[photopress:Carolyn_Corvi.jpg,full,alignright]Boeing has announced agreements with Chinese suppliers for the production of commercial aircraft parts and components. This includes the first firm contracts with Chinese suppliers to build parts for the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental Passenger and Freighter aircraft.
The contracts include the 747-8 inboard wing flaps with Xi’an Aircraft Industry, and ailerons and spoilers with Chengdu Aircraft Industrial , both linked to China Aviation Industry Corporation I.
There are also contracts for composite parts to be built by Hafei Aviation Industry, an AVIC II-affiliated company, and composite panels for the vertical fin to be built by BHA Aero Composites, an equity joint venture between Boeing, Hexcel Corp and AVIC I.
Carolyn Corvi, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president and general manager of Airplane Programs, said, ‘These contracts demonstrate Boeing’s commitment to continued expansion of industrial cooperation with China. China’s outstanding technological capabilities and resources make these suppliers ideal partners for the Boeing 787 and the 747-8, which offer airlines the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large passenger or freighter aircraft.’
Well, yes, this is true. It is also giving the Chinese suppliers invaluable and needed experience in building aircraft parts.
If, on the current major plan to produce the Airbus in China, 90% of the parts are being manufactured elsewhere then contracts such as this with Boeing must build up the expertise in China to bring the figure closer to, say 50%.
Meng Xiangkai, vice chairman of Xi’an Aircraft Industry, said, ‘We are honored to help Boeing build the 747-8 as it opens a new page for the long-term Boeing-XAC partnership.’ Yes it does. But it will be interesting to see ten to twenty years down the road how the balance of power has changed.
Source: China Daily