Boeing Commercial Airplanes officials late last week signed an agreement with Japan Aircraft Industries (JAI) and Japan Aircraft Development Corp. to conduct research and development work on technologies including composites for the
Sonic Cruiser and other potential new airplanes.
JAI includes Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries.
The Sonic Cruiser is a new airplane concept unveiled by Boeing on March 29, 2001. The airplane has a dramatic new configuration and is designed to fly at speeds of up to Mach 0.98 to shorten travel times.
"JAI brings excellent technological skills and resources to our team," said Jeff Luckey, director of Supplier Management for the Sonic Cruiser program. "We have worked well with JAI for many years and look forward to the advances they will help us make as we change the way the world flies with the Sonic Cruiser.
"This is our first announcement of a partner in the development of technology for the Sonic Cruiser," Luckey said. "I expect us to make similar announcements at a fairly rapid pace in the months ahead. This is the plan we laid out for the program in our announcement last week."
Boeing has a long-standing relationship with Japanese industry, dating back to 1969. More than 85 Japanese companies are already program partners, subcontractors or suppliers to Boeing across its commercial-airplane product line.