SRiffle's blog

Austin’s Aerospace History Enters Its Second Century

Wrapping up our series of milestone projects from Austin's 100 years of serving the aviation, aerospace and defense industry and looking to the future ...

When the Wright Brothers took off at Kitty Hawk in 1904, The Austin Company had already been designing and building industrial projects for more than a quarter century.

Fast-Track to Excellence

Continuing our series of milestone projects from Austin's 100 years of serving the aviation, aerospace and defense industry ...

Over the past 100 years, The Austin Company has accomplished remarkable feats in the design, engineering and construction of aviation and aerospace manufacturing facilities. Since the early 1900’s, aircraft and aerospace manufacturers have relied on Austin’s architects, engineers and constructors to successfully complete tremendously challenging assignments.

Building Airbus an A320 Sweet Home Alabama

Continuing our series of milestone projects from Austin's 100 years of serving the aviation, aerospace and defense industry ...

Four years ago, with airlines throughout North America increasing their demand for one of Airbus’ popular fuel-efficient jetliners, the aerospace giant was eager to put its footprint in the United States. It wanted to establish an A320 manufacturing facility in the United States, and after narrowing down its search, the European aircraft maker eventually chose Mobile, Alabama – “the Heart of Dixie” – for its first U.S.-based plant.

Launching Into the 21st Century

Continuing our series of milestone projects from Austin's 100 years of serving the aviation, aerospace and defense industry ...

The end of the 20th century launched an amazing opportunity for The Austin Company – a chance to further its longtime partnership with Boeing by designing and building facilities needed for their new Delta IV family of rockets.

Early in 1998, Boeing awarded Austin a contract to design, engineer and construct a 2.5-million-square-feet facility that would be used to build the largest structural component of the Delta IV rocket series. The Delta IV is an expendable launch system in Boeing’s Delta series, and the rockets are used for commercial satellite and U.S. defensive purposes (U.S. Air Force Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV)). The new Delta IV would have the capability of carrying a much heavier payload – up to 28,000 pounds.

Boeing’s Everett Expansion: Building 777's Heaven

Continuing our series of milestone projects from Austin's 100 years of serving the aviation, aerospace and defense industry ...

In the early 1990s, Boeing and The Austin Company set out to increase the size of the world’s largest industrial building. The facility wouldn’t be just a bit larger. This expansion of Boeing’s 747/767 Everett, Washington, facility would be jaw-dropping.

State-of-the-Art Solutions in Long Beach

Continuing our series of milestone projects from Austin's 100 years of serving the aviation, aerospace and defense industry ...

The considerable C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane required an equally significant manufacturing facility, and again, The Austin Company delivered.

That was the situation McDonnell Douglas found itself in during the mid-1980s when it was awarded the contract from the U.S. Air Force to begin building the C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane at its aircraft manufacturing complex in Long Beach, California.

Classic Austin Approach to Designing and Constructing Classified Lockheed Martin Facilities

Continuing our series of milestone projects from Austin's 100 years of serving the aviation, aerospace and defense industry ...

By the latter part of the 1900s, both Lockheed Martin and The Austin Company had established operations in Southern California. Lockheed’s Advanced Development Company (LADC) had been based in Burbank for 50 years (Lockheed would merge with Martin Marietta in 1995 to become Lockheed Martin); and The Austin Company was serving the Western U.S. out of Irvine.

In the early 1990s, Lockheed Martin made the decision to move its research and development arm, known as “Skunk Works” from the Burbank facility to the company’s Palmdale campus, in the Antelope Valley north of Los Angeles. Sherm Mullin, then-president of Lockheed Advanced Development Company (LADC), committed to getting the design and construction finished in just three-and-a-half months.

Expanding into a New Generation of Jumbo Jets

Continuing our series of milestone projects from Austin's 100 years of serving the aviation, aerospace and defense industry ...

With double-digit inflation, high unemployment, an oil embargo and energy crisis, the early years of the 1970s dealt a wicked blow to Boeing and the aerospace industry. Orders for jumbo jets dwindled and Boeing witnessed its workforce plummet from 100,800 employees in 1967 to nearly 38,700 in 1971.

It was perseverance and ingenuity through those turbulent economic times, however, that enabled Boeing to soar into the 1980s. As airlines looked for more fuel efficient jets, Boeing responded in the mid-1970s by designing two new jets, the 757 and twin-aisle 767.