Adding the 777X wing material to the current 787 contract represents a significant increase in the material Toray is supplying to Boeing. The long-term contract extension will take effect in 2015.

The companies will also collaborate to improve the commercialization of composites in the aerospace market, increasing the consistency and performance of composites across the production system and developing a cost structure that could be more competitive with metals.

Boeing and Toray pioneered the use of prepreg composites in the 1970s. By 1994, assemblies including the empennage and floor beams were being produced for the 777 program, the first commercial airplane featuring structurally significant composite parts. This culminated in the launch of the 787, the world's first largely composite commercial airplane, in 2004. Toray and Boeing have worked together to develop all of the current Boeing programs: the Next-Generation 737, 737 MAX, 747, 767, 777 and the 787 Dreamliner. 

Mutual trust

"We believe that this agreement signifies the solid mutual trust Toray has been building with Boeing through the stable supply of high quality carbon fiber materials since the 1970s," said Akihiro Nikkaku, president of Toray Industries. "Going forward, Toray will continue to duly enhance its supply capacity in line with the production increases planned by Boeing."          

Boeing now has contracts in place for more than 75 percent of the major structural material for the 777X. The wingspan of the 777X measures 71.7 m (235.4 feet), 6.95 m (22.8 feet) longer than the span of today's 777-300ER.