As for tooling, Coast Composites LLC is set to manufacture the largest-ever wing skin molds for the Boeing 777X. Ascent will produce a set of lay-up tooling, consisting of four individual molds, to be used at the Everett facility. The tooling segments will be made with Invar, a custom steel alloy that matches the thermal expansion properties of the composite material used for the wing skin. The final wing skin tools will be more than 110 feet long, up to 21 feet wide and will weigh approximately 80,000 pounds each. In order to secure the jet’s wing skin before assembly, Boeing plans to use a 3-D printed trim-and-drill tool from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Last year, ORNL announced this tool, which is 17.5 feet long, 5.5 feet wide, set a Guinness World Record for the largest solid 3-D printed item.
Since the 777X was first announced, Boeing has received 340 orders and commitments for the planes — including 20 planes that are part of a $13.8 billion Singapore Airlines deal signed last week that is expected to create 70,000 jobs.