Boeing [NYSE:BA] will use a new wing ice protection system on its all-new 7E7 Dreamliner. Ultra Electronics Holdings of the United Kingdom is the lead contractor on the effort, responsible for overall integration and the controlling software and electronic equipment.
The United Kingdom's GKN Aerospace will provide the composite mat for the wing ice protection system.
Because the 7E7 does not use bleed air -- the extraction of hot air from the engine to power systems -- it is the first commercial jet airplane to use electronically based wing ice protection. The system is based on the proven technologies Ultra and GKN developed for helicopters.
"This is another example of Boeing finding proven technologies and partnering with top international companies to bring the best possible solutions to our customers for the 7E7 Dreamliner," said Mike Bair, vice president and general manager of the 7E7 program.
Douglas Caster, Ultra's chief operating officer, said, "This ice protection equipment contract broadens our coverage of the civil aerospace sector and demonstrates our commitment to providing innovative, cost-effective solutions."
Marcus Bryson, president and chief executive officer of GKN Aerospace, Europe , said, "We have been working on this development for some two years. There is no doubt that the application of this technology to future aircraft such as the Boeing 7E7 will bring significant operational cost benefits to the airlines."
Launched in April 2004, the fuel-efficient 7E7 is a family of three airplanes designed to serve routes between 3,500 and 8,500 nautical miles (6,500 and 15,700 kilometers). The Dreamliner will provide passengers with a better flying experience, including an improved cabin environment with more room and more conveniences.
Ultra Electronics Holdings
Ultra Electronics designs, manufactures and supports electronic and electromechanical systems, sub-systems and products for defense, security and aerospace applications worldwide. The company's products and services are used on aircraft, ships, submarines, armored vehicles, surveillance systems, airports and transport systems around the world.
GKN Aerospace is the aerospace operation of GKN plc, one of the world's largest engineering companies. The company specializes in the supply of lightweight metallic and high-performance composite structures, transparency systems and equipment, and engineering services to prime airframe manufacturers.