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The Dreamliner, Boeing's new 787

Solar Atmosphere's, 24 foot vacuum furnace had caught the eye of Boeing's project managers. Boeing had a very specific need to process long titanium components for its new commercial jet, the 787 Dreamliner. After initial prototype testing, it was not only the 24 foot furnace's capacity that impressed Boeing, but the programming skill and furnace cycle controls that have made Solar a steady vendor for the new airline project. Boeing and Solar personnel have developed cycles and procedures to meet stringent quality specifications that have greatly contributed to the 787's production goal of a 2008 delivery.

The new Dreamliner is truly a revolutionary plane with the most innovative air travel engineering design changes in several decades. A major priority of the design is passenger comfort. Quieter interiors, larger windows, improved on-board atmosphere and more leg room are features that will make air travel much more pleasurable in the 21st century. The comfort innovations are matched by better fuel economy from improved aerodynamics, more fuel efficient and quieter jet engines (environmentally friendly) with a lighter and stronger plane structure.

It is the lighter and stronger plane structure where Solar contributes to the Boeing project. Moving from the standard aluminum structure and skin, Boeing is using lightweight and high durable composite technology that has been used in military planes for the past decade. Compared with current airliners, the composite technology enables an increased cargo revenue capacity by 40% to 60%. Since titanium and composites conform a noble bond to each other with zero corrosion, the plane's titanium structure forms the aerodynamic shape for the composite material that covers a high percentage of the plane.

Solar is heat treating titanium structural members in its 24 foot furnaces. Because the company invested in the development of large furnace technology and processing skills over the past fifteen years, Solar is the right supplier, in the right place, at the right time for Boeing.

The Western PA crew is continuously working with Boeing engineers to develop the cycles needed to achieve demanding part specifications. Using the 24 foot furnaces with extensions up to 36 feet long is the evidence of the part size. So the heat treating process not only had to achieve metallurgical specifications, but dimensional stability over the length of the parts. The knowledge and understanding of the Boeing engineers, coupled with Solar's furnace capability and processing expertise have helped to make possible this massive undertaking that advances American aerospace engineering.

Press release issued by Solar Atmospheres Inc. on December 18, 2006

 

 Contact details from our directory:
Solar Atmospheres Inc. Heat Treatment, Brazing, Stress Relieving, Vacuum Processes, Non-Destructive Testing
Boeing Commercial Airplanes Airframer

 

 Related aircraft programs:
Boeing 787 Dreamliner

 

 Related directory sectors:
Heat Treatment

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