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Feature Story

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Mechanics are fitting Next-Generation 737s with the Boeing Sky Interior, a new flying experience that debuts this month.

Installing a brand new interior

Catrina Pike is putting together the pieces of a giant puzzle that will deliver a new flying experience to the single-aisle jetliner market.

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Boeing/Bernard Choi

Boeing mechanic Catrina Pike attaches a new Boeing Sky Interior sidewall inside a Next-Generation 737.

"You just pop it into place," said the Boeing mechanic as she attaches a panel onto the interior wall of a Next-Generation 737 airplane. "You've got to make sure you have the right alignment."

"I'm looking forward to seeing [the completed cabin] and one day hopefully fly in the new interior ...".Catrina Pike, Boeing mechanic

Pike and her team are working on one of the first airplanes to be outfitted with the Boeing Sky Interior, a redesigned cabin for the popular 737.

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Boeing photo

An illustration of what a completed 737 Boeing Sky Interior will look like.

"I love it," Pike said. "I think the new design makes it feel like more space inside and cleaner and brighter."

The Boeing Sky Interior is a product not only of innovative engineering but extensive studies into passenger satisfaction. Interior cabin space has been rethought with an eye toward improving the flight experience.

To create a more open cabin, Boeing engineers gave modern curves to the sidewalls, added LED lights that can simulate a blue sky, and designed easier-to-use overhead bins that pivot up, freeing space along the center aisle.

"I'm 6 feet tall and I'm standing up straight," said Jim Cairns, a 737 manufacturing manager, as he stood where an aisle seat would be. "Just from a standpoint of headroom for the airline customers, it's substantially increased,"

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Boeing photo

Jim Cairns, a Boeing 737 manufacturing manager, is 6 feet tall and stands comfortably underneath a new Boeing Sky Interior stow bin. With the current Next-Generation 737 overhead bins, this would not be possible.

“I think it’s going to be a different experience for people.” Chris Taylor, Boeing mechanic

The first Next-Generation 737 with a Boeing Sky Interior will debut at the end of October.

"It's something to be proud of being involved in the beginning of a new airplane," said Boeing mechanic Chris Taylor. "I think it's going to be a different experience for people."

Forty five airlines and leasing companies have ordered the Boeing Sky Interior for more than 1,100 airplanes; that's half of Boeing's 737 backlog. It will be the new standard in the single-aisle market.

"To be able to go through new builds and exciting opportunities like this is very cool," Pike said. "I'm looking forward to seeing [the completed cabin] and definitely one day fly in the new interior of the 737."