Friday, December 05, 2014

Douglas Aircraft Company: Nothing Lasts Forever.

MD-80 Promotional Video

Buildings 80 & 84

These two videos are a perfect examples of the success and the demise of the aircraft industry in Southern California. The 1980's were the boom years for the McDonnell Douglas Company. At the Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach the work force was over 40,00 strong. The feeling was at the time that the future and success of the company was limitless. Okay, so the parking was tough and the traffic on Clark Avenue and Carson Street were miserable but they were remarkable times for both McDonnell Douglas and the aircraft industry. I am grateful to have been a part of it.

I spent approximately eight years on the MD-80 production line, working on the upper fuselage in department 509 in building 13 and on the nose dock in department 546 in building 80. I spent time in both departments as a production manager. When I look back at those years and the friendships I formed at the time, they were like high school years. Unforgettable times.

The first video is a professional commercial video promoting the twin engine MD-80. The second video, was taken a few years ago by a user named crankyflier, presumably, a pilot on a tour of the property, shows the empty and deserted buildings 80 & 84.  Today,buildings 80 & 84, have been sold and are currently being remodeled and retooled for another company. Nothing lasts forever, not even a giant aircraft company.

A small side note: Growing up my daughter Meranda thought the MD stood for Meranda De La O. She still gets a smile on her face when she remembers.

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