Boeing to invest $200 million to boost India’s R&D Centre

Boeing, a US defence and aviation company, has been concentrating on enhancing the talents of its R&D team in India with a $200 million, 43-acre wholly-owned engineering and technology campus in Bengaluru. This will be the biggest facility of its sort for Boeing outside of the US.

The establishment of Boeing in India was primarily motivated by the presence of numerous international businesses.

According to the most recent sources, there are now about 4,000 employees working at Boeing India Engineering & Technology Centre (BIETC), of which 3,000 are qualified engineers. The Boeing India Engineering & Technology Center (BIETC) has the goal of rapidly growing by 25% in size.

Boeing is now developing an autonomous four-seater electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi for passenger transportation through a joint company called Wisk in the US. The business will eventually use India’s capabilities to support Wisk. 

“The India centre is currently playing a significant role in Boeing’s efforts to achieve net zero emissions. The aviation industry has to get there by 2050. Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), will contribute to 70% of the reduction required to get to net zero.”

–Todd Citron, CTO and VP & GM of Boeing Research and Technology
Todd Citron, said that India is developing the technologies for the future, whether it’s with software or electrical and structural design

He continued and stated that their aircraft are compatible with 50% SAF blending. By 2030, they expect aircraft to be compatible with 100% SAF. The key thing to focus on, however, is the availability of SAF. They are working on hydrogen to be used as fuel as well. One of the advanced techs they are pursuing is truss-braced wings which are very thin wings for significantly higher aerodynamic efficiency.

Citron claimed that the India team is very skilled at addressing such problems and generating new opportunities by utilising cutting-edge technology, such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning). “They are developing the technologies for the future, whether it’s with software or electrical and structural design,” he added.

For instance, BIETC has been focusing on using AI/ML to increase the effectiveness of aeroplane maintenance. Inside aeroplane walls, there are thousands of cables that need to be checked on a regular basis. Even while each wire serves a distinct purpose, fewer wires allow for easier maintenance and a lower risk of human error. However, doing so necessitates switching from outdated formats in order to transfer a single design while synchronising wiring information, and cable length, and adding unique part numbers for each component.

BIETC used ML and automation techniques in cooperation with US-based teams to enhance and hasten the changeover of wiring designs. ML is now able to validate designs without the need for considerable rework and automatically fix wiring designs. As a result, Boeing aircraft manufacturing and maintenance have improved, and labour costs and hours have been significantly reduced.

Boeing has a long history of supplying India with cutting-edge weapons, such as Apache attack helicopters and P81 maritime aircraft. Boeing competes with French manufacturer Dassault for India’s desire for carrier-based aircraft.

India has a long history of receiving state-of-the-art weapons from Boeing, including Apache attack helicopters

The navy is currently reviewing the findings of testing it conducted on both US and French products, and a shortlisting is anticipated before the end of the year. The government-to-government procurement mode will be used to place orders for new jets.