Boeing Starts Final Assembly of its First 737 MAX 8
Boeing has begun final assembly of the first 737 MAX 8, the very first member of its new fuel efficient single aisle family. Once the first fuselage arrived at Boeing’s Renton plant on August 21, technicians began installing insulation blankets, wiring, flight systems, hydraulics, and air conditioning systems. Afterwards, Boeing mechanics moved the new fuselage over to the wing-to-body section of the plant and connected the wings to the fuselage.
The 737 MAX program was launched around four years ago, as a more fuel efficient single aisle passenger aircraft. The 737 MAX has a bevy of new features including more aerodynamic winglets, a repositioned tail cone, increased luggage space, more cabin space and seating, and even a new cockpit display. Boeing aerospace company intends to utilize the 737 MAX to compete directly with the Airbus 320neo. Although the Airbus 320neo has already been in development for quite some time, Boeing hopes that the 737 MAX’s unparalled fuel efficiency will give it the edge.
Boeing expects to complete its first 737 MAX by early 2016, and is right on schedule to deliver the first commercial 737 MAX to Southwest Airlines in 2017. Boeing still has a steady demand for the original 737NG aircraft, and it will ramp up production on the 737NG and 737 MAX simultaneously. Producing both 737 variants at the same time present a major challenge for Boeing, but despite all of this both programs are still on schedule. Boeing will manufacture the 737 MAX in the same plant as the current 737NG, with one production line being fully dedicated to the 737 MAX test aircraft.
All in all, the 737 MAX already has over 2,800 orders from 58 different customers worldwide. Look for the first Boeing 737 MAX to be delivered to Southwest Airlines in the third-quarter of 2017.
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