Another nail in the coffin of Southern California’s once rich aviation community. A friend writes about the end of the line — literally — at Long Beach:
I witnessed the final death blow this morning as the last MD-717 lifted off and departed for delivery to the customer, TransAir. Unless a miracle occurs it will be the last jet airliner ever built in Long Beach.
All of the old Douglas buildings have been bull dozed and the property is being developed by the Boeing realty company into an industrial park, complete with 1500 high density housing units. Yep, right next to [runway] 25R on the Long Beach airport. Is it any wonder the management of Boeing/MD ran the company into the ground?
There were many speeches by VP’s, most of which talked about how great we used to be and what great airplanes we used to build. A very sad thing to see. I feel very empty inside.
It’s a shame. The economics of the airline industry may have dictated an end to the 717 production line, but by putting homes on the airport, Boeing shows an amazing lack of respect for its own history. Future generations will not only grow up unaware of the 63 years of continuous aircraft production, but in another half century they may not even know that there used to be an airport in Long Beach.