Boeing [NYSE: BA] selected Smiths Aerospace of the United Kingdom to provide the 7E7 Dreamliner's common core system, an integrated avionics platform that's key to the commercial airplane's open-systems architecture.
The common core system replaces the traditional dedicated signal wiring with remote data concentrators. The concentrators link sensors and effectors of each system to a shared modular computing resource through an advanced communications network, reducing the airplane's weight by thousands of pounds.
"By reducing wiring and consolidating computing resources, the common core system helps the 7E7 achieve a 20 percent reduction in fuel use," said Boeing 7E7 Senior Vice President Mike Bair. "This leads to the 7E7 being a better airplane for the environment and a less expensive airplane to operate."
Boeing and Smiths will finalize terms of their agreement during the next few weeks.
The Boeing 7E7 Dreamliner is a family of mid-sized airplanes that will provide exceptional fuel efficiencies for airlines and superior comfort for passengers. The airplane is expected to enter into service in 2008.
"Selection for this pivotal system confirms Smiths as a premier integrator and developer of airborne computing systems, and positions our team to deliver state of the art avionics well into the future," said Dr. John Ferrie, group managing director for Smiths Aerospace.
"The 7E7 heralds a major opportunity for the UK," said Sir Michael Jenkins, president of Boeing UK. "Today's announcement signifies the importance of the long-standing relationship Boeing has with Smiths."
Smiths currently provides flight management systems, landing gear actuation and hydraulic systems, flight controls, electronics, fuel management systems, primary and secondary power distribution, avionics systems and airframe structural components for Boeing commercial and military aircraft.