The first Japanese-built structural parts for the initial Boeing 777-300 airplane were unloaded May 9 at the company's manufacturing plant in Everett, Wash.
The wing in-spar ribs, designed and built by Japan Aircraft Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (NIPPI), are among several major components built for Boeing by a consortium of Japanese aerospace manufacturers.
The Boeing 777 airframe structure is produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries. In addition, the wing-to-body fairings are designed and built by ShinMaywa Industry Co., Ltd.
"The arrival of these first parts, after an exceptionally smooth production flow at our Japanese aerospace partners' facilities, is a testimony to the further development of our working-together relationship," said Jeff Peace, program manager for the 777-300 program. "Our partnership has again met the needs of our customers."
Arrival dates for other Japanese shipments include:
- Kawasaki, forward body panels, May 20
- Mitsubishi, aft body panels, May 27
- Fuji, wing center section, May 30
- ShinMaywa, wing-to-body fairings, July 8
The consortium is headed by the Japanese Aircraft Development Corp. (JADC), which signed a master 777 program contract with Boeing in May 1991. More than a dozen Japanese companies are program partners, subcontractors or suppliers to Boeing on all jetliner programs. Japan's aerospace industry has participated in building Boeing commercial airplanes since 1969.
The initial 777-300 is scheduled for delivery to Cathay Pacific Airways of Hong Kong in May 1998. It will be stretched 33 feet (10 m) from today's 777-200 model, to a total of 242 feet, 4 inches (73.8 m), increasing passenger capacity by 20 percent. The 777-300 will serve routes up to 5,700 nautical miles (10,500 km). Typical routes would include Tokyo-Singapore, Honolulu-Seoul or San Francisco-Tokyo.
The 777-300 is expected to replace early versions of the 747. It will have nearly the same passenger capacity and range capability as the 747-100/-200 models, but will burn one-third less fuel and will have 40 percent lower maintenance costs. The overall result for airlines is cash operating costs one-third below early model 747s.