Aerospace Insight: Where does Boeing make all of its Planes

After safety concerns rise by 500%, Manufacturing Digital takes an in-depth look at Boeing’s global manufacturing facilities

Boeing is preparing to face a hearing in the Senate, regarding its plane’s safety and quality concerns.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating allegations from Sam Salehpour, a Boeing engineer. He claims that Boeing took manufacturing shortcuts in its 777 and 787 Dreamliner jets and that manufacturers at Boeing’s factories are afraid to speak up about problems at factories.

Boeing: a manufacturing giant brought back down to earth for safety concerns

Boeing’s 145,000 employees work across 65 countries with an annual revenue of US$75.76bn.

Boeing manufactures and sells aeroplanes for commercial, defence, space and security aviation. It was founded in 1916, with the Boeing Everett Factory warehouse in Washington, first built in 1966 and expanded seven times since then. It is now the biggest in the world and has a volume of over 13,000,000 metres cubed, where many of its famous models are manufactured, such as the classic Boeing 707, one of the first commercially successful jet airliners. Boeing’s 737 is the best-selling commercial jetliner in history and the 747, which was also known as the ‘Jumbo Jet’. 

As previously reported by Manufacturing Digital, in January 2024, an Alaska Airlines flight carrying 171 passengers and six crew was forced to return to landing in Portland, US, after a section of the fuselage broke free after takeoff. This incident followed two fatal crashes of the previously popular 737 Max model. One crash took place in Indonesia, 2018, and the second in Ethiopia, 2019. 

In the first quarter of 2024, Boeing’s safety concern submissions have increased by 500%.

Boeing’s new Chief Operating Officer, Stephanie Pope, has spent almost 30 years at the company, having first joined as a Finance Analyst in 1994. 

“Together, we will continue to improve operating performance, deliver on our customer commitments and ensure the highest levels of safety, quality and transparency in all that we do,” she said after her appointment. 

Stephanie is also a member of Boeing's Executive Council, where she serves as the Executive Sponsor of Boeing Women Inspiring Leadership.

It was for this reason she made it onto our Top 10: Women in Manufacturing North America.

Now, Stephanie’s job is to ensure that manufacturing is kept to the highest level of safety, across Boeing’s many bases. 


Boeing’s increased attention to safety tests

Salehpour’s complaint focuses on manufacturers not fully filling in tiny gaps in the fuselage, which wears out the plane faster. He says that Boeing had “prioritised profit over safety” in manufacturing the Dreamliner this way.

Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration have both admitted that some of Boeing’s planes did have problems with fuselages and that these planes were permitted to continue to fly.

The hearing continues. 


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