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Exelis has been selected by Boeing to produce composite airframe substructures for the 787 Dreamliner.
The company is expecting work to begin immediately at its composite design and manufacturing centre in Salt Lake City, Utah, US.
“This award is a result of our performance and partnership with Boeing – a relationship that spans more than 40 years,” said Mike Blair, Vice President and General Manager of Exelis Aerostructures business. “Our expertise in high-rate, high-volume composite production and the available capacity to facilitise quickly provide a distinct advantage to our customer. Our commitment to operational excellence will extend to the 787 programme providing our customer with the highest level of dependability and quality performance.”
According to Exelis, composite materials make up 50% of the primary structure of the 787 Dreamliner, providing a significant weight saving compared to traditional metallic structures. The company explains the results are unmatched fuel efficiency, 20% less than today’s similarly sized airplanes, and exceptional environmental performance. The 787-9 Dreamliner will carry 250-290 passengers on routes of 4,800 to 15,750km. The new 787-10, launched in June 2013, will extend and complement the family, carrying 300-330 passengers up to 12,964 km, or more than 90% of the world’s twin-aisle routes.
Boeing estimates the total market for the 787 family of models to be more than 3500 aircraft during the next 20 years and expects to deliver more than half of the total or 1750 aircraft in that market. To date, orders of the 787 Dreamliner have totaled 385 aircraft.
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