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Wed, Apr 30, 2008

Vought Successfully Delivers Fifth 787 Aft Fuselage

First To Include Structures, Systems Components

Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc. delivered its fifth composite aft fuselage section for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner earlier this month. The fuselage, designated for Airplane #3, is the first airplane shipset delivered by Vought that includes structures and the start of systems components, which will reduce the time needed to integrate the component during final assembly in Everett, WA.

The company is on track for future deliveries, Vought pointedly adds. As ANN reported last November, Vought came under additional scrutiny from Boeing due to issues with quality, inventory costs and work-related injuries. Earlier this month, Boeing agreed to acquire Vought's interest in South Carolina-based Global Aeronautica LLC, which makes fuselage subassemblies for the 787.

"We have successfully demonstrated our commitment to the quality and level of completeness of our aft sections to the 787 Dreamliner program, while at the same time effectively reducing the amount of traveled work to Boeing," said Joy Romero, vice president of Vought’s 787 division. "In recent reviews with Boeing, they have indicated that Vought is taking the right actions in continuing to improve completeness and adding value to the program."

Vought has fabricated a total of 35 fuselage barrels - including the five shipsets that have been delivered to Boeing, seven shipsets that are in work at the Vought facility and one developmental unit -- since production activities began in June 2006. This number includes those designated for full-scale static and fatigue testing, which will not be delivered to customers.

Each aft fuselage shipset delivered to Boeing consists of two, one-piece composite barrels (sections 47 and 48). These are fabricated at Vought’s new 342,000-square-foot facility using advanced fiber placement technology. The barrels are then joined together, with electrical, hydraulic and mechanical systems components installed prior to shipping to Boeing for final assembly in Everett.

Aft fuselage Section 47 measures 19 feet in diameter and 23 feet long. It is the last passenger section and cargo hold section of the 787, which includes the pressure bulkhead. Section 48 is 14 feet in diameter and 16 feet long. The horizontal stabilizer and vertical fin are integrated into Section 48 at Boeing final assembly.

Vought has extensive experience building composite structure, primarily on military aircraft -- including the Global Hawk UAV wing, C-17 horizontal stabilizer and nacelle, V-22 fuselage and B-2 intermediate wing assemblies.

FMI: www.voughtaircraft.com, www.boeing.com

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