Doncasters Group - the Midlands-based manufacturer of precision components for the aerospace industry - has landed the biggest contract in its 226-year history worth more than £160 million.
The group, which has a manufacturing facility in Droitwich, has struck a deal with US firm Hamilton Sundstrand to manufacture turbo-machinery for an auxiliary power unit on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.
Using the full breadth of capabilities from its sites in Europe, North America and Mexico, Doncasters will manufacture the entire turbine section, all structural components and most of the key compressor components for the APS5000 power unit.
In addition, Doncasters is locating an engineering team at Hamilton Sundstrand Power Systems in San Diego, California, to support component and sub-assembly design work.
Doncasters will supply kits, sub- systems and assemblies on this and other Hamilton Sundstrand programmes from forgings, fabrications and precision-machined components produced in many of its sites worldwide.
Doncasters' New England Airfoil Products business in Connecticut will manage the overall supply chain, coordinating the manufacture and supply of the required components from across the group.
Chief executive Eric Lewis said yesterday: "This contract marks a significant step forward for Doncasters in the North American market.
"Our flexible multifacility manufacturing capabilities, supply chain expertise and effective customer support package meant that we are uniquely positioned to secure this partnership with Hamilton Sundstrand."
Doncasters employs some 3,750 people at more than 20 sites across Europe, the US and Mexico, including 1,200 in the Midlands. Hamilton Sundstrand employs approximately 16,000 people worldwide.
Meanwhile, Boeing has rolled out a long-range version of its 777 airliner - which can fly from London to Sydney.
The new 301-passenger long-range 777 is expected to make its first flight in March and will be delivered first to Pakistan International airlines in January of 2006.
The twin-engine aeroplane will be capable of flying 9,420 nautical miles, enough to "connect any two cities in the world today, " said Lars Andersen, Boeing's vicepresident in charge of the 777 programme at the company.