Orbital ATK begins production of 787 composite frames

Orbital ATK's Freeport Composites Center in Utah, which already makes composite stringers and frames for the Airbus A350 XWB, has begun making composite frames for Boeing's 787-9 center and aft fuselage sections.

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Orbital ATK Inc. (Dulles, VA, US) reported on Feb. 18 that it has begun the manufacture of advanced composite primary structures for The Boeing Co.’s (Seattle, WA, US) 787 Dreamliner in the Orbital ATK Freeport Composites Center in Clearfield, UT, US.

Orbital ATK is starting production of composite frames for the Boeing 787-9 center and aft fuselages, and will support identical structures on the 787-10 variant currently in development. Orbital ATK will begin shipping components in the first half of 2015, and will reach full production rates in 2018.

"Our manufacturing reputation is built on execution excellence, and we look forward to delivering world-class composite structures to Boeing to meet their growing 787 production rates," says Joy de Lisser, vice president and general manager of Orbital ATK’s Aerospace Structures Division. "This work scope adds to our long-term relationship of supporting Boeing with composite structures spanning many dynamic products across the commercial aircraft, military aircraft, launch vehicle and satellite industries."

Production of these composite frames continues Orbital ATK's long history of providing composite structures to Boeing on platforms such as the Boeing 767 and 757 aircraft and composite fan cases on the Boeing 747-8 GEnx engine. Orbital ATK also manufactures composite stringers and frames for the fuselage of the Airbus A350 XWB (see link at right).