There are a lot of unhappy campers in the aerospace engineering community these days, and no wonder. In the past 18 months, the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company has sent pink slips to 31,000 employees, approximately 2,000 of which held engineering and technical positions. SPEEA, the union that represents 22,300 technical and professional employees at The Boeing Company in several states, says that the company will send an additional 4,000 workers packing by year's end. "Engineers are leery right now," says Bill Dugavitch, SPEEA spokesperson. "They are not seeing any commitment on the part of the company to retain engineering talent." SPEEA is particularly incensed over the company's decision to move hundreds of technical and engineering jobs to a design center in Moscow, and also the opening of a new parts factory in South Africa in 2002. Former Boeing Engineer Jerry Lisewych of Washington State says that he was a casualty of the company's overseas outsourcing efforts, receiving his layoff notice 15 months ago. He's still looking for work. "I unknowingly trained my own replacement, a Hungarian resident and citizen," says Lisewych. "Boeing is sending jobs overseas, and those jobs are for foreign residents only. Laid-off employees are not eligible to apply." Next up: Boeing will decide where to build the new 7E7. Rumors abound that some of the work will go overseas. Dugavitch says that SPEEA has efforts underway to ensure that it stays at existing Boeing facilities here.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
Norway-based additive manufacturing company Norsk Titanium is building what it says is the first industrial-scale 3D printing plant in the world for making aerospace-grade metal components. The New York state plant will produce 400 metric tons each year of aerospace-grade, structural titanium parts.
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