Boeing breaks ground on 777X wing plant in Washington

The 1.3 million sq-ft facility in Everett, Wash., USA, will house three large autoclaves and will begin making 777X carbon fiber composite wings in 2017.

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The Boeing Co. (Everett, Wash., USA) and Washington state political leaders used sledgehammers to begin demolition a 1960s office building in Everett on Aug. 13 to make space for a new facility to fabricate carbon fiber composite wings for the redesigned 777X.

The 1.3 million ft2/120,774m2 facility will be located adjacent to Boeing's Everett aircraft assembly plants and will house three autoclaves large enough to accommodate two 737 fuselages. The plant also represents a shift in manufacturing strategy for Boeing, which outsourced composite wing fabrication for the 787 Dreamliner to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI, Tokyo, Japan).

"We're going to be a here for a long, long time," Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Ray Conner told the audience of 100, including Sen. Maria Cantwell (D- WA), Governor Jay Inslee, senior Boeing executives, employees and officials from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, District 751.

The new building is expected to be complete in 2016, followed production start-up in 2017. The first 777X is due to be delivered in 2020. The new jet, priced at about $389 million, has garnered 286 orders and is expected to be 12 percent more fuel efficient than the current 777, which was introduced in 1995.

Sources: Reuters and The Seattle Times.