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Air Force Plant 3
Tulsa, OK

Air Force Plant 3 is adjacent to Tulsa International Airport, northeast of Tulsa. The site covers 642 acres (of which the government owns 52%) and includes 3.8 million square feet of floor space (of which the government owns 73%). The plant was shared by McDonnell Douglas Corporation and North American Aviation Operations (Rockwell International).

In 1940, the City of Tulsa purchased land adjacent to the municipal airport for an aircraft plant and, in 1941, Douglas Aircraft Company began operations. From 1941 to 1945, the plant was run by the Douglas Aircraft Co. and used to manufacture, assemble, and modify bombers and other airplanes for the Army Air Corps. Production was suspended in 1945, and the plant was used by Tinker AFB for storage from 1945 to 1950. The plant was reactivated in 1950 to manufacture B-47 Stratojets. In 1953, manufacture of the twin-jet Douglas Bomber (B-66) was begun.

In the early 1960s McDonnell Douglas began to use the plant to perform maintenance on private aircraft, including the B-52, KC-135 and the F-4. In 1962, Rockwell International moved in to share the plant with McDonnell Douglas, leasing 30 percent of the plant to manufacture aerospace products. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company continued to operate the remaining 70 percent for maintenance of military and commercial aircraft as well as for the manufacture of aircraft components.

During the 1980s McDonnell Douglas' s facilities manufactured components for the F-15 (aft fuselage, pylons, launchers, and external fuel tank), F-18 (pylons, launchers, and external tank), and AV-8 (external tanks). Rockwell' s facilities produced components for the B-1B (over-wing fairings, wing flaps, and doors) and the space shuttle.

McDonnell Douglas terminated its lease in June 1994, Rockwell remained. In September 1994, the City of Tulsa became the primary tenant, subleasing 20 percent of the plant to Rockwell; the remaining 80 percent was mothballed. As of 1996, the facility was scheduled to be sold.

The City of Tulsa subsequently subleased additional space to Rockwell (Boeing), and to air freight and warehousing operations. The City of Tulsa has responsibility for facility maintenance and environmental management of major systems and operations; Rockwell retained responsibility for permits and waste management activities relative to its production-specific operations. The Tulsa District Corps of Engineers was the caretaker for that portion of the plant in cold storage. A Quitclaim Deed transferring the title of the property to the City of Tulsa, OK, was executed on 6 December 1999. The City of Tulsa is now owner and operator of the property.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:42:16 ZULU