Korean Air (KAL) Aerospace has finalised a $200 million contract with Boeing to manufacture wingtips for the 787 and a subcontract with Vought Aircraft Industries to build the new twinjet’s complete aft body structural assembly, writes Brendan Sobie in Seoul.

The company is in talks with two other first-tier suppliers to provide other fuselage and wing components. KAL expects additional 787 contracts will be worth at least another $1 billion.

The manufacturer has been in contract negotiations for several months with Boeing and several first-tier suppliers as part of a goal to generate $1 million in revenues per 787 sold.

The 787 wingtip contract was signed last week at the Seoul air show, but KAL began development activities on the aircraft’s raked wingtip design two years ago as part of a working agreement and already has 120 engineers assigned to the project, including 60 in Seattle.

KAL Aerospace president Sang Muk Seo says this is the first time the manufacturer has assumed full development responsibility for a Boeing component. KAL is a supplier on the 737, 747, 767 and 777 programmes and helped Boeing develop an extended wingtip for the new 777-200LR and -300ER. But for the 787 wingtip, Seo says KAL will be fully responsible for designing, testing and certficating the part.

“With this contract Korean Air becomes a real business partner to Boeing,” says Seo.

KAL will carry out the Vought subcontract work at its plant in Busan, South Korea. It also expects to become a second-tier supplier to primary suppliers Fuji, Kawasaki and Hawker de Havilland by providing them with wing, fuselage and control system components, respectively.

Source: Flight International