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Frontiers December 2013—January 2014 Issue

THE ‘HEAVIES’ 42 BOEING FRONTIERS / DECEMBER 2013–JANUARY 2014 In 1973, Boeing began working with Japan Aircraft Development Corp. on opportunities to build commercial airplanes. Five years later, that relationship evolved into a partnership, with Japanese companies helping in the design and development of the 767. As a result of that collaborative effort, 16 percent of the 767 is made in Japan to this day. The partnership grew as Japan continued to play an important role in the development, design and build of Boeing’s other twin-aisle jetliners over the past 40 years. Today, Japan is the single-largest international contributor in Boeing’s supply chain, producing 21 percent of the 777 and 35 percent of the 787 Dreamliner. Japan Aircraft Development Corp. jointly represents Fuji Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, collectively known as the “three Heavies” for manufacture of large structural components for Boeing. “The Heavies are very important to our supply base, our partnership and to the company-to-country relationship that we have,” said Shep Hill, president of Boeing International and senior vice president of Business Development and Strategy. They work with Boeing both collectively through Japan Aircraft Development and individually. Fuji, best known worldwide as the parent company of Subaru, builds the center wing box section for the 777 and 787 in the suburbs of Nagoya. It also supplies parts for the 737 and 767 models. Nagoya, in central Japan, has served as the center of airplane manufacturing by Kawasaki and Mitsubishi since the 1920s. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries makes the 787’s composite main wing and fuselage panels for the 777, in addition to other PHOTOS: (Clockwise from above) Inside the Kawasaki Heavy Industries facility; Kawasaki makes the mid-forward 787 composite fuselage section (shown); a Kawasaki employee drills fastener holes into the door edge frame of the fuselage section. CHRISTOPHER JUE PHOTOGRAPHY


Frontiers December 2013—January 2014 Issue
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