From building cars to assembling aeroplanes
Japanese multinational corporation Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd (FHI) is spreading its wings, as it has begun construction of its third aircraft-parts production facility at the Handa Plant in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.
At the new facility, FHI (better known as the manufacturer of Subaru passenger vehicles) plans to assemble centre wing boxes for aviation giant Boeing’s next-generation passenger jet; the Boeing 777X.
FHI decided to construct a new facility on the premises of the existing Handa Plant in order to integrate centre wing box assembly operations and to ensure efficient shipping of products. The new facility is scheduled to be completed in 2016.
The Handa Plant currently assembles centre wing boxes for Boeing’s 777 and 787 series passenger jets. The centre wing box is the vital section that connects the wings and the fuselage of the aeroplane.
The Boeing 777X series, which will rival the Airbus A350, will feature the 8X and 9X variants. The 777X will provide better performance and efficiency. While it will utilise technology from the 787 series, it will receive new engines and have composite wings that weigh less than conventional wings.
The estimated capital investment related to the Boeing 777X, including the new facility, is expected to be in the region of ten billion yen (around R9,8 billion).