Boeing Shifts to Composites for 787 Floors

DN Staff

January 25, 2011

2 Min Read
Boeing Shifts to Composites for 787 Floors

TALManufacturing Solutions of India reports that Boeing changed the designfor floor beams in the Dreamliner 787 from titanium to a composite plasticstructure.

The companywas contracted in 2008 to use advanced titanium and composite materials. Underthe plan, the floor beams would be transported to Boeing partners in Japan,Italy and the United States for further assembly. Now the floors will be madefrom materials that are similar to the materials used in the body of the Dreamliner. "Together with our partners,we continue to find advancements in graphite-reinforced composite plastics andalready have plans to introduce some of these on the floor beams," said aBoeing spokesperson. Thebeams will be used for flooring located between passenger and luggagecompartments.

A whollyowned subsidiary of Tata Motors Ltd., TAL Manufacturing Solutions Ltd built aplant in Nagpur, India specifically to build aircraft structures. Theestablishment of the facility followed TAL's agreement with Boeing tomanufacture structural components for the Dreamliner.

TAL hasprimarily been a supplier to the auto industry. It was formed by the merger of the Machine Tool and Growth Divisions ofthe Tata Motors Pune facility in March, 2000. The company showcased a new technology at IMTEX 2011 last week,including new vertical machining centers. 

Ravi Kant,chairman of TAL Manufacturing Solutions, said, "Imperatives of competitivenessand growth are driving manufacturing opportunities being shifted to India, in anumber of engineering sectors, including automotive, construction, aerospace ,railways, energy etc. The challenges to meet corresponding productivity, costs,delivery and quality requirements are in turn driving the introduction of newmachines. I am confident, that TAL would be able to seize this opportunity, andtake a lead to cater to the new emerging demands, as well as other challengesof this new emerging market."

The Boeing787 Dreamliner is a long-range airliner that seats 210 to 330 passengers. As aresult of a fuselage and wings made primarily of carbon composites, the Dreamlinerconsumes 20 percent less fuel than the Boeing 767, which has similar seatingcapacity. Due to supply chain and technical problems, the plane is more thanthree years behind schedule.

Majorsystems subcontractors besides TAL include Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (wings),Alenia Aeronautica (horizontal stabilizers), Global Aeronautica, (fuselagesections), Latécoère (passenger doors), Saab (cargo doors), and Korean Air(wheel well bulkhead).

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