Wings Magazine

Boeing selects Exelis to provide composites for 787

Dec. 13, 2013, Chicago, Il. - Boeing has awarded a contract to aerospace technology firm Exelis to provide composite airframe substructures for the 787 Dreamliner.

December 13, 2013  By

Work on the contract will begin immediately at the Exelis composite design and manufacturing site in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Exelis has been a long-standing supplier to Boeing, providing composite storage tanks for the 737, 747, 767 and 777 variants, and it recently received Boeing gold supplier status for its quality and on-time delivery achievement.

Exelis Aerostructures business vice-president and general manager Mike Blair said: "Our expertise in high-rate, high-volume composite production and the available capacity to facilitize quickly provide a distinct advantage to our customer.

"Our commitment to operational excellence will extend to the 787 program providing our customer with the highest level of dependability and quality performance."


Around 50% of 787's primary structure is made of composite materials, which are claimed to provide substantial weight savings over traditional metallic structures, while offering 20% fuel efficiency compared with similarly sized aeroplanes, as well as exceptional environmental performance.

The 787-9 will accommodate 250-290 passengers on routes between 14,800 km and 15,750 km, while the 787-10, launched in June 2013, will carry up to 330 passengers on a 7,000nm route.

According to Boeing, the total market for the 787 family is estimated to be more than 3,500 aircraft over the next two decades and the company expects to deliver over 1750 aircraft in that market.

The 787 has logged 385 orders for aircraft to date.


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