Mar 1, 2015
Workers at Boeing say goodbye to C-17 with last major join
“Nothing lasts forever.”
That’s the message a Boeing plant worker scrawled on the fuselage of the 279th and final C-17 Globemaster aircraft being assembled Thursday at the Long Beach manufacturing plant where the aircraft has been built for roughly a quarter century. Thursday was the day when workers gathered to participate in — or at least watch — the last “major join” of a C-17 Globemaster that is ever expected to take place.
The Long Beach plant where Boeing produced the C-17 is set to close sometime this summer. The pending conclusion of C-17 production is expected to close out the era of large aircraft production in Long Beach, where the production of such famed military and civilian aircraft as the B-17 Flying Fortress and DC-10 airliner employed thousands upon thousands of people from the World War II years through the post-Cold War era.
Boeing Co. delivered its 223rd and final C-17 to the Air Force in September 2013. The aerospace firm has since only sold the C-17 to foreign countries including Australia, Canada, India and Kuwait.
As of Thursday, Boeing has seven unsold C-17s waiting for customers. Australia may acquire two of those planes and the company could not confirm a report that the United Arab Emirates had just purchased two of the aircraft.