McDonnell Douglas (now part of The Boeing Company) partnered with The Austin Company to complete multiple projects for McDonnell Douglas throughout St. Louis, Missouri, and other locations across the United States.
F-18 Production Facility
With production rates increasing for the F-18 Hornet aircraft, McDonnell Douglas Corporation found itself with a need to rapidly increase capacity. Navy and Marine Corps orders had already been placed for the plane. Design and construction of a required fabrication plant called for speed and experience, so McDonnell Douglas turned to The Austin Company.
Utilizing The Austin Method®, Austin responded and in just 90 days, prepared a design and construction costs for the 300,000 SF facility near St. Louis' Lambert Field. This included planning for present and future use of a severely restricted site and meeting special foundation requirements imposed by poor soil conditions and the plant's heavy production equipment.
Working closely with McDonnell Douglas, Austin also developed equipment layout plans. Layout flexibility was an essential requirement so the plant could produce parts for F-15s or commercial planes, as well as the F-18s.
The plant was ready for occupancy just 15 months from design start to completion.
McDonnell Douglas partnered with Austin to design and construct a microelectronics center for the production of microchips, in addition to the assembly and testing of laser communications devices.
The cutting-edge, 192,000 SF facility includes Class 100 clean rooms and elaborate systems specifically designed for removing contaminants from the air in the clean rooms and from the liquids used in production.
The ventilation system filters air multiple times, then moves it through the working laboratories in a vertical laminar flow pattern. In the clean rooms, separately exhausted chambers (finger walls) extend into production spaces to bring gases and liquids to the machines without contaminating production space.