Boeing is to team with aerospace-materials specialist Hexcel and Aviation Industries of China (AVIC) to establish a joint-venture composite-parts factory in the city of Tianjin, 120km (75 miles) south-east of Beijing.

The three companies are reported to have spent the past two years considering the move, which will create BHA Aero Composite Parts, to supply components to Hexcel for integration into subassemblies for Boeing's commercial-aircraft range. Equity, risk and profits will be shared equally, according to Chinese sources.

The first parts are expected to be delivered in July 2000, while Boeing is believed to have committed to support the products of the venture until 2018.

Boeing has been exploring other joint ventures in China, as part of efforts to maintain its dominant share of the nation's airliner orders.

It negotiated continued contracts at AVIC for production of doors for Boeing models and empennages for the 737, and has been keen to produce parts locally for Next Generation 737s, the 767-400ER and the 777-200X/300X.

Source: Flight International