Workers at the Boeing Aircraft plant in Seattle, Washington State, heard yesterday (Thursday December 3) that the U.
Workers at the Boeing Aircraft plant in Seattle, Washington State, heard yesterday (Thursday December 3) that the U.S. Senate had refused to provide further Government financial support for the development of the American Supersonic Transport aircraft (SST).
Plans for the SST were completed several months ago and construction of a full-scale mock-up was begun. The model recently went into conversion as a prototype to make sure that all the parts, made at both in the Seattle plant and at 2500 sub-contractors throughout the country, would fit. More than 130 million dollars (50 million sterling) worth of sub-contracts have been signed.
The workers heard the news over the company public address system from the Company President, T.A. Wilson.
Boeing and its supporters contended the additional Government financing was essential for the United States to catch up with the Anglo-French Concorde and the Soviet TU-144 and so maintain the American dominance of the Commercial Aviation field.
The vote against the SST was 52-41, a much larger margin than had been expected. The vote delete funds for the aircraft from the Transportation Department's budget for the current financial year. The Government has already given 700 million dollars (33 million sterling) to the prototype programme.
The Vice President of Boeing, who was responsible for the project, said the decision put 30,000 jobs in jeopardy. But he thought the most important effect would be the loss of the team which had developed the project and felt concerned that this loss could mark the beginning of the loss of American dominance in commercial aviation.