Wed, Mar 14, 2012
Workers To Be Idled On A Rolling Basis Over The Next 30-60 Days
A shortage of composite materials is the reason behind a series of rolling furloughs affecting workers involved in the assembly of Hawker Premier 1A and 4000 (pictured in file photo) business jets, according to a company spokeswoman.
The shortage is affecting only HBC. The Wichita Eagle reports that composite materials used in the fabrication of the Learjet 85 is different from that used on the Hawker airplanes, and is not in short supply. Cessna and Spirit AeroSystems have also not reported any shortages.
Furloughs had already been in place in Hawker Plant 3, where the composite barrels are fabricated. The furloughs announced Monday will affect workers in Plant IV, and are designed to "synchronize our production," said HBC Spokeswoman Nicole Alexander.
Yeow Ng of the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance at Wichita State University told the paper that the shortage is temporary. The supplier, Cytec Engineered Materials, says it is operating at full capacity and working to increase production.
Ng said the planemaker can not just switch to a different material once the FAA has certified the airplane. He said that could cause the agency to go back and ask for re-certification.
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