Aerospace standard-bearer Boeing ( BA) is one firm that stands to lose a lot if the government stops paying its bills. Boeing may be best-known to the public for its airliners, but it actually earns around half of its revenues as a defense contractor. Luckily for Boeing -- and the rest of the financial system -- any saber-rattling from Congress is still likely to have only temporary consequences. >>5 Stocks Hedge Funds Love This Fall Back on the commercial aviation side, Boeing's 787 Dreamliner hasn't gone off quite without a hitch, but the important thing is that it has gone off. The airliner stands to dramatically improve profitability at carriers who use the strikingly more fuel-efficient model, and that's helping to keep orders flowing in. Better, recent strong performance in airline stocks means that Boeing's customers have access to cash on even more attractive terms. A re-engined version of the extremely popular 737 airliner should be another key driver of sales for Boeing -- one that comes with lower costs for both BA and the customers who buy the 737s. One of Boeing's most important assets is the one you won't find on its balance sheet: a $410 billion backlog. That backlog should provide a lot of downside protection for BA's sales in the foreseeable future. Keep an eye on earnings later this month; they're scheduled for Oct. 23.