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Boeing completes 787-9 critical programme review

October 7, 2011
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Boeing has completed its 787-9 critical programme review, progressing through detailed design and on to design releases by engineering teams.

A key progression on the twinjet will see the US airframer expand its use of composite on the second member of the 787 family, as it looks to trim the aircraft’s weight.

As part of its upgraded design – which includes significant structural changes in some areas of the aircraft – Boeing will transition the larger -9 to a wing featuring more composite, with carbonfibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) in-spar ribs supplied by Korean Aerospace Industries.

Mark Jenks, 787 vice-president of engineering, said the first four inboard ribs of the 787-9’s wing will be made from composite, rather than the current aluminium design.

However, he said the trade-off between the weight saving and the complexity of the engineering required does not justify rolling out the CFRP ribs beyond the first four. He added that the 787-8’s wing in-spar ribs would remain aluminium.

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