Category Archives: Aerospace

Early Retirement Was Not an Option

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Jason Medeiros worked at New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. for about 14 years. He started on the truck frame line, installing engines and connecting brake lines.  He worked the night shift for the first three years. That was a hard … Continue reading »

Boeing Downshifts in Long Beach

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Boeing has announced it’s laying off 1,100 workers who build its giant C-17 cargo plane. Nine hundred of them work at the company’s sprawling plant in Long Beach.Under Boeing’s current layoff plan, the Long Beach plant will trim 400 jobs … Continue reading »

Northrop Grumman Shifts Gears

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A shout out today for this analysis from Nathan Hodge of the Wall Street Journal. Anticipating lean defense budgets in the future, Northrop CEO Wes Bush has begun a sweeping corporate restructuring over the past few months. Its most radical … Continue reading »

Vets & Unemployment

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California is home to more veterans than any other state in the nation: 2 million men and women. You’d think their experience and training would make them eminently desirable to employers, but the 2009 California unemployment rate for veterans 18 … Continue reading »

Drones Revive So Cal Aerospace Industry

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The Los Angeles Times pays a visit to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in Poway, and it’s a riveting read. In a sprawling north San Diego County complex, 3,300 workers are manufacturing Predator and Reaper drones, robotic planes that capture video … Continue reading »

Are You Watching Falcon 9?

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SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is sitting on the launch pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. UPDATE:  It did go up, prompting all sorts of speculation.

Sing the Song of the Electric

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Elon Musk was on sister station KCRW in Santa Monica earlier this week, talking about Tesla’s decision to manufacture in Fremont. Downey – within broadcasting range – was crestfallen, as you might imagine, so Musk chose his words cautiously. Without … Continue reading »

Irreconcilable Differences

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Props today to, which observes Justine Musk blogging about the financial details of her pending divorce from Elon Musk, the South African-born co-founder of  Paypal who is now running Tesla and Space X. When he’s not embroiled in divorce … Continue reading »

Boeing C-17 Feature on NPR

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Brian Watt’s feature for Shifting Gears aired on All Things Considered Monday, albeit slightly tweaked for a national audience.  Note the comments on, where you see clearly the political liability of relying on government pork.  Hence the pressure to … Continue reading »

Still Making Planes in Long Beach

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About 5,000 people work in Long Beach on the Boeing C-17. The massive plane can carry tanks, people and disaster relief supplies across long distances – yet take off, land and maneuver on short dirt runways.  President Obama cites it … Continue reading »