Gore Design Completions (GDC) last week received the first of two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners for which it will produce luxury cabin interiors on behalf of private owners. The second aircraft will arrive at its facility in San Antonio, Texas, in the third quarter of this year and the elaborate completions projects for each of the widebodies are expected to last three years.
According to GDC general partner Mohammed Alzeer, the company has invested at least $20 million in the tooling and Dassault Systèmes Catia engineering software it needs to prepare the 787 interior. Gore staff were sent for training by Boeing before starting the project and it has completed the FAA certification process to allow it to handle the interior installation.
The fact that the 787 airframe is largely made from composites presents both challenges and opportunities for the Gore team. “We are trying to match the aircraft’s composites by developing lighter interiors to preserve the advantages of the lighter fuselage [in terms of lower fuel burn] and at the same time we want to improve on what we can offer the customer,” Alzeer told AIN. “This is not the largest project Gore has ever handled in terms of size, but certainly it is in terms of technical challenges and the reason for that is that the 787 is a new design and previous [interior] solutions won’t work. We are coming up with some interesting engineering solutions, including new materials.” One of the greatest challenges will be to attach the interior fittings to the inside of the composite fuselage.
It was last October when GDC (Booth S31) won the contract to complete the two 787s in VVIP/head-of-state configurations. Alzeer commented to AIN last year, when it won the 787 order, “The Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350 represent the future for head-of-state aircraft. They are the most advanced technologically, and we intend to establish a knowledge base and the engineering solutions for the head-of-state configuration on both aircraft.”
Boeing has now sold a total of 13 Dreamliners to private and government customers. The completions specialist employs more than 500 people and its hangars can accommodate three widebody and two narrowbody aircraft simultaneously.