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Alenia Details Boeing 787 Role, Investment (Jun 21)

The Italian aerospace industry plays a significant role in the 787 development: Alenia Aeronautica will manufacture the tail horizontal stabiliser and, in joint venture with the U.S. Vought Industries, the fuselage’s central and rear sections, covering 26% of the aircraft airframe, equal to 60% of the aircraft fuselage.

Alenia will apply a special composite technology whose licence is its own property, and that will be applied to the tail horizontal stabiliser (manufactured in composite materials in one-piece). The Italian company will produce the aircraft components with new-conception machineries.

Alenia Aeronautica’s Plants of the Puglia Region

Alenia Aeronautica Grottaglie’s plant, close to Taranto port city, has been chosen following technical analyses based on the need of fully meeting objective production constraints envisaged by the programme. For instance, the possibility for one only area to host a single building of at least 65 thousand square metres (liable to be enlarged for future requirements), 24 metres high, having a surrounding area of 250 thousand square metres and the requirement for the factory to be next to an airport area provided with all services and infrastructures, able to host big-sized aircraft (such as the B747 large cargo freighter version) for the carrying of the 787 components.

The main building has a covered area of about 70 thousand square metres (just like 10 football fields), measuring around 400 x 175 metres, and will be divided into three big parts, receiving light mainly from above. The Grottaglie airport’s runway is being extended from 1.700 to 3.500 metres.

At Grottaglie’s plant, with the one-piece barrel technology, the composites will be for the first time applied to the whole primary structure of the aircraft, and this will bring to a revolution in the production technologies.

In particular will be produced the B 787’s centre-rear section n. 46 (in the three versions from 10 to over 15 metres) and the section n. 44 (8.5 metres in the basic version). The first series of fuselage components will be delivered in January 2007.

Also involved is the Foggia plant, the only one in Europe able to produce for the first time in composite material components as long as the Boeing 777’s flaps (14 metres). The 787 stabiliser will be made of three parts (a central one and two lateral, each 11 metres long).

The new centre of excellence of Grottaglie, where the B 787’s fuselage sections will be developed and produced, will create over 400 new jobs, once everything will be set up, while in Foggia around 150 employees are envisaged.

The fixed investments and the ones for research & development envisaged in Italy for the 787 will amount at over EUR 550 millions and will lead to new jobs in the regions of Campania and Puglia, for a total of over 1000 employees, in 2007, when everything will be operational. 80% circa of the indirect jobs will go to Southern small and medium companies of the two regions.

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Alenia Aeronautica and the Technological Innovation of Boeing 787