Aerojet announced today that it shipped the last F-22 Raptor forward boom to The Boeing Company in Seattle, Wash. This completed the 10th lot of a procurement that spanned 17 years in support of the Boeing/Lockheed Martin/U.S. Air Force team.02-12-2010 - SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Aerojet has been under contract to The Boeing Company on the F-22 Raptor air dominance fighter program since 1993 and has delivered 394 booms.
edit: "The company was honored by Boeing as its Supplier of the Year in... blablabla... teamwork to heart and have gone above and beyond for this program."
The forward boom is a structural component providing wing, engine and horizontal tail attach points to carry much of the F-22 aft fuselage load. Using the EB weld process, Aerojet joins numerous titanium components together into a single monolithic structure meeting precise tolerances. The EB welding process allows the airframe design to merge complex features into a single component. This significantly reduces the need for fasteners, reduces weight, simplifies assembly and lowers cost. The reduction in fasteners also means fewer openings for possible fuel leaks.
Aerojet's success on the program is largely in F-22 boom manufacturing and due to its unique EB welding technologies, which are capable of producing large welded structures, including full penetration welds of complex geometry with varying thickness and profile in a single pass. This capability can accommodate parts that fit in an envelope of 11 x 7 x 7 feet or larger, depending on the configuration. With a chamber size of 138" x 150" x 185," Aerojet's EB Welder is one of the largest in North America. The company estimates that since contract inception, it has produced more than seven miles of EB weld on the Forward Boom.