Spirit AeroSystems is preparing for higher production rates on the Boeing 787 by expanding the building where it produces the airplane's forward fuselage.
Construction is underway on Spirit's Composite Fuselage Facility to add 100,000 square feet. The building, visible from K-15 and 47th Street South, is where Spirit manufactures the composite forward fuselage section of the 787 twin-aisle airliner.
Spirit said in a statement e-mailed to The Eagle on Thursday that the expansion will allow it to produce more 787 forward fuselages for Boeing.
"The new construction will support our customer's previously announced rate increase to 12 aircraft per month by spring 2016," the statement said.
The current 787 production rate is 10 aircraft a month.
Spirit said the construction project is expected to be completed in mid-2016.
Eby Construction is the general contractor.
Spirit ships each 787 forward fuselage section as a finished cockpit. The forward fuselages are loaded onto a specially modified Boeing 747 called the Dreamlifter, which transports them to Boeing's Renton, Wash., plant for final assembly of the 787.
Spirit also manufactures parts of the 787's wing.
The 787 is Boeing's newest jetliner. It has 1,095 orders for the 787 and through August 2015 has delivered 318.
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