Production of the 737 MAX 7, the newest member of the 737 MAX family, has officially begun with the loading of the first 65-foot wing spar – the main support structure for the wing.
A team of employees loaded the first aft spar onto the Spar Assembly Line (SAL) in the Renton, Wash., factory. The spars run the length of each wing, and provide a way for panels and other wing structures to be attached. Each wing has two spars – forward and aft – for a total of four per airplane.
Employees loaded the spar into the SAL tool that automatically drills, measures and installs more than 2,500 fasteners into the spar. The spar components are formed by Boeing Skin and Spar employees and shipped by truck from Frederickson, Wash., to the Renton factory.
The 737 MAX 7 milestone occurs as, for the first time, MAX airplanes are being built on two production lines in the Renton factory.
That means 737 Final Assembly employees are building Next-Generation 737s and 737 MAX 8s on the same line. The accomplishment is another reflection of the strength of the entire 737 program, said Marty Chamberlin, vice president of 737 Manufacturing Operations. As the Final Assembly Next-Generation and MAX teams integrate into one, production teams will continue its focus on safety, quality and productivity improvements.
“I am so proud of our production teams for taking on this significant and important work,” said Chamberlin. “Our teams are innovating daily as we integrate our Next-Generation and MAX teams into one. We have an outstanding team driving our factory transformation -- to see it happening with each next milestone is simply incredible.”
From this point forward, the frequency of MAX airplanes being built in the factory will gradually increase, eventually taking over production of Next Generation 737s. By 2019, all three production lines in Renton’s final assembly building will consist completely of MAX airplanes.
The 737 MAX family of airplanes is built exclusively by Boeing employees in the Renton, Wash. production facility. The 737 MAX is the fastest selling airplane in Boeing history, with more than 3,900 orders from 91 customers worldwide.
By Elizabeth Merida