Boeing Begins New Coatings Facility Construction


Multinational aerospace company Boeing has recently begun construction on a new advanced coatings center in St. Louis, which will reportedly help support post-assembly phases of future military aircraft production.

The new Advanced Coatings Center will reportedly be the third new facility that is part of Boeing's Phantom Works segment's “Production System of the Future Program.” The new 47,500 square foot facility will reportedly begin operations in 2025.

Phantom Works is a division of Boeing focused on research, development and prototyping.

“As we pivot toward future programs, Boeing’s defense business is in the midst of one of the most significant investments in new facilities in our history,” said Steve Nordlund, Boeing Air Dominance vice president, general manager and St. Louis senior site executive.

“This investment is not only to win new future franchise programs but, more importantly, to enable the United States to outpace increasingly capable and aggressive adversaries. We are revolutionizing how aircraft are designed, built and delivered because the threats demand it.”

The program will reportedly allow Boeing to scale a “platform-agnostic, modular and flexible digital production system,” for use in future defense programs.

Boeing has also reportedly opened a Lab and Test Facility in St. Louis and plans to open additional facilities in the coming years. Last fall, Boeing also opened a new purpose-built Advanced Composite Fabrication Center in Mesa, Arizona.

“With more than 15,000 employees, Boeing is Missouri’s largest manufacturer that helps spur this state’s economic growth every day. This new facility shows our commitment to growth and our investment in the talented workforce,” said Missouri Governor Mike Parson.

Other Boeing News

In November of last year, Boeing outlined paint peeling issues on its 787 Dreamliner jetliners, asking United States regulators to approve its plan for a potential fix.

In a petition for exemption to the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing explained that the paint peeling occurs on the upper and lower surfaces of the wing and horizontal stabilizer due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Prior to its request, Boeing would use speed tape over affected areas. According to reports, this short-term fix led some passengers to post photos online of 787 wings with tape and raise concerns.

“Even though the use of speed tape has no effect on the safety of the airplane, the public could perceive an unsafe condition when seeing tape on the wing surfaces,” Boeing wrote to the FAA in a regulatory filing.

Because of this, Boeing has requested that the FAA to approve its plan to incorporate a layer of UV-blocking black topcoat between the primer and the white topcoat, as well as increasing the total allowed exterior finish thickness.

The proposed fix would affect fuel tank lighting protection and, since black color has an increased absorptivity of UV radiation relative to the existing paint scheme, impact fuel tank lightning ignition prevention.

Additionally, Boeing said that the “petition will address a fleet significant maintenance issue that is creating a public perception of an unsafe condition as well as creating the potential for significant airplane downtime” and that “paint peeling issue requires the operators to repaint the wing and horizontal stabilizer at a much higher frequency.”

Repainting for UV damage also reportedly requires removal of the UV damaged material by sanding, increasing the risk of collateral copper foil and CFRP damage and subsequent repair, further increasing the cost and downtime of the more frequent repainting.


Tagged categories: aircraft; Asia Pacific; Coating Materials; Coating Materials; Coating/Film Thickness; Coatings; Coatings Technology; Construction; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Industrial Contractors; Latin America; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Quality control; Tools & Equipment; Z-Continents

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