The Boeing 787 in Italy for the first time
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner – Boeing’s latest airliner – has landed in Italy for the first time. The innovative jet, the most advanced civil aircraft in the world, was welcomed to the Alenia Aermacchi plant at Monteiasi- Grottaglie (Taranto), which produces mid-body fuselage sections for the 787.
The ceremony marking the 787’s Italian debut involved leading representatives of national and provincial institutions and top management from Finmeccanica, Alenia Aermacchi and Boeing, as well as a substantial number of representatives of the workforces at all the Alenia Aermacchi production sites that are involved in the programme.
“The 787 Dreamliner’s arrival at our site at Monteiasi-Grottaglie is a cause of great satisfaction for Alenia Aermacchi and for all those workers who are involved on a day-to-day basis in a programme in which we have believed from the very outset and which is now one of the jewels in the crown of civil aviation,” said Giuseppe Giordo, CEO of Alenia Aermacchi, who went on the stress that “the production of the 787 in Italy is, and will remain, a fruit of the integration of skills and operations of Alenia Aermacchi’s various centres of excellence in Italy”.
“It is an honor to bring the 787 Dreamliner to Italy,” said George Maffeo, vice president, 787 Supplier Management for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We’re proud to share this amazing airplane with Italy, and to recognize the commitment and dedication Alenia Aermacchi and its employees have shown as one of our key 787 partners”.
As well as at the Monteiasi-Grottaglie establishment, important components of the aircraft are made at Foggia (carbon fibre horizontal stabilisers) and at Pomigliano d’Arco (Naples), where the primary structural components were designed, tested under laboratory conditions and produced by specialists. Overall, Alenia Aermacchi had a hand in making some 14% of the entire structure of the aircraft. As one of Boeing's main partners, it designed, developed and manufactured not only all the structural components of the aircraft under its responsibility, but has also implemented the infrastructure and defined the processes necessary for their production, thereby taking its own know-how in the field of composites to the most advanced technological standards.
Boeing launched the 787 Dreamliner in April 2004, having received the largest order in its history from Japanese company ANA. The 787 is one of the great success stories of commercial aviation history, with some 850 aircraft ordered even before the plane had taken to the air, which it did for the first time on 15 December 2009. The 787 is the most advanced programme currently under way in the civil aviation field, and will represent a benchmark in the strategic development of the world’s airlines over the next few decades. For an aircraft with these characteristics, Boeing forecasts a potential market of around 3,000 aircraft over 20 years. The 787 will consume up to 20% less fuel than today’s similary sized airplanes, produce less pollution and noise, and offer greater comfort to passengers in all classes.
When set against the aircraft of previous generations, the 787’s main innovation is the use of a composite material – carbon fibre – in place of aluminium. An initial development of commercial transport aircraft led to use of carbon fibre for the movable surfaces (ailerons, flaps, rudders, elevators) and the tail, with the rest being made of aluminium, titanium and steel. The move to composite technology has enabled Boeing to significantly reduce weight and improve performance, resulting in an airplane that costs the customers less to fly.
The Boeing Company is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. Boeing products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training. It has customers in more than 90 countries. Boeing has more than 160,000 employees in 70 countries. Revenues in 2011 amounted to 68.7 billion dollars.
Boeing in Italy Boeing has enjoyed a long-standing, cooperative relationship the Italian aerospace industry, the Italian armed forces and the airlines. Italy is the second largest European industrial supplier to Boeing (excluding aero-engines) – cooperation includes partnerships with Finmeccanica and its subsidiaries including Alenia Aermacchi (several programs including the 787 Dreamliner) and AgustaWestland (for the new ICH-47F helicopters for the Italian Army). Other cooperative activities involve Alenia Aermacchi, Oto Melara, Thales Alenia Space Italia, Telespazio and Umbra Cuscinetti. Currently 7 airlines operate 84 Boeing planes. The Italian Navy operates a fleet of STOVL (Short Take Off and Vertical Landing) AV–8B Harriers and the Army carries out military, peacekeeping and humanitarian missions with its CH-47 Chinook helicopters. The Italian Air Force has recently received its fourth KC-767A Tanker. Boeing has around 250 employees in Italy, including its fully-owned subsidiary Jeppesen, based in Massa. Rinaldo Petrignani is President of Boeing Italy. Marcello Bruni is Director of Communications for Italy and Southern Europe and Oris E. Davis is Director for Italy and Southern Europe for Boeing Defense Space & Security (BDS). Francesco Bombassei coordinates the IT operations on a global level from the Rome office.
Alenia Aermacchi The Aeronautics Sector of Finmeccanica is led by Alenia Aermacchi, the largest Italian aeronautic company that operates world-wide in the design, development, production, maintenance and modification of commercial and military aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, military trainer aircraft and aerostructures. Alenia Aermacchi, together with its owned companies and subsidiaries, has a total work-force of ca. 12,000 people. The company has put into operation a wide network of joint ventures and product and programme partnerships, such as SCAC with the Russian company Sukhoi for the production of the Sukhoi Superjet 100, new family of 75-100-seat regional jets; Eurofighter, with BAE Systems for the U.K. and EADS for Germany and Spain, for the production of the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, twin-engine supersonic aircraft; GMAS with L-3 for the tactical transport aircraft C-27J for the United States; ATR with EADS for the production of the turboprop regional aircraft. Alenia Aermacchi is the only responsible for the development of the ATR special versions for maritime patrol and for anti-submarine warfare. Alenia Aermacchi also participates, as a strategic partner of Boeing, in the design and production of the horizontal stabiliser and mid-body fuselage for the new 787 Dreamliner. Alenia Aermacchi focuses its interests also on the sector of the UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle): the company has already created unmanned platforms developed specifically as demonstrators of innovative techniques and technologies and participates in international collaboration programmes.