Aircraft Company
Early 1970s – Company acquired Jetstream Aircraft from Handley Page
1972 – North American Rockwell incorporated as Rockwell II International, Tulsa a part of Rockwell North American
1973 – Aircraft Nacelle Branch formed at Wichita Division
1977 – U.K. operation merged into British Aerospace Corp., becoming the Scottish Division of BAE


  bluearrowNacelle Noise Abatement project
  bluearrow767 development
  bluearrowAWACS struts/nacelles work
  bluearrowSpace Shuttle payload bay doors
  bluearrowPeacekeeper Missile
  bluearrowJetstream development



  bluearrow757 development
  bluearrowA-6 Composite Replacement Wing
  bluearrowAir Force One replacement
  bluearrowJoint Stars
  bluearrow777 slats
  bluearrow777 floor beams
  bluearrowX-31 aft inlet duct
  bluearrowJ31 launch (Jetstream)


1996 – Rockwell International purchased by The Boeing Company, Tulsa becomes known as Boeing North American

  bluearrow777 development
  bluearrow737NG development
  bluearrow737 flaps/slats
  bluearrowInternational Space Station
  bluearrowX-33 Venture Star
  bluearrow737 horizontal stabilizer/vertical fin
  bluearrowJoint Strike Fighter
  bluearrowJ41 launch
  bluearrowAero structures
  bluearrowRaytheon structures
  bluearrowLockheed structures
  bluearrowNimrod MRA4 (a maritime recon plane)

2000 - Boeing North American became The Boeing Company, Tulsa Facility
2002 – Service Center established at Wichita for the repair and overhaul of aircraft nacelles and composite structures
logo2005 – The Boeing Company's Wichita Division, including Tulsa and McAlester, is acquired by Onex and renamed Spirit AeroSystems; Tulsa becomes the Aerostructures Business Unit
2006 – Spirit AeroSystems acquires the BAE Systems Aerostructures business unit facilities Prestwick, Scotland, and Samlesbury, England; Spirit goes public in November with IPO
2007 – Spirit AeroSystems wins contract to build major composite structure for CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter; Malaysia was chosen for company’s first aerospace manufacturing facility in Asia
2008 – Spirit wins several contracts and announces an expansion for Wichita and a new facility in North Carolina. New contracts include fuselage structure and wing leading edge for Airbus 350 XWB; wings for Gulfstream G650 business jet and G250 super mid-size business jet; nacelle systems for Rolls-Royce BR725; and pylons for the Mitsubishi MRJ.

  bluearrow787 development
  bluearrow5,000th 737
  bluearrowFirst 787 assembly
  bluearrow787 leading edges
  bluearrowWing control surfaces for most Boeing commercial programs
  bluearrowAWACS Radome
  bluearrowAC-130U Gunship
  bluearrowUCAV X45C
  bluearrowBoeing 767 and 777 structures
  bluearrowRaytheon Hawker 850XP
  bluearrowAirbus A320, A330, A340 and A380
  bluearrowAirbus 350 XWB fuselage structures and wing leading edges
  bluearrowCessna Citation Columbus fuselage and empennage
  bluearrowGulfstream G250 wings
  bluearrowGulfstream G650 wings
  bluearrowMitsubishi MRJ pylons
  bluearrowRolls-Royce BR725 nacelle systems

2009 – Spirit produced its first part in the new Malaysia facility, and won pylon work for the Bombardier CSeries commercial jet; ground was broken for Spirit's new A350XWB facility in Saint-Nazaire, France; Spirit opened a new MRO repair center in China.
2010 – Spirit opened the North Carolina facility on July 1; Spirit was named a member of the Boeing NewGen Tanker Supplier Team.

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