Boeing has announced the signing of an agreement with Toray industries to expand its current contract for the 787 Dreamliner to include the 777X wings.
The long-term contract extension is expected to take effect in 2015 and represents a significant increase in the material provided to Boeing by Toray. The two companies will also collaborate to improve the overall commercialisation of advanced composites in the aerospace sector, with specific attention being paid to consistency and performance of composites in production environments and an improved cost structure that is more competitive with metals.
John Tracy, Boeing chief technology officer and senior vice president for Engineering, Operations & Technology said;
This partnership is a great example of why Toray is the market leader in composite materials, their understanding of the technology is outstanding, but they also know there is much more we can do with composites in aerospace if we work together to improve the performance, processing and economics. Toray is working with us on that and we are happy to expand their work statement to include the 777X.
Boeing and Toray were amongst the first users of prepreg composites back in the 1970s. By 1994, assemblies including the empennage and floor beams were being produced for the 777 program, the first commercial airplane featuring structurally significant composite parts. That early success culminated in the launch of the 787 in 2004, the world’s first largely composite commercial airplane.
With this new agreement, Boeing will have contracts in place for more than 75% of the major structural material for the 777X. The wingspan of the 777X measures 6.95 metres longer than the span of today’s 777–300ER. Its raked wingtip and optimised span will deliver greater efficiency and significant fuel savings while being compatible with today’s airport gates.
Back in 2013, Boeing spent more than $4 billion on goods and services in Japan. Including this agreement for the 777X composite wing, Boeing expects to purchase an additional $36 billion of goods and services locally by the end of the decade, supporting tens of thousands of aerospace jobs.