Defining the Future of Flight: 1997 -- present

Boeing Aerostructures Australia

In October 2000, through the Boeing Australia subsidiary, The Boeing Company bought Hawker de Havilland and it became a wholly owned subsidiary. On Feb 6, 2009, it was renamed Boeing Aerostructures Australia.

The history of Hawker de Havilland combines its legacy with that of Australia's Commonwealth Aircraft Corp. (CAC) and AeroSpace Technologies of Australia (ASTA) and spans more than 75 years of continuous operation.

Hawker de Havilland Australia acquired CAC in 1986. In December 1996, Boeing acquired North American Rockwell's aerospace and defense business and most of its Australian operations, including ASTA Components -- thus forming the wholly owned subsidiary, Boeing Australia Limited.

In 1998, Boeing Australia Limited moved its headquarters from Sydney, New South Wales, to Brisbane, Queensland. Then Boeing acquired Hawker de Havilland and merged ASTA Components with Hawker de Havilland. By 2003, Hawker de Havilland ownership had transferred to Boeing Australia Holdings (the holding company for Boeing's Australian interests: Boeing Australia Limited, Preston Aviation Solutions, Jeppesen Australia, and Alteon Training Australia).

Hawker de Havilland is a multi-site operation employing approximately 1,400 people in Australia at the Fishermen's Bend site in Melbourne and at the Bankstown site in Sydney. Its core capabilities include research and development, design, test, fabrication, and assembly of components using advanced composite materials. It produces significant components such as control surfaces and major structural assemblies for most of the world's large commercial and military aircraft.

It began in 1927 when Geoffrey de Havilland, United Kingdom aviation pioneer, established de Havilland Australia in the city of Melbourne as the first overseas subsidiary of the de Havilland Aircraft Co. After relocating to Sydney in 1930, de Havilland Australia provided assembly, repair and spares facilities for the company's commercial products such as the DH-18 passenger plane and the Moth series of light sport aircraft.

In 1936, the Commonwealth Aircraft Corp. was established by three Australian companies to build the country's first mass-produced aircraft.

In 1937, North American Aviation licensed CAC to build the NA-33, an export version of the North American NA-16 trainer. A single NA-33 prototype was provided to CAC, which led to 755 of the airplanes being produced for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) between 1938 and 1946. The planes were given the Aboriginal name Wirraway (meaning challenge) and were used by the RAAF in a wide variety of operational roles during World War II.

The same year, Australia's Department of Aircraft Production established a factory to build fighter and bomber aircraft alongside CAC. This facility became known as the Government Aircraft Factories (GAF) and later as AeroSpace Technologies of Australia.

During World War II, de Havilland Australia began converting its production from the Tiger Moth trainer and Dragon light transport to the Mosquito aircraft. Used as fighter-bomber and photoreconnaissance aircraft, the Australian-built Mosquitoes entered service in 1944; 212 Mosquitoes were built at Bankstown between 1943 and 1948 and served the RAAF until 1953.

Following World War II, de Havilland Australia was licensed to build 190 de Havilland Vampire jet fighter/trainers. In addition, the company designed and built 20 Drover three-engine, light transports between 1948 and 1952. Best-known operator of the Drover was Australia's Royal Flying Doctor Service. In 1961, de Havilland Australia was renamed Hawker de Havilland.

Hawker de Havilland also was contracted to produce the F/A-18 Hornet fighter, selected to replace the Mirage III in RAAF service. The Hornet program required re-equipping of production facilities by CAC, GAF and Hawker de Havilland, leading to development of the infrastructure and skills required by projects currently under way.

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