Boeing begins assembly on tanker refueling boom

The Boeing Co. has opened refueling tanker boom assembly center at Seattle’s Boeing Field, the company said Tuesday.

This week, Boeing workers will begin assembling the first refueling boom for the KC-46 tankers the company is supplying to the U.S. Air Force. Boom assembly marks the program’s shift to production from design activities, the company said in a statement.

“It’s a big day for the KC-46 Tanker Program and the U.S. Air Force,” Maj. Gen. John Thompson, U.S. Air Force Tanker Program Executive Officer and KC-46 Program Director, said in the statement. “Boeing continues to make good progress toward delivering the KC-46 Tanker on schedule.”

Boeing said it’s still on track to deliver 18 tankers to the Air Force by 2017.

The next major milestone is a review by the Air Force of Boeing’s tanker plans next summer. Boeing also is expected to begin production on the first tanker in Everett in the summer of 2013. The aircraft is a variant of the 767-200 Extended Range jet built in Everett.

In the third quarter of 2013, Boeing will send the first boom produced at Boeing Field through testing.

The aerospace company won a $35 billion contract in 2011 to replace 179 of the Air Force’s KC-135 tankers.

Government funding for Boeing’s tanker programhas been a concern recently. The Pentagon’s budget will be slashed on Jan. 1 under an automatic government spending cut, called sequestration, unless Congress comes up with another budgetary solution.

More in Herald Business Journal

Teddy, an English bulldog, models Zentek Clothing’s heat regulating dog jacket. (Ian Terry / The Herald)
Everett clothing company keeps your dog cool and stylish

Zentek uses space-age fabrics to moderate the temperature of pets and now humans.

Everett engineers learn lessons from Mexico City catastrophe

Structural scientists went to help after the September earthquake there and studied the damage.

DaVita to sell off medical groups including The Everett Clinic

Another round of health care consolidation means The Everett Clinic could soon get new ownership.

Engine trouble hits Air New Zealand’s 787 Dreamliners

A Rolls-Royce engine was shut down and was afterward found to be seriously damaged.

Washington, Amazon sue company over seller training programs

Braintree is accused of using deceptive ads promising information on how to make money on Amazon.

The Marine Corps’ version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is designed to land vertically like a helicopter. (Lockheed Martin)
F-35 fighter costs, $1 trillion over 60 years, draw scrutiny

Pentagon’s ability to repair F-35 parts at military depots is six years behind schedule.

Incidents of severe disturbances on commercial flights climb

The number of cases in which the cabin crew had to restrain a passenger rose to 169 last year.

Funko mascots Freddy Funko roll past on a conveyor belt in the Pop! Factory of the company’s new flagship store on Aug. 18, 2017. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Funko starts to bounce back after disappointing stock debut

The Everett toys-and-collectibles maker also announced the acquisition of an animation studio.

Now hiring: Younger factory workers, at Boeing and elsewhere

The company and its training partners are fighting perceptions of a dying manufacturing industry.