Boeing Aerostructures Australia to have design but not manufacturing role for 777X

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 7, 2014
The 777X high speed wind tunnel model.
The 777X high speed wind tunnel model.

Boeing Aerostructures Australia (BAA) will have a design role for the 777X but will not produce parts for the next generation twin-aisle aircraft.

However, BAA will continue to make the wing components for the 777-300ER and 777-200LR until the production run for those models ends in 2022 and remains a key plank of the 787’s global supply chain, Boeing Australia and South Pacific president Maureen Dougherty says.

Boeing said on October 6 (US time) its St Louis site will produce parts for the 777X, “bringing back inside the company work that is currently performed at suppliers or performed overseas for the current 777 program”, from 2017.

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“The design for these parts will be done in St. Louis, Boeing Aerostructures Australia (BAA) and other Boeing sites,” the Boeing statement said.

Final assembly for the 777-9X and 777-8X would take place at Boeing’s Everett, Washington State, site.

“The current model that is being manufactured in Melbourne will remain in Melbourne until as far out as we can see which is 2022,” Dougherty told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

“The new model, the 777X, those parts will be designed in a number of places including Melbourne and manufactured in St Louis.

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“It is really all about Boeing’s global strategy and supply chain, so balancing in-house production and our supply chain to provide best value to the customer. Our Melbourne team has a lot of expertise in movable trailing edges and obviously in rudders and elevators in the 777.”

BAA, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Chicago-headquartered Boeing Company, currently supplies components for the 737, 787, 747 and 777 programs. The facility makes cove lip doors, elevators and rudders for the 777, according to the Boeing website.

The work to build the 787’s left and right hand inboard flaps, flaperons, outboard flaps and ailerons was worth about $4 billion over 20 years, Boeing has said previously.

BAA employed about 1,300 staff at its base in Melbourne’s Fishermans Bend.

Dougherty said the team in Melbourne was focused on the new technology with the 787.

“They are building already high quality parts, they are up to rate, they continue to improve their operations and get ready for the next rate acceleration,” she said.

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