Nov 12 Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy has
suggested significant cost savings as part of a
behind-the-scenes proposal to Boeing to build the wings
of its next jetliner in Japan, a person with knowledge of the
Details of the unsolicited proposal emerged on the eve of a
crucial vote by 31,000 Boeing workers on a contract that may
determine whether the 777X is built in Washington state, the
home of nearly all Boeing's commercial jet manufacturing.
Boeing has said that if its machinists reject a proposed
eight-year labour pact it will open talks with alternative
locations for the assembly of the jet's fuselage and wings.
With Seattle-area workers given a first chance to vote on
plans for a new jetliner, discussions between Boeing and other
potential partners have not yet started and no concrete offer is
on the table, several people close to the process stressed.
But Mitsubishi Heavy, which already makes wings for the 787
Dreamliner, has outlined to Boeing in detail how a new plant
could be built alongside its existing 787 wing fabrication
facility in the Japanese port city of Nagoya, the person said.
It has also presented a detailed blueprint that sets out
significant cost savings by transforming the way in which the
advanced carbon-composite wing panels are transported.
According to the person with knowledge of the plan,
Mitsubishi has proposed building a fleet of five 'Roll On-Roll
Off' cargo ships capable of transporting sections of the 777X
wing, which would be the longest Boeing has ever commissioned.
This would be significantly cheaper than the current system
of outsized "Dreamlifter" aircraft used to transport 787 wing
panels, according to the person familiar with the proposal.
Mitsubishi and Boeing declined to comment.