Boeing has announced that it will source carbon fibre prepreg composite material for the Boeing 777X from a new joint venture formed by Mubadala Development Company and Solvay.
First introduced in the 1970s, prepreg composites are a combination of high-strength carbon fibre and toughened epoxy resin. The 777X was the first commercial airplane to contain structurally significant composite parts. Composites account for 50% of structural weight of the 787 Dreamliner, and the 777X will have the world’s largest composite wing. Production of the 777X will begin in 2017, with its first delivery in 2020.
Boeing is the first customer for the Mubadala-Solvay joint venture, which will produce primary structure composite material for use in manufacturing the 777X empennage and floor beams. Mubadala and Solvay are planning for the joint venture to be operational by 2021 in a new facility built in Al Ain, U.A.E.
Since 2009, Boeing and Mubadala have signed several agreements to advance their collaboration in mutually beneficial ways, including in aerospace composites manufacturing. In 2013, Boeing and Mubadala announced a new Framework Strategic Agreement to increase the long-term role of Mubadala as a direct supplier to Boeing, including support as Mubadala developed prepreg manufacturing in the U.A.E.