Boeing (Chicago) delivered the wings for the first F-22 production aircraft to Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, MD) ahead of schedule. The pumped up delivery time is a result of Boeing's commitment to ongoing lean manufacturing efforts. In late 1999, the company began using a new wing assembly tool that has improved quality and reduced the time it takes to build a set of wings.

"We have incorporated a number of advanced manufacturing processes into our factory and continue to see results, including reduced cycle times," says Bob Barnes, Boeing vice president and F-22 program manager. "Boeing and the entire F-22 team are constantly looking for ways to reduce program costs."