McDonnell Douglas years pictures
During my McDonnell Douglas years (1990 to 1997), I worked in a variety of positions for the company. Almost yearly, there was a promotion, from union to salaried to management. When I hired in, the corporation employed 50,000 people at the Long Beach (LGB) plant. It was the largest employer in the state of California (outside the various California state departments and agencies). There were 3 different cafeterias, a credit union, an infirmary, company store, theatre, police, SWAT and fire departments, a large gas station and a travel shop. During the subsequent 7 years, McDonnell Douglas (McD) and the other Southern California aerospace companies began their layoffs. McD laid off 30,000 people from the Long Beach plant alone, causing sever problems for many of my friends and co-workers. Visit my IASA page to hear more about my experience at the historic DAC plant.
The last MD-11 crossing Lakewood Blvd.
During my tenure, I spent time in some of the oldest and newest buildings the corporation had.
Building 1 was used for developing new aircraft, including the DC-9, MD-80 / 90 / 95 (now know as the Boeing 717), and the DC-10 & MD-11. This building was approximately 50 years old when I was working in it. The insulation used was recycled newspaper, as real insulation was unavailable during the World War II years.
Building 12 was the MD-11 assembly area, were the major sub-assembly portions were joined, into the last 4 major pieces (nose, forward, aft and tail sections). This was my home during paint booth office years of punishment (it's a long story....perhaps I'll tell it in the future). This is the same building that built the venerable Boeing B-17 bombers during World War II.
An empty building 12 & 13 - they were used to create tens of thousands of aircraft.
A teammate caught me working two phones and two computers at my desk in the old paint booth section of building 12.
Building 800 was also called the Ivory Tower. It was finished in the late 1980's, as three separate buildings, building 800, 801 and 802.
My duties also took me to other garden spots, such as the West Ramp, where the completed aircraft were flight tested and delivered to the customer. The LGB plant was a industrial wonderland. Anything you can image (except perhaps a clean room) could be found there.
Here are some unique MD-11 shots. First, an MD-11 rotating on take-off from the Palmdale airport. The second picture was taken in Italy, of an MD-11 passing in front of the mid-day sun.
Here are some of my last pictures from the plant. I decided to move on, shortly after becoming manager of the MD-80 / 90 electrical & avionic inspectors. First, the new General Manager of Quality Assurance, Ray Burch, wishing me well. Next is a shot of some of the various MD-80 electrical & mechanical inspectors, including some of my team. Last is my dayshift inspector team & I. You wouldn't know it, but the Mickey Mouse tie I'm wearing is my own personal dig at the company in my waning hours with the company.
President Clinton visit - I was invited by management to be one of several Quality Assurance members to represent McDonnell Douglas at the Chinese Trunk-liner extension agreement signing ceremony. How I got to go visit the President of the Unites States while I was battling with management over safety issues is beyond me. But, I finally had an excuse to buy my first suit!
Air Force One President Clinton disembarks, speaks & greets Tim after the visit