Boeing to make 777X sourcing decisions within six months: supplier

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A key supplier says that he expects Boeing to lock down the supply chain for the 777X within the next six months.

Rockwell Collins chief executive Kelly Ortberg told analysts during a third quarter earnings call on 24 October that Boeing has not made any supply chain decisions yet in his company’s specialty areas, which include avionics and communications equipment.

“We would expect that they’ll be running competitions over the next six months,” Ortberg says.

Collins is involved in some trade studies with Boeing on the 777X, in which the airframer analyses the costs and benefits of various equipment and configuration options, Orberg adds.

But he does not expect the 777X programme to produce significant revenues at Collins until 2015, if the supplier wins positions on the aircraft.

Collins and Honeywell are among the bidders for the 777X flight deck.

Boeing has defined the 777X as a family that includes a 400-seat-class, 8,400nm-range variant called the -9X and a 350-seat-class variant with 9,500nm-range called the -8X.

The company has already announced two key supplier decisions ahead of a formal launch decision. Boeing selected General Electric last March to develop the GE9X turbofan engine. In September, Boeing announced an agreement with HDI Landing Gear USA, a subsidiary of Heroux-Devek, to build the landing gear for the 777X.

A launch decision is widely expected to come soon, perhaps at the Dubai Air Show.

"We will launch the programme when we meet our launch criteria. The business case for the 777X is maturing as planned and we are currently developing our design and production system strategies," Boeing says in a statement.

Further supplier decisions will be announced "when we are ready", Boeing adds.