Eclipse Aviation is exploiting a digital design tool that emphasizes automobile-like manufacturability in a way that’s reminiscent of an earlier time in U.S. industrial history. The company’s facilities are designed to build up to six Eclipse 500s per day—a capability that harkens back to World War II when Henry Ford turned his automobile-production organization loose on the B-24 bomber. At its peak, the Ford Motor Co.’s Willow Run plant near Detroit turned out one B-24 every 59 min., a ...

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