KUALA LUMPUR – Boeing employees in Renton, Washington, have started final
assembly on schedule of the first 737 MAX 8, the first member of Boeingâ€™s new and
more efficient single-aisle family.
“We continue to meet our plan on the 737 MAX programme thanks to the
dedication of our employees and our suppliers.
“We have more work still ahead of us but weâ€™re pleased with our progress to
date,â€ said Keith Leverkuhn, Vice President/General Manager, 737 MAX programme,
Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
After the first fuselage arrived on Aug 21 from Spirit Aerosystems in
Wichita, Kansas, the mechanics started to install the flight systems and
“Itâ€™s an honour. There is only one crew that gets to be that first that
builds that airplane. Iâ€™m really excited,” 737 MAX Electrical team lead, Sean
Christian, said in a statement.
The crew next moved the fuselage to the wing-to-body join position on the
new production line where the first MAXs will be built. The mechanics then
attached the wings to the body of the airplane.
The wings feature Boeingâ€™s new Advanced Technology winglets. Designed
exclusively for the 737 MAX, they will give customers up to 1.8 per cent
additional fuel-efficiency improvement over todayâ€™s inline winglet designs.
“Seeing the new winglet design we validated in the wind tunnel years ago now
on the first new airplane is incredible.
“Itâ€™s just one of the features that differentiate the 737 MAX and make it an
amazingly fuel-efficient machine, said Leverkuhn.
Boeing will build the first 737 MAXs exclusively on the new production line
in the Renton factory. Once the mechanics prove out the production process, the
team will extend MAX production to the other two final assembly lines in Renton.
“The opening of a new production line in Renton increases our flexibility
and capacity, allowing this incredible team to continue to meet our customersâ€™
need for the worldâ€™s most reliable single-aisle airplanes, well into the
future,” said Scott Campbell, vice president and general manager, 737 programme
and Renton site leader, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The 737 MAX team remains on track to roll out the first completed 737 MAX by
year-end and fly it in early 2016.
Launch customer Southwest Airlines is scheduled to take delivery of the
first 737 MAX in the third quarter of 2017.
In total, the 737 MAX family has 2,869 orders from 58 customers worldwide.