Coronavirus: Boeing ramps up relief efforts

Boeing Dreamlifter and 787 Body Sections arrival in Everett, Boeing staff cuts

Boeing has announced it is taking additional steps to support the recovery and relief efforts related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said on 27 March it will begin using its 3D printing capabilities at the Boeing facilities across the United States to manufacture face shields that help protect people on the front lines fighting the virus.

The company also revealed that it initially aims to produce thousands of face shields per week and this is planned to be followed by subsequent production increases.

Boeing’s additive manufacturing machines based in Missouri, California, Arizona, Alabama and Pennsylvania will be used for this initial production subject to federal, state and local health orders and the health and safety of Boeing employees.

Dreamlifter operations

The company also revealed that it is coordinating closely with US government officials to make its massive Dreamlifter aircraft available to help transport critical and urgently needed supplies to healthcare professionals fighting the coronavirus.

The Dreamlifter, one of the largest cargo aircraft in the world, is a specially modified 747-400 used to transport the major assemblies of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing has also donated tens of thousands of masks, gloves and other equipment to hospitals and is analysing several other ways the company can use its engineering, manufacturing and logistics expertise to help the cause.

Boeing thanked the US administration last week following the passing of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, supporting 2.5 million jobs and 17,000 suppliers in the aviation and aerospace sectors in the US. The stimulus package pledges billions in funding for the industry.

The company has temporarily suspended its Puget Sound production operations. The suspension was put in place in light of the state of emergency in Washington state and the company’s continuous assessment of the accelerating spread of the coronavirus in the region.

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