Boeing will source composite materials for its777X aircraft from a new joint venture formed by United Arab Emirates-based Mubadala Development and Belgian composite materials and adhesives manufacturer Solvay, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner said at Farnborough.
The Mubadala-Solvay joint venture will produce primary structure composite material for use in manufacturing the 777X empennage and floor beams. The companies plan the joint venture to become operational by 2021; a new facility will be built in Al Ain, UAE.
“Boeing is pleased to be the first customer for their new joint venture in the UAE,” Conner said. “Our commitment to purchase this [carbon-fiber pre-impregnated] pre-preg material for the 777X meets several important goals for Boeing, from further advancing aerospace industry development in the UAE to expanding high-quality materials in our supply chain.”
“Boeing has been a key global partner of ours for years,” Mubadala aerospace & engineering services CEO Homaid Al Shimmari said. “Together with Solvay, we will further develop our capabilities in advanced composite materials production in order to expand the supply chain and create a materials ecosystem. The creation of a new manufacturing facility at the Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park supports our efforts of delivering on Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030 by developing a regional aerospace hub for Abu Dhabi.”
“First introduced in the 1970s, prepreg composites – a combination of high-strength carbon fiber and toughened epoxy resin – reduce weight and therefore improve fuel efficiency in aircraft,” Boeing says. The 777 was one of the first commercial airplanes to contain structurally significant composite parts, and “composites account for 50% of structural weight of the 787 Dreamliner.”
“The 777X will have the world’s largest composite wing,” Boeing says: “Production of the 777X will begin in 2017, with its first delivery in 2020.”
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