GRAHAM WARWICK / SEATTLE
Boeing has named the suppliers to its 7E7 systems technology team. The 21 firms, from five countries, are potential risk-sharing partners.
The companies will work with Boeing on definition of the 7E7 while competing to become programme suppliers.
The team comprises BAE Systems, Connexion by Boeing, Crane Aerospace, Diehl, ECE Zodiac, Fairchild Controls, FR-HiTemp, General Dynamics, Goodrich, Hamilton Sundstrand, Honeywell, Liebherr-Aerospace Lindenberg, Matsushita Avionics Systems, Messier-Bugatti, Moog, Parker Hannifin, Rockwell Collins, Smiths Aerospace, Teijin Seiki, Thales and Triumph Group. Boeing aims to create an open systems architecture that will facilitate upgrades during the programme.
Boeing is looking at new technologies for the 7E7, such as more-electric systems. Advances under study include an electric environmental control system, eliminating engine bleed and pressurising the aircraft to a 6,000ft (1,830m) cabin altitude instead of the normal 8,000ft, says Mike Sinnett, director of systems integration. The 7E7 will have power-by-wire flight controls. Boeing has selected an "active/active" architecture in which hydraulic and electric actuators jointly drive the control surfaces, he says.
Boeing brought together a structures technology team for the now-shelved Sonic Cruiser, and it has continued its work under the 7E7 programme. The team includes Alenia, Fischer Advanced Composites, GKN Aerostructures, Japan Aircraft Industries, Stork Fokker Aerospace and Vought Aircraft, as well as Boeing plants in Australia, Canada and Wichita, Kansas. A decision on whether the 7E7 wing and fuselage will be made of carbonfibre composites or advanced aluminium is expected within weeks.
Source: Flight International