Today in Metalcrawler, a major construction project in Washington will eventually require 33,000 tons of steel and a powerful lawmaker wants to tie the Highway Trust Fund to a trade bill.

Boeing 777X Plant Requires Giant Steel Trusses

About 33,000 tons of steel are needed to build the $1 billion Boeing 777X wing plant in Washington state. The building is 1,200 feet long and has two open spans of 420 feet wide and 460 feet wide.

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To support those spans, 45-foot-deep steel girders are being used. At any moment 50 trucks are on the road bringing steel to the site from Oklahoma, Arkansas and Colorado.

The $1 billion, 1.3-million-square-foot building will be where Boeing fabricates carbon composite spars and skins for the 777X wings.

Pelosi Wants to Link Trade, Highway Bills

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Democrats would be more likely to support the controversial trade bill that was defeated on Friday if Republicans would support a long-term transportation funding package.

Pelosi helped sink President Obama’s trade package in a Friday vote by announcing her opposition, but she also signaled she wants Republicans to consider a deal involving highway funding in a letter to her conference. The Highway Trust Fund was extended through the end of July recently but both parties have said they desire a long-term deal that will fund federal highway maintenance through at least the next five years.

Congress has been grappling with a shortfall in transportation spending that is estimated to be about $16 billion per year, and they have not passed an infrastructure package that lasts longer than two years since 2005.

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Okay, so who’s the most successful aircraft maker in the world? Yes I know it’s a silly question, it depends on how you define successful but the two behemoths, Airbus and Boeing, have just released numbers for the fourth quarter that top off their 2014 performance.

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The FT reports Airbus hit a new production record to supply 629 aircraft in 2014, marking 13 consecutive years of increased deliveries.

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Quite a summer for the light, gray metal – Goldman Sachs getting in hot water with LME warehousing, Boeing giving aluminum a vote of confidence, and prices still underperforming for the most part. How Boeing Buys Aluminum: Metal Prices and Raw Material Cost We did a Q&A with Jeff Carpenter, Senior Procurement Manager, Raw Materials, […]


The Boeing Company, long known for its extensive supply chain management practices (not counting the recent 787 Dreamliner debacle), is one US-based OEM that can teach us a lot about metals procurement. Procurement of the raw materials that go into the aerospace OEM’s products, including but certainly not limited to aluminum and titanium and its […]


The Boeing Company knows a thing or two about managing supply chain risk. (After all, they had to manage the fallout of the 787 Dreamliner battery boof.) In all seriousness, however, as a friend of MetalMiner once put it: “While far from perfect, I can’t think of a company that has done a better job […]

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“Psst, Aluminum – watch your back, yo.” That seems to be what plastic composites are saying more and more often these days, from General Motors’ old Saturn lines (remember those?) to Airbus’ new A350s. Boeing Co. has defended aluminum metal as its fuselage material of choice for the new 777X that the company is building, […]


Alcoa Inc. (AA) and the Boeing Company (BA) have come together to create a “closed-loop” recycling program, streamlining the aluminum supply chain between the aluminum producer and aerospace OEM, according to a recent announcement made at the Paris Air Show. The move will recycle aerospace-grade aluminum alloys in Boeing’s plane production process, as well as […]

Boeing CEO James McNerney threw down the gauntlet: “They [Airbus] don’t have the appetite to do a ground-up airplane, and they’d have to do a ground-up airplane.” Tom Enders, the CEO of Airbus’s parent, European Aeronautic Defence & Space, or EADS, hit back: “The aircraft we rolled out a couple of weeks ago didn’t have rivets […]

The phrase “design for manufacturability” takes on new relevance for Boeing as they offered up their latest solution to solve the 787 Dreamliner’s lithium-ion battery woes. According to the New York Times, the fixes require quite a bit of re-working, in that the proposed Boeing solution now involves a titanium venting system and steel box […]


As time goes by, the pain for Boeing only gets worse as all 50 Dreamliner 787s remain grounded around the world. The grounding is said to be costing Boeing $50 million a week, so the incentive to find a quick fix must be almost irresistible. According to, Boeing is expected to propose a short-term […]