Thursday, April 10, 2008

Level Field

When I went to work for McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach California in 1979 the pictured field was the Douglas Aircraft Compay plant. At the time, DC-9 and DC-10 passenger jets were being built and the A-4 Skyhawk production, the Navy attack aircraft I supported, had recently ended. I went in the field immediately and remained out of the plant until 1990, but my home office was initially in a long building on this side of Lakewood, a few hundred yards south of the intersection of Lakewood and Carson.

In addition to the main plant, which was on both sides of Lakewood Blvd, workers occupied offices in several outside office buildings. In 1997 Boeing and McDonnell Douglas merged. Tri-jet (MD-11) production ended pretty quickly and the twin-jets (MD-90/717) trickled on for a few years finally ending with the closing of the 717 line in 2006. Now, all that is gone and Boeing commercial airplane presence is pretty much consolidated into a couple of buildings at the corner of Lakewood and Carson.

The plant has been leveled and is being prepared for the Douglas Air Park, a light-industrial, commercial and residential development. The last remaining buildings are the 717 production buildings, now empty, visible to the left and the buildings on the right which support on-going programs.


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