Spirit AeroSystems’ Legacy of Industrialization
For those looking for an industrial base to manufacture the next wave of defense weapons — including hypersonics — look to the American heartland for a model of manufacturability.
In 2005, the year Boeing sold its historic Wichita, Kan., plant and Spirit AeroSystems was created, the new company produced 21 Boeing 737 fuselages per month. Today, Spirit’s Wichita plant produces 52 Boeing 737 shipsets each month, or about 2.7 per day. In the last 15 years, Spirit has also significantly diversified and expanded, with locations across the globe, a large and effective supply chain, a growing and highly skilled workforce, independent research and development, new centers of fabrication, and a diversified statement of work in both the commercial and defense landscapes.
Michelle Lohmeier, a veteran of defense aerospace manufacturing and Strategic Advisor to the CEO, Business Development for Defense and Fabrication Growth at Spirit AeroSystems, believes this snapshot of the company’s aircraft production expansion demonstrates a unique set of achievements and leadership position in aerospace manufacturing. “Spirit, more than any other company I’m familiar with, demonstrates the consistent ability to qualify and optimize material and manufacturing systems,” Lohmeier says.