::New Boeing 787 Jet Made With NC Parts
By Elliott West, Raleigh Chronicle News Editor
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
CHARLOTTE, NC - The new composite construction Boeing 787 Dreamliner Jet that was unveiled over the weekend was brought together through a global effort that included parts made in North Carolina.
Charlotte-based Fortune 500 company Goodrich Corporation will be one of the key suppliers for several components for the aircraft, which will go into full production later this year. Their parts have already used in the prototype that was rolled out on Sunday at the Boeing plant in Everett, Washington.
The first test flights of the airplane is expected in late August or September, says Boeing.
Parts to be provided by Goodrich's American plants for the 787 will include engine components, interior parts, and even control systems for thrust.
"Our company has been part of the fabric of aerospace since the dawn of flight," said Goodrich CEO Marshall Larsen in a statement to the media last week. "To continue to be part of the industry during a time when a new-to-the-world aircraft is soon to take to the skies is truly inspiring."
According to the company, Goodrich is building the thrust reversers and nacelle systems for both engine options offered on the 787, the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 and the General Electric GEnx.
In addition, the company is providing the flight deck lighting system, cabin attendant seating, cargo system, wheels and electric braking system, exterior lighting, nacelles and thrust reversers, proximity sensing system, fuel quantity indicating system, fuel management software.
Goodrich also says it will be making the engine control system and sensor suite for the Trent 1000 engine.
Revolutonary New Jet
The new jet is revolutionary is several ways -- in addition to being the first commercial jet being made mostly of composite materials (although smaller private planes have used those methods for years), Boeing says the Dreamliner will use 20 percent less fuel per passenger than similarly sized airplanes through the use of new technology.
In addition, for those living near airports, it should be noted that the new craft will also have quieter takeoffs and landings than older jets.
Lots Of Orders For Boeing Jet
The new Boeing jet is already one of the most successful commercial jetliners to date.
"This has been a wonderful and exciting day to celebrate this breakthrough airplane with our customers, employees, supplier partners and our communities," said Scott Carson, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO in a released statement. "We are gratified that the 787 has been so strongly validated in the marketplace by our customers."
According to the company, from its 47 customers, Boeing has received orders for 677 airplanes already, worth more than $110 billion at current list prices.
The first 787 is scheduled to enter passenger service in May 2008 when Japan's All Nippon Airways receives their first airplanes.
Boeing Vs. Airbus
Although Boeing has had its own problems, the success of Boeing sales in recent months contrasts with headlines about competitor Airbus Industries in France.
Although the French government-backed Airbus has led Boeing in aircraft orders since 2001, Boeing is expected to surpass Airbus in orders in coming months, thanks to the 787.
Airbus has been mired in management problems which have resulted in layoffs of 10,000 workers and delays in rolling out its superjumbo A380 jet, which cost $300 million each.
As a result of being two years behind schedule, some orders have been cancelled for the A380, a massive aircraft that can only land at a fraction of the world's airports because of its runway requirements.
Both UPS and Fed-Ex have announced that they have cancelled their orders for the aircraft within months of each other. The UPS order alone was worth $2.8 billion.
Airbus' loss was Boeing's gain as UPS signed up to receive aircraft from Boeing instead.
NC: First In Flight
Thanks to license plates that say "First In Flight," many people know North Carolina as the site of the first powered controlled flight by the Wright Brothers in Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks, many are not aware of the large aviation presence in the state.
Despite the utter failure of the state government funded Global TransPark in the Kinston area of North Carolina to attract major aircraft industry players, there are many aircraft component manufacturers and service providers that are located within the state such as Goodrich in Charlotte and
TIMCO in Greensboro.
In addition, Elizabeth City, NC is home to the only dedicated blimp and airship manufacturing facilities in the world. TCOM's
massive 150 foot tall and 900 foot long hangar can hold six blimps and their operations effectively serve as the headquarters for airship operations on the East Coast.
The Maryland company is not the first to use Elizabeth City as an airship base. The US Navy previously had airfield there and a massive wooden hangar that it used to construct airships that patrolled the coast during World War II. That hangar was used by TCOM before it was destroyed by a fire.
In addition to other aviation connections, HondaJet recently announced its decision to make Greensboro, North Carolina as both its world headquarters for its new small jet division and its main manufacturing facility
After news of the new HondaJet facility broke, many feel it could have a large impact on the Triad area as parts suppliers locate plants and facilities near Honda's factory.
The HondaJet facility is not the first aircraft maker that North Carolina tried to court to add to its business community. North Carolina made offers of over $500 million in tax incentives to Boeing itself several years to locate a new plant here, but Boeing decided instead to locate the plant in Washington state.
Still, with the many parts and components that are being supplied by Goodrich, the economic impact of Boeing and other aircraft manufacturers in the state continues to grow, as North Carolina enters a second century as "First In Flight." ::