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Hawker De Havilland Ships Elevators for First V Australia 777-300ER

15/05/2008

Tail components for V Australia’s first Boeing 777-300ER are about to cross the Pacific, from Hawker de Havilland’s Bankstown plant to the Boeing factory at Everett, near Seattle.


V Australia and Hawker de Havilland today held an event to mark despatch of elevators for the first V Australia 777-300ER aircraft. The 35ft carbon composite elevators for all 777 aircraft have been manufactured at Hawker de Havilland Bankstown since 1992.


The V Australia elevators are the 745th ship set to be made at Bankstown and will fly for the first time in October when V Australia takes delivery of the first of seven 777-300ERs.


V Australia will be the first Australian 777 operator. A typical 777-300ER has a range of up to 14,685km (7,930 nautical miles). The 775,000lb (351,534kg) maximum take off weight means the Sydney-Los Angeles route to be introduced by V Australia in December is well within the plane’s capability.


Mr Brett Godfrey, Virgin Blue Chief Executive said, “The completion and shipping of these critical components for V Australia’s very first 777 aircraft is a significant step for the airline. It is tangible evidence that the airline is on track for its December launch and I look forward to seeing the finished product when we pick up the keys of our first long range jet in Seattle later this year.


“We are also especially pleased that our choice of aircraft meant these vital components were produced right here in our home country, in line with V Australia’s commitment to create and support Australian jobs and employment in the aviation sector.”


Noting the substantial export income generated by the 777 program, Mr Mark Ross, managing director of Hawker de Havilland, said: “We are proud of our contribution to the 777’s success and delighted that V Australia will be the first Australian operator.


“Our Bankstown facility has been the sole source of 777 elevators since 1992 and we plan to build on this success by transferring 777 rudder production from Melbourne.” Ross said the space was needed in Hawker de Havilland’s Melbourne facility to cater for strong demand for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The company’s work on the 787 trailing edge control surfaces is Australia’s largest aerospace project.


The Boeing 777 family of aircraft is the world's most advanced, and continues to evolve with the introduction of the world's longest range airliner, the 777-200LR Worldliner, and the Boeing 777 Freighter which rolls out next week. To date, more than 53 airlines have ordered 1,074 777s, making it the most preferred airliner in its class.


Hawker de Havilland is an Australian company and a subsidiary of Boeing Australia. Internationally competitive, Hawker de Havilland builds commercial and military components for all major airframe manufacturers, employing 1350 people at its Bankstown and Fishermans Bend factories.

The company brings together three companies with great traditions and capabilities in the aircraft industry – Aerospace Technologies of Australia Ltd since 1939, Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation since 1936 and Hawker de Havilland since 1927 – spanning 81 years of continuous operation.

Technology developed by Hawker de Havilland encompasses advanced and efficient methods for design and manufacture of composite and aluminium aerospace structures.