Boeing

Eli Chen

Inside a huge warehouse at Boeing’s headquarters in St. Charles, a table-shaped drone rose from the middle of the floor.

As intern Edwin Mercado-Colon sat at a computer typing commands, the drone began to move around the room and an unmanned vehicle automatically followed.  But Mercado-Colon wasn’t using a controller to direct the drone. Instead, he picked a destination for the drone without telling it how to get there.

“He’s picking a spot in the lab to fly to,” said Mike Abraham, manager of Boeing’s Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory. “That command goes to the vehicle. The vehicle knows where it is because of the motion capture system. It’s determining how to get to the next point, on its own.”

Developing unmanned vehicles that can work together on their own represents the latest in drone technology, a global industry that analysts predict could be worth $127 billion by 2020.

Third-grader Michael Scott launches his straw rocket at Boeing's free science and technology camp Saturday, July 16, 2016 at McClure South-Berkley High School.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

More than 300 students from age eight to 18 spent Saturday doing hands-on activities like building straw rockets and trying out a flight simulator at McClure South-Berkley High School in the Ferguson-Florissant School District.

The one-day, free summer camp sponsored by Boeing let kids explore science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, known as STEAM.

This was the second year Boeing held the event in north St. Louis County. The company has been offering a similar one-day camp in the city of St. Louis since 2011.

Jerry Steiner, CEO of Arvegenix, and Toni Kutchan, Vice President for Research at Donald Danforth Plant Science Center discussed new research in the field of bioenergy on St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

While the typical American may be considering how to use alternative fuel in the form of an electric car or investing in a “smart home” system, big industry is also looking for ways to reduce CO2 emissions through the use of alternative biofuels.

The U.S. Department of Defense has included an order of 16 F/A 18 Super Hornets in their budget for the next two years.
(via Boeing)

The new U.S. Department of Defense budget request could provide breathing room for Boeing production in St. Louis. 

Provided by Boeing

While Senate Republicans had hoped to consider 12 separate appropriations bills to fund the government after winning the majority this year, lawmakers are once again dealing with a massive government funding package. The $1.1 trillion bill is expected to win final congressional approval Friday, but just in case a last-minute snag develops, President Obama has already signed a stop-gap funding measure to keep the government operating until next Tuesday.

Boeing FA-18 Super Hornet
Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Stephen G. Hale II | U.S. Navy

Updated 1:33 p.m., Feb. 16 with rejection of protest -  Boeing is considering its options following the denial of a protest over the military's decision to award a lucrative contract to a rival contractor. The U.S. Government Accountability Office says it has found no issues with the Air Force’s move to award the contract for the Long Range Strike Bomber to Northrop Grumman. Boeing's St. Louis-based Defense, Space & Security division still claims the Air Force's evaluation of the competing proposal was "fundamentally and irreparably flawed."

The engineering, manufacturing and development phase of the deal is estimated to be worth more than $20 billion

 

The Starliner will be assembled in Florida, with parts built at Boeing plants throughout the U.S.
Boeing

Boeing's St. Louis-based Defense, Space & Security division is providing more details about a project with NASA that's designed to help resume U.S.-based human spaceflight.

The capsule that will carry astronauts to the International Space Station and other low-orbit destinations has been named "Starliner."

Provided by Boeing

Look closely and you’ll notice a kangaroo on the side of the sleek gray fighter jet and a boomerang on its tail.

This EA-18G Growler, produced at Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security headquarters in St. Louis, has all the markings to show that it's headed to the Royal Australian Air Force.

Gov. Jay Nixon praises the new Boeing facility that will bring 700 jobs to the St. Louis area
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Political and business dignitaries broke ground Tuesday on Boeing’s composite plant, which will help create parts for its 777X commercial aircraft.  

It’s a consolation prize of sorts for Missouri after the state made a furious dash to get the entire aircraft built in the Show Me State – an effort that was ultimately unsuccessful.

Gov. Jay Nixon, at podium
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Less than a year after losing a bid for Boeing’s 777X commercial plane, state and local officials couldn’t be happier about the aircraft manufacturer’s latest announcement that some of the 777X’s parts will be built here – creating 700 new jobs.

The 700 comes on top of 500 defense-related jobs that Boeing is moving from Washington state, and up to 900 coming to St. Louis as part of a “global realignment,’’ as Boeing executive vice president Chris Chadwick explained at Monday’s news conference.

Boeing Corp.

NASA announced Tuesday it will award Boeing $4.2 billion to build one of two spacecraft to take American astronauts to the International Space Station.

SpaceX’s Dragon won the other contract, worth $2.6 billion.

NASA said it’s backing the two space taxis with the goal of returning the launch of astronauts from U.S. soil by 2017.

Administrator Charles Bolden said NASA chose two spacecraft because they plan to have more destinations than the International Space Station, including Mars.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Jay Nixon once again signaled that he might strike down school transfer legislation that passed out of the General Assembly last week. 

After he helped break ground on an expansion to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Nixon told reporters that he would move the transfer bill to the “very top of the list to review.” The multifaceted bill makes a number of changes to the law that allows students in unaccredited school districts to go to different schools. (Click here to read a detailed story on what the bill does.)

The Democratic governor once again zeroed in on a provision that could allow students in unaccredited districts to transfer to private, nonsectarian schools. That, he said, amounts to a voucher program, which the governor has opposed for years.

“It violates the constitution and it something we haven’t done in Missouri since 1821,” Nixon said. “And it’s unnecessary for that particular solution.”

Nixon also said he had concerns about a provision that would no longer require unaccredited districts to pay transportation costs for transfer students. But he added that he’d give the bill a “good look” and make a quick decision.

“It’s a pressing public policy issue that I need to get to,” Nixon said.

Some of the bill’s supporters – including Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City – have been critical of Nixon for not working more closely with lawmakers on the issue. Chappelle-Nadal told reporters last week that for Nixon “to come about at the eleventh hour is not only a disgrace, but it also shows the lack of his leadership.”

When asked about that criticism – which has been percolating for years among legislators of both parties – Nixon said: “I’m there every day. I work a lot.”

“We got a lot done, especially on mental health this year,” said Nixon, specifically pointing to a proposal that will help construction a new mental health-care facility in Fulton. “But when they veer off course the way they did on the last day of the session and pass $490 million of tax cuts that aren’t paid for and don’t put a balanced budget on my desk, they can add too.”

'Entirely separate'

Nixon was referring to tax breaks passed on the last day of session. They ranged from incentives for data centers to tax exemptions for restaurants and farmers’ markets.

But after criticizing those bills, Nixon said he wasn’t being inconsistent for championing a much bigger incentive package to lure Boeing’s 777X to Missouri.

That package would have provided Boeing with around $1.7 billion in tax incentives if it built its assembly plant in Missouri. Some legislative critics contended the price tag was well over $2 billion, and amounted to corporate welfare.

When asked whether his criticism of the tax incentives chafed with his advocacy for the Boeing package, Nixon said it was “an entirely separate” situation.

“If [Boeing] made investments and created jobs, then we allowed them to keep a portion of the taxes that were earned after the construction project was over and after folks were working,” Nixon said. “That’s why we worked specifically within our programs in the Boeing deal that required job creation.”

“These things that have been passed don’t do that,” he added. “They just throw money at whomever at who was walking down the hall with a good lobbyist. And that is not the way to run the fiscal system of a state.”

Nixon added he was “going to focus over the next couple of weeks” to make sure “the cuts that we have to make to balance the budget and maintain our fiscal discipline are ones that reflect our values.”

Officials celebrate plant science center expansion

Meanwhile, Nixon joined a number of prominent officials – including St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and former Washington University Chancellor William Danforth – to break ground on an expansion to the Danforth Plant Science Center. 

Boeing FA-18 Super Hornet
Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Stephen G. Hale II | U.S. Navy

Boeing Defense, Space & Security is looking to shed employees.

About 12,000 non-union employees based in the St. Louis area received emails Tuesday morning informing workers that it is seeking people for voluntary layoffs.

Not all of those workers will be eligible for a buyout and Boeing did not specify how many people they are hoping will take the deal.

The layoffs are targeted toward middle and senior managers and certain specialists, according to Boeing Communications Manager Forrest Gossett. 

(courtesy Ventures)

Boeing Defense, Space & Security's start-up arm, Ventures, is moving to Cortex, the innovation and technology district in the Central West End. 

"We’re really looking forward to being part of the St. Louis’ rapidly growing hub of innovation, entrepreneurship, start-ups, and technology research," said Ventures' Vice President Tim Noonan.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) says he will work to extend production of EA-18 G Growlers at Boeing’s defense facility in north St. Louis County.

Kirk, who toured the assembly line and met with company leaders Monday, told reporters he will try to convince Congress to approve and appropriate funds for 22 more of the radar-jamming aircraft.

Building the fighters, he said, supports about 5,000 jobs in the St. Louis area and is critical to the Navy for future conflicts.

The Defense Department has chosen one of Boeing’s aircraft concepts as a candidate for its Vertical Takeoff and Landing X-plane program.

The company's St. Louis-based defense branch is competing to develop an aircraft that takes off and lands vertically, hovers and efficiently flies at speeds up to 400 knots, said Garrett Kasper, a communications representative for advanced Boeing military aircraft.

Boeing FA-18 Super Hornet
Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Stephen G. Hale II | U.S. Navy

Boeing’s F/A-18 fighter jet built in Hazelwood was left out of the Pentagon’s $496 billion proposed budget for fiscal year 2015.

With no additional funding for the Super Hornet and Growler jets  the production lines are expected to shut down by the end of 2016, putting thousands of jobs at risk.

Boeing official said in a statement that they were disappointed.

The company called the aircraft "the backbone of the Navy’s carrier air wings" and said it would work with Congress to add funding for the jets.

(Courtesy of Boeing)

We just kicked off a year-long celebration of St. Louis’ 250th anniversary.  As an editor, I had the pleasure of working with Maria Altman on her audio Valentine to the city. If you haven’t heard the piece yet, you should definitely take a listen; it’s very fun and uplifting.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Workers at Boeing were in a difficult spot last week. Their employer offered a new contract cutting back retirement and health benefits. It came with what looked like a threat. The company said it might have to move important operations out of Washington State and hire new workers. Union members approved the contract, barely, and Boeing is staying put.

Journalist Hedricks Smith written about the decline of the middle-class. In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, he says Boeing just contributed to that.

(Flickr Creative Commons User Andres Rueda)

Updated at 12:30 a.m. on 1/4/14.

The nationwide chase for Boeing's 777X is over.

That's because Washington State machinists narrowly approved a contract on Friday to build the airplane near Seattle. It's a move that concludes Missouri's high-profile bid at landing a significant economic development opportunity for the St. Louis region.

(Flickr Creative Commons User Andres Rueda)

The opportunity was too good to pass up. 

When Boeing decided to move production of its 777X passenger plane out of Seattle, states across the country were eager to offer their services. Missouri's political and business leaders were no exception.  They simply couldn't miss out on the chance to cement thousands of high-paying jobs for decades to come.

(courtesy of Boeing)

Boeing announced the promotion of several executives Wednesday, including within Defense, Space and Security in St. Louis.

Dennis Muilenburg, who now heads up the $33 billion Defense division, has been named vice chairman, president and chief operating officer.

In a statement Boeing officials said Muilenburg will move to corporate headquarters in Chicago, where he’ll share oversight of the day-to-day business operations with President and CEO Jim McNerney.

Boeing CEO W. James McNerney, Jr., left, and U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, met earlier in December in Washington, D.C. Luetkemeyer is part of a bipartisan contingent of federal lawmakers who are using the bully pulpit to steer Boeing's 77
Provided by Luetkemeyer's office.

When U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer met with Boeing CEO James McNerney in his Washington office earlier this month, his message wasn’t subtle. 

Luetkemeyer was there to make the case that Missouri was the right place to steer production of Boeing's 777X civilian aircraft. He said he told McNerney he was “excited about the opportunity for the state of Missouri to bid on it.”

“Whatever help we could be at the federal level, we would more than willing to do that,” Luetkemeyer , R-St. Elizabeth, said.  

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

The fully-merged Politically Speaking crew welcomes Rep. Michael Butler, D-St. Louis, to the podcast.

The U.S. Department of Defense has included an order of 16 F/A 18 Super Hornets in their budget for the next two years.
(via Boeing)

Boeing has been on the minds of the Show-Me State's political figures lately, thanks to the effort to lure the manufacturing of the 777X airplane to Missouri.  Now, the company is planning to bring several hundred research and development jobs to the St. Louis region. 

The U.S. Department of Defense has included an order of 16 F/A 18 Super Hornets in their budget for the next two years.
(via Boeing)

With the effort to lure Boeing’s 777X on the minds of the Show Me State’s political figures, the company is planning to bring several hundred research and development jobs to the St. Louis region. 

    

Nixon Signs Bill To Entice Boeing To Choose St. Louis

Dec 10, 2013
Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

After calling a special session last month, Governor Jay Nixon signed a bill Tuesday to lure Boeing to choose St. Louis as the location to build its new commercial aircraft: the 777X.

Now the decision is up to the aerospace giant.

About a dozen other states are vying for Boeing’s thousands of jobs, after the company announced it was looking for a new location following contract disagreements with Seattle’s machinist union.

File photo

St. Louis County is prepared to offer up to $1.8 billion to Boeing if the company steers production of the 777X aircraft to the county. 

The St. Louis County Council unanimously approved a resolution pledging local incentives – including tax increment financing and tax abatement – if Boeing moves production of the civilian aircraft to the the county. St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley said the swift action was necessary to meet Tuesday’s deadline for the state to respond to the company’s request for proposal.

Tomorrow is the deadline for states to get their proposals to the Boeing corporation about what kind of incentives they’ll offer to get the aircraft giant to build its next generation jetliner, the 777X, in their backyard.

The state of Missouri has been up front in its desire to woo the manufacturer. Governor Jay Nixon convened a special legislative session to get a proposal off to Boeing.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Marshall Griffin of St. Louis Public Radio explains what’s inside.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has passed the Senate version of the Boeing incentives bill, bringing a quickly-called special session of the legislature to a quick close.

The measure would provide roughly $1.7 billion in tax breaks over a 23-year period to Boeing to expand its St. Louis facility and build its 777X passenger jet there.  Perhaps the most enthusiastic endorsement on the House floor came from State Representative Steve Lynch (R, Waynesville), who also owns a furniture store.

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