Tokyo, April 22, 2009 - Today Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) completed production of its 3,000th inboard flap set for the Boeing Next-Generation 737, Boeing's single-aisle twin-jet engine airplane family. As delivery of the first flap for the Next-Generation 737 took place in 1996, MHI has achieved this milestone in a span of 13 years. To commemorate the event, MHI held a ceremony at the Tobishima Plant of its Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works in Aichi Prefecture.
The 737 family is Boeing's best-selling commercial airplane type, with more than 6,000 deliveries to date, including the initial models, the 737 "Classics," and today's Next-Generation 737s.
MHI plans to gradually shift part of its flap assembly work for the 737 to an overseas production plant. Toward that move, the company established MHI Aerospace Vietnam Co., Ltd. (MHIVA), a wholly owned subsidiary to produce commercial aircraft components, in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, in December 2007. With preparations for production now completed, MHIVA will soon launch assembly of the 737 flaps. With this initiative, MHI aims to focus its domestic facilities on high-value-added operations; furthermore, once assembly at MHIVA has gotten on track, MHI will consider expanding the aircraft models for which MHIVA will produce flaps.
For some time MHI has been in a long-term, broad-range cooperative relationship with Boeing in the commercial aircraft business. The components MHI is currently producing for Boeing include composite material wing boxes for the super-efficient 787 Dreamliner; aft fuselage panels, tail fuselages and entry doors for the 777; aft fuselage panels and cargo doors for the 767; and center wings for the 747-8.
MHI presently has multiple large-scale projects under way in the aerospace business, including the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), a next-generation regional jet. On the occasion of its 3,000th flap set produced for the Boeing 737, the company will now also work on further expansion of its commercial aircraft business while considering effective liaison between overseas and domestic bases.