First flight of the 777X scheduled for 2019; delivery in 2020

Everett, Washington | November 20, 2018– Boeing [NYSE: BA] has brought together the major fuselage sections to form the first 777X airplane that will take to the skies in 2019.

In a major production milestone called ‘final body join,’ Boeing teams connected the airplane’s nose, mid and aft sections in the company’s factory in Everett, Wash. The jet now measures 252 feet long (77 meters) from nose to tail, making it the longest passenger jet the manufacturer has ever produced.

“The 777X is a new airplane and a new production system,” said Josh Binder, vice president and general manager of the 777X. “With the 777X, the production system was integrated into the development program sooner than any other airplane, and the team is doing a great job of hitting our milestones as expected.”

The 777X builds on the market-leading 777 and the 787 Dreamliner to offer airlines the largest and most-efficient twin-engine jet in the world. The airplane provides 12 percent lower fuel consumption and 10 percent lower operating costs than competing airplanes.

The 777X achieves the unprecedented performance through the introduction of the latest technologies such as the most fuel-efficient commercial engine ever, the GE9X, and a fourth-generation all-new composite wing design that provides lift and efficiency. With the extension of a set of folding, raked wingtips, the airplane’s wing spans 235 feet (72 meters).

By adding folding wingtips, the 777X’s wingspan has been increased to enhance the aerodynamic efficiency of the wing, reducing engine thrust and fuel use. Additionally, the folding wingtips allow the 777X to maintain airport compatibility with the existing 777 family, adding value for customers.

The first 777X introduced will be the 777-9 model, which can seat 400 to 425 passengers in a standard configuration and offer a range of 7,600 nautical miles (14,075 km). Boeing is building on the passenger-preferred interior of today’s 777 and building on 787 interior innovations to create a passenger experience like no other. Passengers will enjoy windows that are larger and located higher on the fuselage than the current 777, along with a wider cabin, new lighting and enhanced architecture.

The first 777X test airplane for static ground testing was completed in September 2018. Three additional flight test airplanes will be built after flight test #1.

The 777X first flight is scheduled for 2019. First delivery is slated for 2020.

Dubai Airshow | November 15, 2017– Inmarsat (LON: ISAT), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, is pleased to note an announcement made by its partner Thales today, confirming that Emirates intends to install Inmarsat’s GX Aviation high-speed inflight broadband service on its Boeing 777X aircraft fleet.

The new agreement is part of Emirates and Thales’ plans to develop state-of-the-art inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) on the airline’s new Boeing 777X fleet. Emirates has 150 Boeing 777X aircraft on firm order, with deliveries currently scheduled from 2020.

GX Aviation is the world’s first in-flight connectivity solution with seamless, reliable high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. It is the only service in the market that guarantees minimum data rates, ensuring that airline passengers can browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.

Further details on the agreement between Thales and Emirates for GX Aviation can be found here.

Awards validate the history of success on multiple Boeing aircraft platforms

East Aurora, NY | August 8, 2017–Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading supplier of advanced technologies and products to the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Astronics PECO, was awarded a contract to provide its next-generation fuel tank access doors (FTAD) for the new family of long-range Boeing 777X aircraft. In addition, Astronics PECO received a follow-on award for its FTAD product for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The new 787 and 777X fuel tank access doors will utilize the latest in fuel tank door structural materials and designs for carbon fiber composite wing technologies. The doors will be manufactured by Astronics PECO in Clackamas, Oregon. These awards are in addition to a previous award in which Astronics PECO was selected to provide passenger service units (PSUs) for the 777X.

Read the full release here

In the next few years, airplane passengers will be seeing a lot of changes to the process of flying from point A to point B. On the surface, they won’t notice a lot of difference in the mechanics of flight transportation, but it is what is going on behind the scenes, especially in the IFEC world that will have changed significantly.

Passengers will still use their personal devices on the ground to obtain a ticket, they will be using their devices to check-in and board planes, and they will still be using all sorts of portable devices while inflight. While recent rules of onboard laptop usage might be restricted for security reasons (APEX News Release), globally there is too strong a need to manage and organize one’s life with the aid of a portable phone or connected personal device, including laptops. Why? With the technological advancements of the modern portable device, be it smartphone or wearable, people everywhere are demanding more data in order to stay connected and informed. Face it, installed inflight telephony; think Claircom, Inflight Phone and GTE Airfone, in the 1990’s delivered scratchy voice connectivity when compared to flying with a smartphone today. Passengers utilizing the connectivity options available to them now; whether it be voice, data, or streaming entertainment to their PED, experience a quality of service that far exceeds those provided by their connectivity predecessors. However, there is room for improvement given the ever-increasing demand for a larger pipe and more information to flow both too and from the aircraft.

Panasonic’s NEXT ‘Platform’

The next step is what this article is about. The Panasonic development of the next generation system is the focus in this week’s IFExpress. While Panasonic entertainment and communication products have evolved with the data need, the solutions moved from analog to digital because the answer for more ‘everything’ is an electronic one that includes both hardware and software. Thus, the next generation IFEC system from Panasonic is coming to the front of technology and, naturally, it is called the Panasonic NEXT Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity System.

According to Panasonic, The NEXT IFEC platform was developed specifically in response to current generation’s trends and challenges. The system powerfully combines hardware, software, and functionality to provide a tailored solution to airlines. More importantly, it’s enabled by the Panasonic ecosystem of value-added services, tools, applications, and partnerships. More on this later.

Panasonic’s vision with the NEXT platform was to help airlines overcome key challenges by transforming typically rigid entertainment systems into a flexible IFEC platform. With NEXT, Panasonic is introducing a scalable IFEC solution that blends the latest in inflight entertainment technology, connectivity services, and consumer technologies to help airlines reach their business objectives. This approach helps airlines maximize their investment by dramatically extending the lifespan of the IFEC platform.

A key differentiator with NEXT is its ability to help airlines maximize their investment by keeping IFEC perpetually and contextually relevant. It blends the latest advances in consumer technology, including 4K screens, Light ID, Bluetooth, and much more, backed by an intuitive interface that is simple for all passengers to use.

The value of the NEXT platform is increased exponentially by Panasonic’s integrated ecosystem of value-added services, tools, applications, and partnerships. This industry-leading ecosystem includes the company’s second-generation global connectivity network. More on this in a bit

To quote Panasonic; “By taking advantage of connectivity technology, today’s leading airlines are delivering experiences onboard unimaginable just ten years ago.” But note, improved connectivity to the plane is the first step in the process and Panasonic has been working this part of the solution for a number of years now. With the launch of numerous satellites with space/data allocated for Panasonic’s aviation use, the company claims worldwide connectivity coverage. Furthermore, they currently have over 1,600 aircraft with an installed base of satcom. It is also significant to note that the future of this connectivity service is not solely for passengers, especially in Panasonic’s eyes. Notes Panasonic: “Our connectivity service is configurable based on the airlines business objectives – the experience they want to offer their passengers and their operational data requirements … we will get back to the second part of this statement later. However, it is clear that both coming solutions will change the world of passenger and operational data.

The operational side of the equation includes: safety, operational performance, and real-time updates of hardware on much of the airplane that ordinarily would only be checked on the ground or during ground testing. This is a game changer for the airlines as well and Panasonic has planned services that will reshape the management of maintenance. Both airline and passengers will benefit from this real-time analysis. Hardware data analysis and tracking/reporting of onboard system monitoring and security analysis will improve airline operations and possibly ground operations, service times, turnaround and potentially inflight operations as well. Passengers get more data, ground and airborne interaction with the airline… not to mention more movies, more and better data services, which all add up to happier passengers and more profit potential for the airline. If this is not a big to deal to airlines now, it soon will be!

 

What is Changing?

We have mentioned what the passengers and crew get from a new technology and data driven system, so now let’s specifically look at the NEXT System or ‘platform  being developed by Panasonic. First, because the system is in development for the Boeing B777X (-X8 & -X9) and because this competitive solution is probably a tight competition, we cannot talk too much about the system capabilities. You can find out more about the Boeing 777 transport aircraft here. However, this might be a good time to note the Boeing future aircraft development possibilities. The Boeing B777-X8 is touted to be an approximately 350-passenger plane, while the B777-X9 is more like a 400+ passenger plane – and we understand that both are in the 2020+ development window. Obviously if the Panasonic NEXT ‘platform’ were to be for both aircraft models, a modular and scalable approach would be perfect for hardware, software, design, manufacturing, installation and even certification.

A good example of the integration of Panasonic technologies into the NEXT System is the ZeroTouch service, which was debuted at AIX Hamburg in 2016, and will definitely be integrated into the NEXT Service offering. Here is what Panasonic says about it: “The ZeroTouch Service Vision: Panasonic’s ZeroTouch service will reduce an airline’s need to physically touch the aircraft because all interactions are managed through a virtual dashboard. By providing access to real-time passenger data, software, media and content updates can be data-driven, helping to deliver a relevant and personalized passenger experience. Updates will be sent to an aircraft via three high-speed pipes – Wi-Fi at the gate, aircraft cell modem, or even in flight using Panasonic’s global broadband eXConnect service.” They went on to say: “When combined with dynamic content updates, the ZeroTouch service will offer an improvement from an airline’s traditional 30-day media update cycle by enabling live updates to data and files stored on a Panasonic inflight entertainment and communications system. Applications such as movies, games, advertising, live news, and more will be automatically loaded at any time, over any available communications pipe to an entire fleet. Strategic planning also will be made easier through the actionable insight solution provides. Airlines are presented with both a detailed picture of their aircraft and a broader overview of their fleet. This allows more informed decisions to be made in media consumption, system health monitoring, aircraft maintenance, and much more. The service automatically downloads critical operational data during flight meaning maintenance teams are notified of upcoming tasks and are able to prepare solutions prior to landing. Today Panasonic is in Phase One of its ZeroTouch service initiative, and is already delivering payloads of up to 700 Megabytes to aircraft over cell modem and its eXConnect service multiple times per day.”

 

What Is NEXT?

It is scalable, it is modular and NEXT is for widebody, narrow body, everybody!

Again, we should emphasize that the Panasonic NEXT System is considered to be a ‘platform’ by the company,  and this point was continually stressed throughout our discussions with them. There are several  reasons for this platform approach that make sense from a product and certification point of view: 

1. Because the new plane system will comprise multiple capabilities and offerings, different airlines will require different solutions; therefore, it has to be modular, and thus the ‘platform’ solution fits the general description of the Panasonic offering. By considering NEXT a ‘platform’ Panasonic can offer solutions with modular upgrades and/or product dash numbers that might include different software and/or hardware features. Here are a few that they specifically mentioned: aircraft and system monitoring, BITE, Maintenance centers and data communication, actionable analytics, passenger data integration software and solutions, and on and on. This ‘platform’ solution will keep potential certification issues at a minimum as they will not have Model/Box Numbers, but rather the ‘platform’ will only need the added box/software/card certs. This is only IFExpress’ speculation but if certification issues can be reduced, costs will be too.

2. The future of these airline/airplane required and selected capabilities, data storage, and management functions may make a ‘platformed’ system available as a design concept for other aircraft! A perfect example will probably be the Boeing 797 (the next, bigger-than-the-B737 plane) the potential Boeing midsize aircraft that is the required airplane series to address the ‘Middle Market’ – 4500 nm to 5500 nm sweet spot and carry somewhere between 180 to 280 passengers. The significant issue is that the NEXT platform will be scalable to address all different aircraft model types – single aisle, twin aisle, and the elusive middle market aircraft of the future. This will allow airlines to scale their systems depending on route, aircraft size, and demographics, while maintaining a ‘commonality’ across their fleet and it is NEXT’s modularity that allows this to happen.

Make no mistake, the NEXT platform will incorporate an improved modem for their new view of passenger and airline connectivity needs. Here is what Panasonic says: “The combination of our new modem results in the biggest improvement in connectivity Panasonic has made since the start of our service. It provides up to 250Mbps for passenger data, a 20x improvement in speed compared to our first-generation modem. Our connectivity service is configurable based on the airline’s business objectives – the experience they want to offer their passengers and their operational data  requirements!” Once again, it is the modular and scalable nature of NEXT that facilitates this choice by the airline.

To get a better idea of their improvement planning, here is their view of their IFEC product performance development:

Generation 1 (2009 – 2015)

Experience – email, social media, web browsing, 9 channels global TV, 2G mobile service, average 250Kbps speed/Up to 1 Mbps burst speed

Enablers – Global wide beam network, BC-01 (Up to 12 Mbps)

Generation 2 (2016 – 2018)

Experience – Rich web applications + light video streaming (i.e. YouTube) + 20 regional channels of regional live television + 3G mobile service + average 5 Mbps speed + up to 15Mbps burst speed (Editor’s Note: Be sure to make note of the plus signs!)

Enablers – Wide beam network + HTS, BC-03 (Up to 250 Mbps, 800GB SSD, 200 eXW SD Media Streams), cWAP (802.11ac), Dual panel or Single Panel Antenna

Generation 3 (NEXT)

Experience – Up to 250 SD media streams (i.e. Netflix, Hulu) ++

15 channels of HD live television ++ 4G Mobile service ++ Average 10 Mbps speed ++ Up to 250 Mbps burst speed (Editor – We assume the ++ means “plus and in excess of…”)

Enablers – Wide Beam Networks + HTS = XTS, BC-03 (Up to 250 Mbps, 800GB SSD, 200 eXW SD media streams), cWAP (802.112ac), Dual Panel or Flat Panel Antenna

Perhaps this is a good time to mention the industry activity surrounding the timing of the NEXT rollout in the future B777X program and a good place to start is ARINC and the ARINC CSS (Cabin Systems Subcommittee) workings. From their website and discussions with members, we see that ARINC has a lot of IFEC members hooking up with this subcommittee and their definition states clearly why: 

Goal: Passenger entertainment equipment is subject to frequent upgrades on the airplane. The goal of this AEEC activity is to develop cost effective equipment and valuable network infrastructure for the airlines to cope with the rapid and evolving electronics/entertainment industry that will exceed passenger expectations. This includes interface standards to allow airlines to implement preferred systems for their passengers. Cabin communications, connectivity, wireless distribution, cabin interface protocols, and connector standardization are all intricate components of this activity.

Scope: The scope of this project is to develop next generation standard cabin interfaces that will provide airlines with freedom of choice in the installation and expansion of cabin equipment. IFE, communications, interface protocols, seat integration issues, and connectors and cables standardization are also a part of this activity.

Benefit: Cabin systems provide entertainment and service improvements to the passenger. To keep up with passenger’s desire for better accommodations, systems are becoming more sophisticated and complex. Home entertainment and office type computing systems and peripherals are finding applications in the cabin to facilitate data handling and data link to the ground. The growing complexities and scope of cabin equipment has resulted in the expansion of ARINC 628. New series of specifications are added as new concepts and next generation systems and networks are developed. The benefits of the cabin standards are numerous. They provide the airlines freedom of choice, unit price reduction through increased volume, interchangeable spares, more upgradeable options, and creation of more sub- markets for integrators and software/hardware suppliers. These benefits are being realized on the new aircraft programs, possibly regional and business jets, and retrofit aircraft programs. The final message here is to keep your eye on this organization and its findings and reports as the next generation of IFEC is going to be outlined by this group!

Additionally, and because of the newer tremendous connectivity capability coming down the pike, IFExpress should mention cybersecurity and while Panasonic did not specifically mention the subject to any extent during our conversation, we know their engineers are very aware of the issues involved with improving passenger and plane connectivity.  We expect a big focus on keeping airplane data safe – both now and in the future. Some recent internet stories featured airplane hacking but Panasonic security people denied the reported ‘hacks’ and said: “The responsibility for security does not solely rest with an (in-flight entertainment) manufacturer, an aircraft manufacturer, or the fleet operator,” noted a company representative. “Each plays an important role in assuring a secure environment.” Further they called the news reports ‘misleading’ and ‘inflammatory’ and noted; “That one could use the exploit to steal credit card information is simply not true.” Further, Panasonic says it continually tests the robustness of its systems, and that it complies with or exceeds all regulatory requirements, which include regular third-party tests. After visiting their manufacturing and test labs, we believe they work to keep their systems hack free and we expect the new systems to move to the next level up the security chain.

While a few Boeing airplanes were mentioned, Airbus is the other solution that will no doubt seize the opportunity to take advantage of better passenger connectivity and improved inflight plane data but at this time we feel they are interpreting their market properly with the planes they have. Wait one year or two and this will probably change. For example, the Airbus A350 is a logical future prospect for ‘backbone improved’ data channeling and airline profit improvement based upon more and better connectivity and improved plane information updates.

And lastly, we should mention that other vendors are not asleep to this technology revolution and we feel based on interviews that they too see the value in building modular systems. Needless to say, we expect to see some of their developments at this week’s AIX. Readers might want to pay attention as the race for better, faster IFEC is going to eclipse everything currently in this industry in the next few years and note that the competition has moved into a new phase where both airlines and passengers will be the winner. Much of this will be achieved by the OEMs and IFEC companies working together to focus on the ever-developing ground-based technologies that have so far surpassed what traditional IFEC has been able to offer to airlines and passengers due to the lengthy certification process. With an ever-increasing installation base of satcom equipped aircraft and passengers bringing onboard data rich and powerful PEDs, such as the smartphone, a new window of opportunity has opened to our industry with the ability to be able to interact with those devices. We may finally see the ever-elusive connected travel experience become a reality. Stay Tuned!

 

Lake Forest, CA | March 23, 2016– Panasonic Avionics (Panasonic), the world leader in inflight entertainment and communications, today announced it has been selected to supply the Cabin Services System (CSS) on the new family of Boeing 777X aircraft. Panasonic is currently the supplier of CSS on all Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 747-8 Intercontinental aircraft.

Panasonic’s CSS is a scalable, database driven, Ethernet-based network that provides core cabin functions such as passenger address, cabin interphone and environmental controls. CSS directly integrates with external subsystems such as cabin lighting and other airplane member systems across the airframe networks, including the inflight entertainment and connectivity solutions.

Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer for Panasonic Avionics said, “This agreement is the reflection of a growing relationship between Panasonic and Boeing. It shows the success of our efforts to combine reliability crucial for Cabin Services Systems with continued innovation benefitting flight crew and passengers, something that’s core to the 777X program.”

The 777X is the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet in the world with 320 orders and commitments for the aircraft. The cabin interior will include larger windows, a wider cabin, new lighting, and an enhanced architecture with cabin electronics controlled by the Panasonic Cabin Services System.

East Aurora, NY | September 2, 2015– Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading supplier of products to the global aerospace, defense, consumer electronics and semiconductor industries, announced today that it has been selected to supply the Passenger Service Units (PSU) on the new family of long-range Boeing 777X aircraft. The award is subject to the execution of a final purchase agreement.

Mr. Peter J. Gundermann, President and Chief Executive Officer of Astronics, commented, “We have had a long-standing relationship with Boeing on the 777 platform, and we are excited to participate on the 777X. We appreciate the confidence Boeing has expressed in us and look forward to our product contributing to the cabin innovations and improved passenger comfort levels Boeing plans for the 777X.”

Production of the 777X, the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet in the world, will begin in 2017. There currently are 320 orders and commitments for the aircraft. The cabin interior will include larger windows, a wider cabin, new lighting and enhanced architecture, including the Astronics PSU.

  • Milestone establishes basic airplane design; program on track for first delivery in 2020

Everett, WA | August 27, 2015– Boeing (NYSE: BA) announced today the completion of the firm configuration milestone for the 777-9, the first member of the 777X family to be developed.

The Boeing 777X team reached this significant design milestone after working closely with airline customers and key suppliers to optimize the configuration of the new airplane.

The 777X family includes the 777-8 and the 777-9 – both designed to respond to market needs and customer preferences. The 777-8 and 777-9 provide significant range, payload and fuel burn advantages compared to the A350.

“It’s great to see the airlines and industry team side-by-side with us as we achieve this important milestone,” said Bob Feldmann, vice president and general manager of the 777X program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The team has followed a disciplined process to complete all of the requirements for this stage of the program.”

The firm configuration milestone marks the completion of configuration trade studies required to finalize the airplane’s capability and basic design. Wind tunnel test results, aerodynamic performance and structural loads are also evaluated to ensure the airplane meets requirements. This allows the 777X team to begin detailed design of parts, assemblies and other systems for the airplane. As detailed designs are completed and released, production can begin.

“The program is right where we want it to be,” added Feldmann. “We have an airplane and production system that are on track and on schedule, and we remain laser focused on meeting our commitments to our customers.”

The 777X will be the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet in the world, with 12 percent lower fuel consumption and 10 percent lower operating costs than the competition. In addition, the 777X will bring cabin innovations and improved levels of passenger comfort.

The 777X program has received orders and commitments for 320 airplanes from six customers worldwide. Production is set to begin in 2017.

To view the latest Innovation video, click here: http://www.boeing.com/innovation/#/the-wing-is-the-thing

737 MAX progressing toward final assembly

787-10 Dreamliner design ahead of schedule

777X approaching firm configuration
Paris Air Show, Le Bourget, France | June 16, 2015– Boeing (NYSE: BA) today provided insights into the development of its newest commercial airplane products – the 737 MAX, the 787-10 Dreamliner and the 777X – further validating its strategy for successful airplane development.

“Our commercial airplane development programs are progressing as planned and are on schedule,” said Scott Fancher, senior vice president and general manager of Airplane Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Each of our seven development programs is meeting its design and performance targets. Design requirements are stable and our customers continue to tell us we’re on the right track to deliver the airplanes they need to support their fleet strategies and serve their passengers.”

In various phases of development at Boeing Commercial Airplanes are the 737 MAX 8, MAX 9, MAX 7 and MAX 200; the 787-10; and the 777-8X and 777-9X.

“The volume of new development in commercial airplanes is unprecedented,” Fancher said. “To successfully bring these products to market as promised we are focused on three priorities: ensuring we meet our customers’ expectations, delivering value to the marketplace and reducing risk in development.”

Fancher provided the following updates on its development programs at the Paris Air Show, the aerospace industry’s largest gathering of aerospace leaders held biannually outside Paris at Le Bourget International Airport.

737 MAX: Ninety percent of detailed design completed; assembly of the first 737 MAX began on the day originally scheduled three years prior – May 29; CFM LEAP-1B engine development proceeding as planned; design work for the MAX 9, MAX 7 and MAX 200 progressing rapidly

787-10: Modeling the development success of the 787-9; 95 percent design commonality with the 787-9, delivering productivity and cost benefits; Rolls-Royce TEN engine development progressing as planned; 90 percent design completion on track for this year; pre-production verification is validating 787-10 design and build processes

777X: Preliminary designs have been validated; GE9X engine development progressing well; construction of new production facilities in Everett, Wash. and St. Louis is progressing rapidly; firm configuration targeted for third quarter this year

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the work our teams are doing to design, build and eventually flight test and certify these new, exciting airplanes,” Fancher said. “Without the talent and expertise of our people, we wouldn’t be on the path we’re on. With it, we are making new airplane development a true discriminator and advantage for Boeing.”

  • Includes partnership to expand commercialization of aerospace composites
  • Longtime Boeing supplier rewarded for commitment to Partnering for Success

Tokyo, Japan | November 16, 2014–Boeing [NYSE: BA] has signed a memorandum of agreement with leading composite supplier Toray Industries to expand its current contract for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to include the 777X wings. Once finalized, the long-term contract extension will take effect in 2015 and meet Boeing’s customer affordability goals through the Partnering for Success program.

The addition of the 777X to the current 787 contract represents a significant increase in the material provided to Boeing by Toray. Boeing and Toray will also collaborate to improve commercialization of composites in the aerospace market. Specific areas the companies will address include increased consistency and performance of composites across the production system and a cost structure that is more competitive with metals.

“This partnership is a great example of why Toray is the market leader in composite materials,” said John Tracy, Boeing chief technology officer and senior vice president for Engineering, Operations & Technology. “Their understanding of the technology is outstanding, but they also know there is much more we can do with composites in aerospace if we work together to improve the performance, processing and economics. Toray is working with us on that and we are happy to expand their work statement to include the 777X.”

Boeing and Toray pioneered the use of prepreg composites – a combination of high-strength carbon fiber and toughened epoxy resin – in the 1970s. By 1994, assemblies including the empennage and floor beams were being produced for the 777 program, the first commercial airplane featuring structurally significant composite parts. That early success culminated in the launch of the 787 in 2004, the world’s first largely composite commercial airplane.

“We believe that this agreement signifies the solid mutual trust Toray has been building with Boeing through the stable supply of high quality carbon fiber materials since the 1970s,” said Akihiro Nikkaku, president, Toray Industries. “It also reflects Boeing’s recognition of our world-class technology and firm commitments to expanding composites application to aircraft. Going forward, Toray will continue to duly enhance its supply capacity in line with the production increases planned by Boeing.”

“Boeing has partnered with the Japanese aerospace industry for nearly five decades,” said George Maffeo, president, Boeing Japan. “Their work encompasses the development and introduction of all current Boeing programs: the Next-Generation 737, 737 MAX, 747, 767, 777 and 787 Dreamliner. The consistent performance of our Japanese partners and their enduring effort and dedication, as exemplified today by Toray, has helped Boeing achieve tremendous success with our products. We couldn’t be more delighted to continue that legacy with the 777X.”

With this agreement, Boeing will have contracts in place for more than 75 percent of the major structural material for the 777X. The wingspan of the 777X measures 71.7 meters (235.4 feet), 6.95 meters (22.8 feet) longer than the span of today’s 777-300ER. Its raked wingtip and optimized span will deliver greater efficiency and significant fuel savings while being compatible with today’s airport gates. The 777X wings will be manufactured at Boeing’s Everett, Wash., site.

In 2013, Boeing spent more than $4 billion on goods and services in Japan. Including this agreement for the 777X composite wing, Boeing expects to purchase an additional $36 billion of goods and services locally by the end of the decade, supporting tens of thousands of aerospace jobs.

Investment of more than $1 billion will sustain thousands of Puget Sound jobs

Everett, WA | October 21, 2014/PRNewswire/–Boeing (NYSE: BA) today celebrated the groundbreaking of its new 777X Composite Wing Center at the Everett, Wash., campus. Permitting for the new 1-million-square-foot facility was completed approximately seven weeks earlier than anticipated, allowing for an accelerated start to construction.

Boeing is investing more than $1 billion in the Everett site for construction and outfitting of the new building.

Once completed, the facility located on the north side of the main final assembly building will help usher in composite wing fabrication for the company’s newest commercial jetliner and sustain thousands of local jobs for decades to come.
“We’re excited with the progress being made on this new facility that will play a crucial role in bringing the 777X to market,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “We wouldn’t be in this position without the support of our teammates and partners throughout the Puget Sound region and in Olympia – we owe them all a debt of gratitude.”

Completion of the new building, which is expected in May 2016, will require approximately 3.5 million hours of work. At its peak, there will be approximately 1,200 contract employees working on the project. By the numbers, the new building will require:

  • 31,000 tons (28,000 metric tons) of steel
  • 480 miles (770 kilometers) of electrical cable
  • 80,000 linear feet (24,384 meters ) of process piping
  • 530,000 cubic yards (405,210 cubic meters) of fill material
  • 170,000 tons (154,000 metric tons) of concrete

To date, the 777X has accumulated 300 orders and commitments. Two models will comprise the 777X family – the 777-8X, with approximately 350 seats and a range capability of more than 9,300 nautical miles; and the 777-9X, with approximately 400 seats and a range of more than 8,200 nautical miles. The 777-8X competes directly with the Airbus A350-1000, while the 777-9X is in a class by itself, serving a market segment that no other airplane can. First delivery of the 777X is targeted for 2020.

  • Order includes purchase rights commitment for 50 additional 777Xs
  • Airline also announces intent to order four 777 Freighters, options for another four

Farnborough, UK | July 16, 2014/PRNewswire/– Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Qatar Airways have finalized an order for 50 777-9Xs, valued at $18.9 billion at current list prices. The 777X order, first announced as a commitment at the 2013 Dubai Airshow, was part of the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history.

In addition, the airline announced a commitment for 50 additional 777-9X purchase rights. If exercised, that would take Qatar’s 777X order tally to 100 airplanes valued at $37.7 billion at list prices.

Qatar Airways also announced their intent to order four 777 Freighters and options for four more, with a combined value of $2.4 billion at list prices.

“Qatar Airways continuously builds upon its successful fleet program, and this latest announcement demonstrates the quality equipment we acquire to deliver on our signature Five-Star service,” said His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways. “The Boeing 777 is the backbone of our fleet and is highly amenable to the standards Qatar Airways upholds. We look forward to building on our legacy with the next-generation 777-9X.”

“Qatar Airways took delivery of its first 777 a few short years ago, and we are honored to see this partnership continue to grow and strengthen,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner. “Today signifies a new chapter in our relationship with Qatar Airways’ endorsement of the 777X, as well as their ongoing confidence in the value of the 777 Freighter. These orders validate the market-leading role that the 777 and now the 777X will continue to play in the Middle East’s passenger and cargo market.”

The 777X will introduce the latest technologies including the most advanced commercial engine ever – the GE9X by GE Aviation – and an all-new high efficiency composite wing that has a longer span than today’s 777. The 777X family includes the 777-8X and the 777-9X, both designed to respond to market needs and customer preferences.

The 777-9X will be 12 percent more fuel efficient than any competing airplane, necessary in today’s competitive environment. The 777-8X is 5 percent more efficient than its competitor at all ranges while providing for new network opportunities. Design of the 777X is underway and production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020. To date, the 777X has accumulated 300 orders and commitments from six customers worldwide.

Boeing is the undisputed air cargo market leader, providing over 90 percent of the total worldwide dedicated freighter capacity. The 777 Freighter is capable of flying 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 km) with a full payload and general cargo market densities, making it the world’s longest-range twin-engine freighter. The airplane’s range capability translates into significant savings for cargo operators: fewer stops and associated landing fees, less congestion at transfer hubs, lower cargo handling costs and shorter cargo delivery times.

  • Net commercial orders for 2014 rise to 783

Farnborough, UK | July 17, 2014/PRNewswire/– Boeing (NYSE: BA) marked 40 years as an exhibitor at the Farnborough International Airshow this week by highlighting its innovative, efficient commercial airplanes and its advanced defense capabilities.

Boeing announced a new 200-seat 737 MAX 8 option that will give airlines up to 11 more seats of revenue. This latest addition to Boeing’s comprehensive product and services line-up will deliver 20 percent fuel-consumption savings compared to today’s Next-Generation 737.

Boeing also announced new details about the interior of the 777X
. The new model will build on the award-winning interior of today’s 777 and apply 787 Dreamliner cabin innovations: higher cabin humidity, windows more than 15 percent larger and a cabin that is 16 inches (40.6 cm) wider than the competition, allowing airlines a variety of economy class seat widths.

Boeing unveiled its new Maritime Surveillance Aircraft at Farnborough. The aircraft, based on a Bombardier Challenger 605 business jet, will provide customers with maritime and overland surveillance, anti-piracy, coastal security and search-and-rescue capabilities.

Boeing signed a memorandum of collaboration with Paramount Group to jointly develop defense and security opportunities in key international markets. Paramount Group is Africa’s largest privately owned defense and aerospace business.

Customers demonstrated their strong confidence in the family of Boeing commercial products, announcing orders and commitments for 201 Boeing airplanes valued at more than $40.2 billion at list prices. Additional orders announced this week will be posted today on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website, bringing the number of net orders for 2014 to 783.

“Over 40 years of exhibiting at Farnborough, Boeing has consistently demonstrated its commitment and drive to innovate and develop game-changing products, equipment and services across the commercial and defense sectors,” said Charlie Miller, vice president of International Communications. “Farnborough 2014 was filled with excitement and enthusiasm among our customers, partners and suppliers and strong endorsement of our product line with commercial orders that bring our tally this year to 783.”

Boeing products flying at the show include the new 787-9 Dreamliner, the P-8A Poseidon — a military derivative of the company’s Next-Generation 737-800 — and the multi-role F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighter.

Two aircraft from the Boeing-Royal Aeronautical Society “Schools Build a Plane Challenge” will arrive at the show later today. This initiative provides young people in UK secondary schools with the opportunity to learn new skills by building an operational light aircraft from a kit. The two airplanes are scheduled to participate in the flying display on Friday and remain on static display for the public demonstration events.

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  • 200-seat version of 737 MAX 8 now being offered to customers
  • Widebody lineup is most comprehensive in the industry

Farnborough | July 14, 2014/PRNewswire/– Boeing [NYSE: BA] continues to expand its product lineup, announcing a 200-seat version of the 737 MAX 8 at the Farnborough International Airshow. This option gives airlines 11 more seats of potential revenue.

“This new 200-seat 737 MAX 8 ensures we’ll retain our leadership in comfort, capacity and lower operating costs in the heart of the single-aisle market,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner. “With this increase in capacity and confidence in our engine and airplane testing, we’re on track to deliver a 20 percent more fuel efficient product than today’s Next-Generation 737.”

The 200-seat 737 MAX 8 is the latest addition to Boeing’s comprehensive product and services lineup. It follows last year’s successful launch of the 787-10 Dreamliner and the 777X to complete the industry’s most efficient widebody airplane lineup.

Boeing’s 787-9 Dreamliner will be featured in the flying display at this year’s air show, only days after the first delivery of the 787-9 to Air New Zealand.

“Our current and future widebody products leave no gaps in the market. Now that we’ve positioned ourselves for future growth, we’re focused on executing on our plans and production rate increases—delivering superior value to our customers,” added Conner.

To meet demand, Boeing is now delivering the 737, 777 and 787 at record production rates, with future increases already announced.

Going into the Farnborough International Airshow, Boeing has booked 649 net orders—including an order from Emirates for 150 777Xs finalized last week.

“The market for commercial airplanes is stronger than ever, and we’re doing everything we can to get Boeing products into the hands of our customers as soon as possible,” said Conner.

  • Abu Dhabi-based airline to be launch customer for 777X, first to order 777-8X
  • Carrier places 1,000th 787 Dreamliner order, becomes world’s largest 787 airline customer

Dubai, UAE | November 17, 2013/PRNewswire/– Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Etihad Airways today announced an order for 56 widebody airplanes with options and purchase rights for 26 additional airplanes at the start of the 2013 Dubai Airshow. The order is valued at a total of $26.7 billion at list prices.

The Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s order includes 25 777X airplanes, comprising 17 777-9Xs and eight 777-8Xs, subject to program launch. Etihad Airways is the first airline to order the 777-8X and will be a launch customer of the airplane, which is expected to enter service around the end of the decade. The order includes options and purchase rights for 12 additional 777X airplanes.

In addition, the airline has ordered 30 787-10s, the newest and largest member of the 787 Dreamliner family. When today’s order is combined with the carrier’s previous order for 41 787-9s, Etihad Airways becomes the world’s largest airline customer for the Dreamliner family with a total of 71 787s on order. The order includes options and purchase rights for an additional 12 787-10s.

Today’s announcement also marks the 1,000th order for the 787 Dreamliner family since its launch in 2004. The 787 has reached this milestone faster than any other twin-aisle airplane in aviation history.

Etihad’s order also includes one additional 777 Freighter for its cargo fleet, with options for two additional 777 Freighters.

“Boeing has been a long-term strategic partner for Etihad throughout that journey, playing an integral role in our growth, said Etihad Airways President and CEO James Hogan. “I am delighted we are extending our relationship, bringing industry-leading aircraft into our modern fleet.”
“We are very proud of our relationship with Etihad Airways which began nine years ago with an order for five 777-300ERs,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “It is gratifying that as one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, Etihad continues to have confidence in Boeing’s products by ordering the 777X as well as by increasing its order for the 787. We look forward to further strengthening this partnership as Etihad continues to build its position as a forerunner in the global aviation industry.”

Advanced technology including a new composite wing, all-new engines and superior aerodynamics will result in the incredible fuel efficiency promised by the 777X family.

The 777-9X, with around 400 seats, will be the largest and most efficient twin-engine commercial jet in the world with 12 percent lower fuel consumption and 10 percent lower operating costs over the competition. It will have the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial airplane and no competitor in its market segment.

The 777-8X will be the most flexible commercial jet in the world with breakthrough economics and greater range capability than today’s 777.
The 787-10 is the third and longest member of the super-efficient 787 family. With its greater passenger and cargo capacity, high degree of commonality and its passenger-pleasing features, the 787-10 will complement the family while setting a new benchmark for fuel efficiency and operating economics. The 787-10 will be 25 percent more efficient than airplanes of its size today and more than 10 percent better than anything offered by the competition for the future.

Final assembly and flight test of the 787-10 are set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2018.

Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Etihad Airways is one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world, expanding its fleet and network across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific and North and South America. Etihad’s fleet today includes 17 Boeing 777-300ERs and three 777 Freighters.