Rumor suggests the U.S. aircraft manufacturer may choose Moses Lake as production center for Boeing 797 program

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Moses Lake - According to rumors based on local sources, Boeing may choose the company owned facilities in Moses Lake for the manufacturer's new mid-sized airplane Boeing 797 production.

In recent weeks, many senior company officials have been visiting the hangar of the company located at Port of Moses Lake. Jeffrey Bishop, executive director of the Port of Moses Lake, said that Boeing is paying a lot of attention to the facility.

Port official confirms Boeing has cleared out the hangar and brought some parts and machine tools.

The Port, which was established to promote the economic development in the region, has been studying on a proposal to host the production facility for the new Boeing 797.

The company facility at the port seems to be promoted by Boeing’s union workers as revealed in a recent interview on TVW’s Inside Olympia program.

It is very likely that a new aircraft production center would be established in a region like Moses Lake in the near future, Brown added.

The U.S. manufacturer does not reveal much in public about the Boeing's unofficially dubbed Boeing 797 program, But internally, Boeing follows a precise timeline. Teams in Seattle are working towards a program launch announcement at the Paris Air Show in June 2019.

The Boeing 797 is intended to be a small widebody which delivers the comfort of a widebody together with the efficiency of a narrowbody.

Delta, and United Airlines, among others, have expressed interest in the Boeing's new mid-sized aircraft that will replace the 757 and 767 models. If Boeing decides to launch the program next year, the first delivery is expected in 2025.

According to insiders, Boeing aims to develop the 796 in two versions. The 797-6X and the larger variant 797-7X. The 797-6X will fly with 225 passengers up to 5,000 nautical miles and will be in service from 2025. Two years after the 797-6X, the 797-7X is expected to complete the program with 265 passenger capacity and a flight range of 4,500 nautical miles.

Boeing is in talks with airlines about what should be the features of the new airplane.

According to industry experts, Airbus positions a new A321neo variant, theA321XLR, just between the two Boeing 797 variants. With a design reinforcement, a 100 tons of MTOW is enough to make the A321LR an A321XLR, says A320 program head Klaus Röwe.