Tokyo, January 23, 2008 -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) will ship the first aft fuselage panel for the Boeing 777 Freighter on January 30 from the company's Hiroshima Machinery Works in Hiroshima Prefecture. The high-capacity, twin-engine 777 Freighter is based on the technologically advanced 777-200LR (Longer Range) Worldliner passenger airplane. A ceremony was held at the Hiroshima Machinery Works on January 23 to commemorate the completion and initial shipment of the panel.
Among those in attendance were Larry Loftis, vice president, 777 Program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes; Toshihiro Ikai, Senior General Manager of Commercial Airplane Company, the contractor of 777 Freighter production in Japan, and Makoto Shintani, Senior Vice President, General Manager of Hiroshima Works, MHI.
The 777 Freighter will be capable of flying 9,045 kilometers (4,885 nautical miles) and have a revenue payload capability of more than 226,000 pounds (103 metric tons), making it the world's longest-range twin-engine freighter with an unsurpassed payload capability. The aircraft will be capable of nonstop transpacific flights and will provide the greatest fuel economy among large-size freighters.
To date Boeing has received orders for 80 units of the 777 Freighter from 11 customers, including launch customer Air France, cargo carriers and leasing operators. The first 777 Freighter is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of this year.
Since the Boeing 777 entered service in 1995, 54 airlines around the world have purchased more than 1,000 of the efficient, passenger-pleasing jetliner. The economical 777 family covers short-intermediate haul to long-distance needs and is used for both domestic and international flights. MHI participated in the 777's international collaborative development project, which also involved Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries. Together the Japanese companies contribute more than 20% share of the aircraft body, with MHI responsible for approximately 50% of the combined Japanese contribution. At MHI, the Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works is responsible for manufacture of fuselage panels and assembly of tail fuselages and passenger entry doors. Aft fuselage panels are assembled at the Hiroshima Machinery Works. MHI commenced shipments of the 777 components in 1993.
The first aft fuselage panel for the 777 Freighter will initially be transported from the Hiroshima Machinery Works to Kobe Port. From there it will be shipped to Boeing's Everett plant near Seattle, Washington, where Boeing assembles all 777 models.
In recent years cargo traffic has expanded steadily, and going forward it is expected to greatly increase. The 777 Freighter program is Boeing's response to strong demand from cargo operators around the world for an efficient, long-range and high-capacity freighter.
In the years ahead, Boeing and MHI, as leading companies in the global aerospace industry, will continue to work together to provide the products, services and solutions the world requires at the same time as they further solidify their relationship.