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Sino workers to begin assembling tail sections

November 01, 1999|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Sino Swearingen workers are expected to arrive in Martinsburg by the end of the month to begin assembly of tails for the company's new SJ30-2 corporate jet, a company official said Monday.

The first three workers at the local plant will make tails for prototypes of the jet, which will be used for FAA certification, said Sino Swearingen spokesman Mike S. Potts.

Although the SJ30-2 eventually will be assembled at the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport south of Martinsburg, the first few tails will be sent to the company's plant in San Antonio, Texas, for assembly of the prototypes, Potts said.

The company wants to assemble the prototypes in San Antonio because that is where its design staff is.

"The first time you build something, you want to be close to your engineering people," Potts said.

The plane has completed its first 300 hours of flight testing, and the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to certify the plane around 2001, Potts said.

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A Florida company known as Crestview was originally lined up to assemble the tail for the SJ30-2, but Sino Swearingen officials later decided to have its own employees do the work, Potts said.

The local plant's first three employees were hired from the Martinsburg area and worked at Fairchild Industries in Hagerstown, Potts said.

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