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SALT LAKE CITY — Exelis has been selected by Boeing to produce composite airframe substructures for the 787 Dreamliner.
Work will begin immediately at the Exelis composite design and manufacturing center in Salt Lake City.
For 40 years, Exelis has been a supplier to Boeing, providing composite storage tanks for the 737, 747, 767 and 777 airline models. Composite structures are used by airframers as an alternative to metal structural parts on commercial and military aircraft, as well as on unmanned aerial vehicles.
The structures help improve efficiency by decreasing an aircraft's weight and fuel consumption, while increasing resilience to environmental conditions and in-flight stress. Composite materials make up 50 percent of the primary structure of the 787 Dreamliner.
The 787-9 Dreamliner will carry up to 290 passengers on routes of between 9,200 miles to nearly 9,300 miles. The new 787-10 launched in June and will carry up to 330 passengers a little more than 8,000 miles — roughly 90 percent of the world’s twin-aisle routes.
Boeing estimates the total market for the 787 family of models to be more than 3,500 aircraft over the next 20 years and anticipates delivering more than half of the total market share.