Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. ("Spirit" NYSE: SPR), based in Wichita, Kansas, is the world's largest first-tier aerostructures manufacturer. The company builds several important pieces of Boeing aircraft, including the fuselage of the 737, portions of the 787 fuselage, and the cockpit (referred to as "Section 41" by Boeing) of nearly all of its airliners. Spirit's main competition comes from Vought Aircraft Industries, Goodrich, Alenia, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
Spirit formed when Boeing Commercial Airplanes sold its Wichita division to investment firm Onex. Boeing Integrated Defense Systems retained its military business in Wichita, which lies on neighboring land. The Wichita division was responsible for construction of many important aircraft in Boeing's history, including the B-29 Superfortress, B-47 Stratojet, and B-52 Stratofortress. Spirit can trace its legacy back even further to Stearman Aircraft, which was founded on the same site. Stearman later became part of Boeing. Spirit also includes North American Aviation's former Tulsa and McAlester facilities (both in Oklahoma.)
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