Aircelle (Safran) began the manufacturing of titanium engine exhaust systems for Boeing’s new 777X airplane, marking an on-time industrial activity start-up on Aircelle’s first major role as a supplier to the U.S. aircraft manufacturer. This first exhaust system will be used as part of the overall engine development program in partnership with Boeing and GE.
Inaugurating this activity was the laser cutting of a titanium sheet at Aircelle’s Le Havre, France production facility, performed in the presence of Boeing representatives from the 777X program’s nacelle, supplier management and engineering functions. The first-cut titanium sheet will be used in the initial 777X exhaust system to be assembled by Aircelle.
Aircelle’s industrial kick-off followed the exhaust system’s critical design review (CDR) at Le Havre, which confirmed the company’s design work and enabled Boeing to give the manufacturing go-ahead.
“These two major milestones were achieved on schedule and are fully aligned to Boeing’s program standards, underscoring Aircelle’s commitment as a world-class designer and supplier of nacelle systems,” explained Aircelle President Jean-Paul Alary. “We have mobilized our teams and made the investments to ensure Aircelle continues its performance on the 777X program.”
Alary said the successful working-together relationship of Aircelle and Boeing teams contributed to the on-time accomplishment of the critical design review and industrial kick-off.
Aircelle’s exhaust systems will equip the 777X’s two GE Aviation GE9X turbofan engines, providing the benefits of lower mass, along with increased resistance to heat with the use of Aircelle processes for titanium high-temperature applications. These exhaust systems are among the largest of their type ever produced for civil aircraft, and include acoustically-treated areas for a reduced noise level signature.
Aircelle says it has optimized the design and manufacturing of titanium nacelle components, applying its expertise and proprietary database in defining and validating the metal’s performance for exhaust systems. The company has invested in new and upgraded production resources for the 777X program, while also working with Boeing in ensuring routines and procedures are fully compliant with the U.S. aircraft manufacturer’s production requirements.