Fuji starts third 787 wingbox assembly line

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Fuji Heavy Industries has activated a third assembly line to produce wingboxes for the Boeing 787-8 and has started producing the first 787-9 wingbox.

As of September 2012, the company had shipped around 100 wingboxes, says Fuji at the Japan Aerospace show held in Nagoya.

Fuji declined to specify the rate at which the 787 wingbox production will ramp up. However, industry sources at the Japan Aerospace show in Nagoya tell Flightglobal that major Boeing suppliers are shipping five 787 sub-assemblies per month. This will increase to seven per month in 2013 and 10 in 2014.

Fuji has also started its first -9 wingbox sub-assembly. Fuji will produce wingboxes for the -9 on the same assembly lines that it uses for the -8. Some of the structural parts for the -9 wingbox are thicker owing to the variant's greater length. The main landing gear doors are also bigger because the gauge of the -9's tire is bigger.

Fuji's completed wingboxes are loaded aboard a Boeing 747 Dreamlifter freighter for delivery to the US airframer.

Fuji says it works closely with Boeing on any design or process adjustments. Boeing has engineers permanently stationed at Fuji, while some Fuji employees also work at Boeing production facilities in the USA.

Fuji also produces aluminium wingboxes for Boeing 777 aircraft. Production for this type is increasing as well, with Fuji producing wingboxes for roughly 8.3 aircraft per month, mainly 777-300ERs and 777 freighters.

The company also produces parts for Boeing 767 and 737 aircraft.