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A Spirit Aerosystems Milestone

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The workers at Spirit Aerosystems in Tulsa are taking a well-deserved break this holiday weekend. Spirit is the former Boeing plant, but still does the same work for Boeing. Friday, they shipped the parts for their 2,000th Boeing 737.

News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg says this is a major milestone.

It says Spirit Aerosystems on the outside instead of Boeing and spirits are high these days.

The men and women took a break to pose with the wing parts they made for their 2,000th Boeing 737. "That's a lot of airplanes." Don White is the project manager for the 737 at the Tulsa plant. To really appreciate how many planes that is over 10 years, he narrows it down for us.White: "We're probably approaching 28 airplanes a month. Every 5.5 hours, we're producing an airplane."

The former Boeing plants now owned by Spirit in Wichita, Tulsa, and McAlester together make 75 percent of the 737. Tulsa makes both the leading and trailing edges for the wings, as well as key parts of the tail section. "So we've supplied roughly 5.3-million pounds of hardware., over 2,000 ship sets, it's a major milestone."

The 737 has been very good to Tulsa, providing as much work as the other Boeing models combined.

"In fact, the 737 historically is the best selling commercial jetliner in history." But Joe Jarrett, one of Spirit's financial chiefs, says the upcoming 787 will provide a lot of wing-part work for Tulsa too. "It's got us very busy right now, especially in the design phase."

In the past year, Spirit has gone from about 900 employees in Tulsa to nearly 1,200 and they expect to have even more by the end of the year. "We see nothing but bright horizons, future growth, this overall, aircraft demand-cycle looks very strong for the next 3 to 4 years."
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