Groundbreaking Occurs as Alenia, Vought Form Global Aeronautica, LLC In Support of Boeing 787 Work
VP/GM, VP of Finance Named to Lead Joint Venture
CHARLESTON, S.C., FEB. 7, 2005 – Alenia North America and Vought Aircraft Industries announced today they formed their joint venture in support of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner program. The announcement was made at a groundbreaking ceremony here at the site where the joint venture and Vought facilities will be built.
The joint venture, called Global Aeronautica, LLC, will join and integrate fuselage sections from Vought, Alenia Aeronautica S.p.A. of Italy and other structural partners, which together represent more than 60 percent of the 787 fuselage. This integration work will entail the joining of the majority of the fuselage sections and the installation and testing of the associated system elements.
A board of managers, to be named by Vought and Alenia, will have overall responsibility for Global Aeronautica. Russ Day has been named vice president and general manager for Global Aeronautica. Day will be responsible for leading the day-to-day operations of the joint venture. In addition, Ralph Minnis has been named vice president of finance for Global Aeronautica. Minnis will oversee all financial aspects of the joint venture and report to Day. Until the board of managers has been finalized, Mr. Day will report to the member companies.
Day has more than 40 years of aerospace experience in both commercial and military markets. He began his career in the U.S. Air Force, serving 22 years in a variety of positions dealing with aircraft maintenance and quality control. He joined Vought’s predecessor company in 1981 and in 1985 was named the engineering project manager on the B-2 Spirit program. During his 23 years with Vought and its heritage companies, Day held positions of increasing responsibility within project and program management. He most recently served as acting vice president of commercial programs, responsible for daily operations for Vought’s commercial airplane programs, including Boeing, Gulfstream and Raytheon. Day holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in industrial technology from East Texas University.
Minnis joins Global Aeronautica with more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of accounting and financial management. His most recent position was director and assistant controller for Vought. Minnis began his career as an accountant for Northrop Corp. in Hawthorne, Calif. Since then he has held a number of leadership positions in finance organizations for Vought’s heritage companies. Minnis earned a bachelor’s degree in management from University of Redlands and a master’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University.
“Finalizing the organization structure of Global Aeronautica is an important milestone for both Alenia and Vought in support of Boeing’s next-generation aircraft program,” said Giuseppe Giordo, president, Alenia North America. “Our next actions are to continue adding talent to the Global Aeronautica management team and overseeing the building of our integration facility.”
On Dec. 1, Vought and Alenia announced Charleston International Airport as the location for the Global Aeronautica facility. Global Aeronautica expects to hire in excess of 250 workers for the integration facility. Roughly two-thirds of these jobs will be in manufacturing. Of the remaining one-third, about half will be in technical support, with the remainder split between administration and maintenance. Hiring for the sites will begin in the third quarter, with production work scheduled to commence in early 2006.
Vought will produce its 787 structures – aft fuselage sections 47 and 48 -- in a new 300,000- square-foot building co-located with the Global Aeronautica integration facility in North Charleston. Vought will employ approximately 350 workers at its South Carolina plant.
Alenia Aeronautica will build the center fuselage sections 44 and 46 in its facilities in Italy and deliver these to the Global Aeronautica integration facility beginning in 2007. All major shipments to and from the integration facility will be accomplished using Boeing’s new Large Cargo Freighter (LCF). The LCF will conduct substantial operations from the Charleston International Airport where the Global Aeronautica and Vought facilities will be located.
“This represents the next step in solidifying our relationship with Alenia and support of our customer Boeing on the 787 program,” said Vought Chairman, President and CEO Tom Risley.
Alenia Aeronautica (www.alenia-aeronautica.it) is the Italian industrial leader in aeronautical productions and is one of the world’s most advanced companies, with products ranging from combat and transport aircraft to commercial aircraft, aerostructures, mission systems, and aircraft maintenance and modification. Headquartered in Rome, the company had revenue of approximately $1.58 billion and a workforce of more than 8,800 in 2003.
Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc. ( www.voughtaircraft.com ) is one of the world's largest independent suppliers of aerostructures. Headquartered in Dallas, the company designs and manufactures major airframe structures such as wings, fuselage subassemblies, empennages, nacelles and other components for prime manufacturers of aircraft. Vought has annual sales of approximately $1.2 billion and more than 6,000 employees in seven U.S. locations.
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Lynne M. Warne