Defining the Future of Flight: 1997 -- present

Wings of Change

As the company evolved, its leaders made some tough businesses decisions. On April 28, 2005, Boeing delivered its 1,050th and last 757, concluding a 23-year production run. The same year, Boeing sold its Commercial Airplanes operations in Kansas and Oklahoma to Onex Corp.

During 2005, the company also sold its Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power business to United Technologies Corp. and its operations in Arnprior, Canada, to Arnprior Aerospace Inc. In August 2006, Boeing announced it was leaving high-speed broadband communications connectivity markets and was phasing out the Connexion by Boeing service.

Final two Boeing 717s delivered in Long Beach
Final two Boeing 717s delivered in Long Beach

The last two 717 jetliners were delivered May 23, 2006, ending the commercial airplane production in Southern California that began in the 1920s with the Douglas Aircraft Co. Based on the Douglas DC-9 and launched as the MD-95, the 100-seater was renamed the Boeing 717 after McDonnell Douglas and Boeing merged in 1997 and 156 were produced.

Because there were not enough orders to continue production of C-17s past 2009, on Aug. 18, 2006, Boeing told its program suppliers to stop work on uncommitted airplanes in the C-17 program. On March 2, 2007, the company stopped buying parts for any new C-17s not under contract or firmly committed. These moves were part of an orderly shutdown of the production supply chain. Without further aircraft orders, the production line was headed toward complete shutdown in mid-2009.

Boeing also restructured Wichita, Kan., operations, resulting in 900 layoffs during 2006 and announced plans to consolidate company facilities in Southern California by 2010. The Boeing facility in Anaheim, with about 3,700 employees, would relocate to the Huntington Beach facility. In addition, due to expiration of the E-6 Navy contract, the company closed its facility in Melbourne, Ark.

New acquisitions included the 2006 purchases of Aviall Inc., the largest independent provider of new aviation parts and services in the aerospace industry; Carmen Systems, management software provider; and C-map, provider of digital maritime cartography, data services and other navigational information. Carmen Systems and C-map became part of Jeppesen, the Boeing subsidiary.

The company also opened a new Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Technology Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., to provide readiness capabilities and upgrades to the U.S. Air Force E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) fleet, as well as another new facility in Warner Robins, Ga., to support U.S. Air Force Special Operations Forces.

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