Hawker Slows Production On Composite Jets

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Some workers on the Premier 1A and Hawker 4000 assembly lines will be furloughed for four to six weeks due to delays in the composite-material supply line, Hawker Beechcraft said this week. Production of the jets will be slowed down, according to the Wichita Eagle. The company didn't release information about how many workers will be affected. The composite-materials supplier, Cytec Engineered Materials, is working at full capacity and is trying to ramp up production to alleviate the delays, Yeow Ng, an advanced materials expert at Wichita State University, told the Eagle. Spokesmen at Cessna and Bombardier said they are not experiencing any similar delays.

Ng added that once a supplier has been chosen, and the FAA has approved all the production details, it's difficult to switch to another supplier in the event of shortages. Cytec is working to expand its facilities and hire new workers, he said.