WICHITA, Kansas - The day after Spirit AeroSystems announced hundreds of layoffs, the company is having a big roll out for a new product.
The first forward fuselage section of the new KC-46A tanker is being shipped.
The KC-46A is essentially a flying gas can for the Air Force.
The tanker is replacing the aging fleet of KC-135R fuel tankers used by the Air Force for five decades.
The new Spirit fuselage section will now be shipped to Everett, Washington for final assembly at a Boeing facility.
"So I'm super excited that we've actually entered manufacturing at the factory at Everett," says Major General John Thompson of the Air Force. "These parts are in route there and at this time next year we'll spit a couple of them out the end of the factory."
Spirit has a contract to build 179 of the forward fuselage sections that will be part of the KC-46A tankers.
And it's a tanker that will be based in Wichita at McConnell Air Force Base.
The contract with the Air Force is providing hundreds of jobs, and politicians were on hand at the Spirit event Friday to herald the job stability news.
"It means hundreds of jobs here in Kansas for a long time. It's a project that's going to be going on for years and years. And it's important to the Kansas economy. It gives increased capacity to the 767 line at the same time, serving Americans and our America national security needs as well," said Congressman Mike Pompeo.
Along with the Air Force brass and politicians, Spirit and Boeing leaders were on hand to thank the workers.
"We're also incredibly thankful to the employees of Spirit who made this happen," said Spirit CEO John Lawson.
The first flight for the new tanker will be a year and a half from now with delivery to the Air Force.
Kansas Lottery players will want to check their Powerball tickets very carefully today.
Study finds women at high risk for breast cancer were half as likely to develop the disease while taking new drug Arimidex.
Boeing is expected to respond Thursday to a Machinists union proposal that would keep much of the work on its new 777X plane in Washington state.
The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Department arrested two suspects after a shots fired call.
Newtown Foundation joins with the Washington National Cathedral to host a vigil service marking anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Oklahoma ice climbers use old grain silo into ice climbing adventure.
Security video shows Las Vegas casino shooting that left one dead and two more injured.