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June 2006 edition

Composite wing fabrication factory ready

Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has finished building a fabrication factory in Nagoya to make parts for use in the composite material wing boxes of the next-generation Boeing 787 aircraft. An adjoining assembly factory will be completed this September.

The two factories will form the company's new composite wing centre. Integrated manufacturing will range from parts forming to wing box assembly.

The composite material to be used for the wing boxes is carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). Boeing says this will be the first time this material is used in 30-metre long wing boxes. It said CFRP is superior in strength and rigidity to conventional aluminium or titanium alloys.

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