Safran’s Aircelle unit (or Safran Nacelles, as it will soon be known) has started production of titanium engine exhaust systems for the Boeing 777X. The event marks an on-time start for the nacelle system provider'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 programme in partnership with Boeing and GE.
Activity started with laser cutting of a titanium sheet at Aircelle's Le Havre, France production facility, performed in the presence of Boeing representatives from the 777X programme'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.
The 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.
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. The French firm underlines that 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 – which operates eight sites in France, the UK, the U.S. and Morocco – says it has invested in new and upgraded production resources for the 777X programme.