Boeing offered tantalizing new details about its proposed next new airplane at the Paris Air Show Tuesday, revealing for the first time that the fuselage of the jet unofficially dubbed the 797 will be carbon fiber plastic composite — and will not have the typical cross-section.
Boeing offered tantalizing new details about its proposed next new airplane at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday, revealing that the fuselage as well as the wings of the jet unofficially dubbed the “797” will be carbon-fiber plastic composite — and will not have the typical airliner cross-section.
Significantly for this region, the information offered provides new hints about how the plane may be built.
Mike Delaney, Boeing vice president in charge of new airplane development, said the plane — like the 787 Dreamliner — will have an all-composite airframe. Previously, Boeing had made clear only that the 797 wings would be carbon-fiber composite.
Boeing has never built a composite fuselage in the Puget Sound region. The various composite fuselage sections for the Dreamliner are made in North Charleston, South Carolina; Wichita, Kansas; and Nagoya, Japan.
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However, Boeing is fabricating the composite wings for the forthcoming 777X in a new $1 billion facility in Everett. That investment includes massive, very expensive autoclaves, which are high-pressure ovens where the carbon fiber infused with epoxy resin is baked to hardness.
Building the 797 fuselage will require further heavy investment, wherever Boeing decides to locate that work.
According to a Boeing spokesman who attended the Paris presentation, Delaney said Boeing is considering all options for fabricating the composites, including various new out-of-autoclave and resin infusion methods.
He said the decision on which manufacturing process is used will be based on multiple factors, including the quality of the parts and the…