Wide-bodied Globalization

Hi from Edison NJ. Got here from Mumbai on Wednesday morning at 4:40 AM, nearly an hour ahead of schedule. Too damn early. I suppose if the flight was arriving at 11 PM, then it would have arrived an hour late. Natural perversity of the universe. OK, I am done with the complaining bits. Now for the good bits.

The flight was over 15 hours long but the Boeing 777 was only half full (or equivalently, half empty) and so got to stretch out even though I was flying cattle class. So almost business class comfort without the business class service.

I like the 777. In fact, I like all wide-bodied aircrafts, the favorite so far being the Boeing 747. I think my favorite will become the Airbus 380 once I travel on one.

These planes epitomize globalization. Take the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner”. Where’s it made?


Boeing manufactures the 787’s tail fin at its plant in Frederickson, Washington, the ailerons and flaps at Boeing Australia, and fairings at Boeing Canada Technology. . . the wings are manufactured by Japanese companies in Nagoya such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which also makes the central wing box. The horizontal stabilizers are manufactured by Alenia Aeronautica in Italy; and the fuselage sections by Global Aeronautica and Vought in Charleston, South Carolina (USA), Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan and Spirit AeroSystems, in Wichita, Kansas (USA). . .

The passenger doors are made by Latécoère (France), and the cargo doors, access doors, and crew escape door are made by Saab (Sweden). . . Japanese manufacturer Toray Industries and Boeing announced a production agreement involving $6 billion worth of carbon fiber. . . On February 6, 2008, TAL Manufacturing Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of the Tata Group (India) announced a deal to deliver floor beams for the 787 from their factory at Mihan, near Nagpur, India to assembly plants in Italy, Japan and the United States.

The manufacturing of commercial airplanes in the US reveals the patterns of current international trade. Most international trade occurs between advanced industrialized countries and much of that trade is in intermediate goods (as opposed to finished goods). Quite often the same category of finished goods are traded between two nations — cars are traded between Germany and the US — because it increases variety in consumption and lowers cost of production due to scale economies and specialization. Consumer goods account for only about a third of the US imports.

There is a new pattern emerging: the involvement of emerging economies in the production of intermediate goods. The 787 has bits that are made in Nagpur in India. This has implications for the development of infrastructure such as roads, ports and airports in India besides the development of human resources. Investments in these will increase the trade linkages between India and the advanced industrialized economies.

Author: Atanu Dey


2 thoughts on “Wide-bodied Globalization”

  1. Atanu,

    HCL develops lots of mission critical software for B787 in Chennai and other places in India.


    Since 2004, HCL has partnered with Boeing on the 787 airplane program,
    co-invested in joint Research & Development for ANRC, and is also Boeing’s Defense offset partner in India for the P8i and MMRCA programs in addition to being a strategic tactical IT supplier. HCL is engaged with Boeing on business critical engineering applications for test, evaluation and certification of aircraft and IT solutions for supply chain management.
    With Boeing’s 787 program, HCL has been working on mission critical
    onboard systems and ground support systems with various tier 1 partners.
    With over 3.5 million hours of engineering effort, approximately 40% of 787onboard software will have HCL imprint.

    Airbus is already evaluating possibility of production of A320 in Chennai / B’lore. Also there is lots of scope for Engineering and precision manufacturing works.

    With little more push from GOI, this should happen at a rapid pace.


  2. we are doing work for foreigners what about out country making world class planes are we only going to exists for foreigners.


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