The long-awaited start to commercial deliveries of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner took place on Sunday with Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways receiving the first of the new $200m planes.
Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation joined with Boeing and UK government officials today to celebrate the milestone.
The President of Boeing UK, Sir Roger Bone, and local MP Mark Hoban commended Eaton’s UK workforce for its contribution to the design and manufacture of critical fuel systems for the aircraft at a press event at Eaton’s Titchfield plant in Hampshire.
Boeing says the revolutionary carbon fiber design will hand 20% fuel savings to airlines struggling to avoid a new recession, and give passengers a more comfortable ride with better cabin air and large electronically dimmable windows.
Eaton showcased the innovative technologies developed at its UK plant that have helped ensure the aircraft uses less fuel than similarly sized jets in operation today. The new aircraft is predicted to become Boeing’s biggest commercial successes as it ramps up production to meet orders for 827 aircraft, valued at around $162 billion.
The United Kingdom’s aerospace industry is the world’s second largest behind the US, with a 17% global market share. Consequently, the health of the sector and success of new launches such as the 787 has a major impact in Britain. Eaton’s role in the industry is substantial, with more than 80% of its UK output exported overseas and a workforce of more than 1,000 at its plants in Titchfield and South Molton.
The 787 is the first commercial composite aircraft, which created significant technological challenges relating to the way all components are molded to the aircraft and in particular with fuel systems. Working closely with Boeing, Eaton’s UK engineers designed and developed new fuel systems that were not only compatible with composite structures, but also the first to be compliant with stringent new Federal Aircraft Regulations (FAR).
“The Boeing 787 represents the future of commercial aircraft design, with a largely composite construction that minimises weight and maximises fuel efficiency. Building aircraft from composite materials involves several technological challenges that require close collaboration with our key suppliers to overcome. Eaton and its UK workforce will therefore continue to be a key strategic partner for Boeing as we ramp up production of the 787 and invest in the development of even more efficient aircraft into the future,” said Sir Roger Bone, President of Boeing UK.
Frank Dubey, vice president and general manager of Eaton’s Fuel Systems Division, emphasized the UK’s strong legacy in engineering excellence, particularly within the aerospace sector. “At Eaton, we are keen to encourage the next generation of aeronautical engineers,” Dubey said. “We pride ourselves on the development of university partnerships, apprenticeship schemes and Eaton leadership development programmes to bring on the next generation and drive innovation. With the launch of an iconic aircraft such as the 787, our employees can take pleasure in knowing that their expertise plays a crucial part of in the future of flight.”
Eaton Corporation is a diversified power management company with 2010 sales of $13.7 billion. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011, Eaton is a global technology leader in electrical components and systems for power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has approximately 73,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries.