Success Stories

Lightweight Stow Bin Latch Cover for Boeing 787 and 747-8I

Seattle, USA

Harper Engineering (Seattle, USA) has developed a lightweight thermoplastic Stow Bin Latch Cover, replacing the traditional aluminum sheet metal solution, for installation in pivot bins for commercial aircraft. The composite solution builds on the success of Harper Engineering, and is made using Toray Cetex® TC1000 (G/PEI) glass-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic laminates. The Stow Bin Latch Cover is already installed across all Boeing 787 and 747-8I aircraft.

Utilizing Harper Engineering’s innovative product design, the cover is certified to end-customer specifications, whilst meeting strenuous durability, impact, humidity, flammability, and safety requirements. The part is rapidly thermoformed in cycles spanning less than 2 minutes, resulting in an integrally stiffened, highly durable, one-piece thermoplastic composite part.

  • Lightweight (up to 48 kg/105 lbs saved on standard layout of Passenger Accommodations) compared to aluminum component
  • Through thickness color to increase wear resistance
  • Impact performance
  • Increased safety — high-friction rub strips for baggage retention and durability


During the development of the Stow Bin Latch Cover for the Boeing 787, Harper Engineering worked closely with Toray’s Expert Services teams in both the Netherlands and the USA to develop the concept from feasibility to full-rate production.

This included:

  • Supply of customized reinforced thermoplastic laminates, in multiple configurations during Harper Engineering’s development phase
  • Tailored color solution, integrated to suit Harper’s specifications
  • Prototype development design guidelines
  • Facilitated process optimization to achieve production volume targets, including preparation of blanks
  • Supporting Harper Engineering in forming proof of concept parts in our Research and Development Lab presses including processing parameters


Harper Engineering has been supporting the aircraft interiors industry with high-quality, highly engineered assemblies for 50 years. With a team of engineering professionals skilled in mechanical design, manufacturing, composites, and processes, Cabin Interior Integrators routinely grant Harper with design authority to solve their difficult problems.

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