It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
How Japan learned to fly
Jun 23rd 2005
From The Economist print edition
Stealth aid to Boeing has helped Japan to enter the manufacturing business
AMERICANS and Europeans have been quarrelling about subsidies for the manufacture of large commercial aircraft for nearly 40 years. But the quarrel today is much more complicated. Aircraft manufacturing has long been nationalistic, tied heavily to military and strategic interests through defence contracts. Lately though, it has been growing more and more global. Both Boeing and Airbus have built long supply chains reaching deep into each other's heartlands and they share many suppliers—about half of a new Airbus, for instance, is actually built in America.
Meanwhile, Boeing planes are becoming progressively more Japanese as Boeing has broadened its search for subsidies and Japan has been willing to pay in order to get a share of an industry long closed to its manufacturers. The change has been profound. In the 1960s only 2% of the content of Boeing's breadwinner, the 727, was non-American. By the mid-1990s this had grown to 30% in the 777, large parts of which are made in Japan. The latest Boeing model, the 200-300-seater long-haul 787, is the first of a new family of aircraft that represents the company's future in commercial aircraft. At least 70% of it will be built outside America, mostly in Japan.
In 2004, Airbus spent nearly $7 billion on parts, components, tooling
and services with American companies. According to a U.S. Department of
Commerce model, this investment translates into support for 140,000
* Airbus spends 46 percent of its global aircraft-related procurement
budget in the U.S.
* U.S. suppliers include large and small companies. Examples:
Aerostructures, Alcoa, Eaton, Electroimpact, Faber, Goodrich, GE,
Honeywell, Rockwell Collins and United Technologies.
Japanese manufacturers have a big stake in the success of the 787.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. is designing and building the plane's wing - the first time a company other than Boeing will do so. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. will handle design and assembly of the center wing stub, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. will provide part of the fuselage, the body of the plane.
The companies built about 21 percent of the Boeing 777 airframe and 15 percent of the 767, but they will be responsible for 35 percent of the 787. Boeing is even billing the 787 as "Made With Japan."