Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd is to build a plant in Shimonoseki, Japan, to produce a component for the main wings of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.
The new 6,500 square metre plant will be built at a cost of 4.2 billion yen, within the compound of MHI’s local shipyard. The plant will manufacture CFRP stringers from August 2006.
The key frame to reinforce the main wings of the Boeing 787 will be up to 22 metres long and about 10 centimetres thick, between 20 and 30 percent lighter than stringers made from aluminium alloy, according to the company.
When production is working at an optimum and to capacity, which they suggest will be around 2010, the new plant is expected to bring in sales of 4 billion yen.
Stringers made at the Shimonoseki plant will be processed at MHI’s plant in Nagoya before shipment to the U.S. aircraft maker.
The carbon fibre wing being produced by MHI will be the first of its kind used in commercial passenger airplanes. The company plans to supply wings for 2,000 Boeing 787s over a 20 year period. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are also responsible for the design and building of the 787 wing boxes – the largest structural elements of the wings.
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