Last Boeing C-17 built in Long Beach takes flight as California aerospace era ends – Los Angeles Times

The last Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane built at the company’s Long Beach plant departed from the facility Sunday, closing an important era for aircraft manufacturing in California.

In an event attended by hundreds of Boeing employees, the aerospace giant officially ended production of the C-17 with a roll out of the final transport and a flyover near the company’s assembly facility at Long Beach Airport.

To cheers and shouts of “here she comes,” the dark gray C-17 with Qatar Air Force insignia taxied onto the airfield about 12:15 p.m. and paused in front of the crowd that lined Globemaster Way that borders the airport.

It took off 15 minutes later, circled back in a banking turn and passed low over the runway complex. As people clapped, the four-engine plane then climbed steeply and faded into the sky as it headed to San Antonio where the Qatar government will pick it up early next year.

“It’s a pretty amazing day but a somber one,” said Mark Adams of Stanton, who was employed by Boeing for 38 years before retiring in January. “I loved working for the C-17 program. I’m proud of it. It gave me opportunities to grow as an employee.”

The C-17, one of the most sophisticated cargo planes in the world, is, at least for now, the last major military or civilian aircraft to be built in California.

The 25-acre factory that produced 279 C-17s also is being shut down, representing a setback for the local economy and the loss of almost 400 high-paying manufacturing jobs.

“This is truly the end of a era. It’s a sad day, but one that all of the Boeing employees and suppliers who have worked over the years on this great plane can be proud of,” said Nan Bouchard, a Boeing vice president and C-17 program manager.


Write a Reply or Comment:

Your email address will not be published.*