May 2004 
Volume 03, Issue 1 
Commercial Airplanes

A rapid climb

A Rapid ClimbThe Boeing Next-Generation 737 airplane has a typical cruise speed of Mach 0.785, or about 530 mph (853 kilometers per hour)—and a rate of sales and deliveries that’s even faster.

Boeing delivers its 1,500th Next-Generation 737 this month. This technologically advanced airplane reached this industry milestone in record time—six short years. Only three other airplane families have sold more than 1,500 airplanes: the 727, the classic 737-300/-400/-500 family and the Airbus A320 family. It took the classic 737 10 years, the A320 13 years, and the 727 16 years to reach this delivery milestone.

Since entering commercial service in 1998, the Next-Generation 737 has been the company’s best- and fastest-selling model. The success of the 737 family, which includes the 737-600, -700, -800 and -900, is no surprise to Product Development Manager Ed Kane, who was on the original design team.


Still making miracles

Stil Making MiraclesWhen you’re the biggest kid on the block, you get a lot of attention—both good and bad.

That’s the position the Fabrication Division finds itself in as the largest supplier to Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Boeing’s big kid, known as “Fab,” has significant leverage on business-plan fundamentals that relate to the company’s ability to run a healthy core business. Now nearing 40, Fab is facing midlife decisions about how to add value for Boeing in the future.

Though Fab’s sometimes known as “Auburn,” after the division’s headquarters city in south King County, Wash., it represents 14 manufacturing and assembly operations in the United States, Australia and Canada.



Tough tail feathers

Tough tail feathersEmployees at Structural Composites in Frederickson, Wash., like to call their sophisticated product “tough tail feathers.”

In 1992, Boeing opened the state-of-the-art facility to provide composites solutions for the Boeing 777 empennage, which is made up of the vertical fin and horizontal stabilizer. Now just over a decade later, Structural Composites Frederickson is getting ready to celebrate the milestone delivery of its 500th 777 empennage.

Part of the Fabrication Division for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Structural Composites Frederickson today is focusing its manufacturing excellence for primary and secondary composite wing-like structures on a new dream: the Boeing 7E7 Dreamliner.


The view from within

The view from withinTalk about your cool jobs. Employees in the Borescope/Remote Visual Inspection teams in Seattle and Everett (Wash.) Quality Assurance travel around the world, feel like heroes and save the day for their customers—all while saving Boeing millions of dollars in rework and production costs.

The team’s technicians use a borescope—a fiber optic video scope at the end of a flexible, movable stalk—to visually inspect areas inside an airplane that would otherwise be inaccessible without costly disassembly or disruption. By saving customers time, said technician Matthew Moeller, the team’s services are invaluable.

“Borescope capability can verify and document part numbers deep within a flight deck, or snake through a fuel line inside an engine to identify a leak,” Moeller said. “Tasks that could take several hours, we can wrap up within 15 minutes.”


In Hawaii, 717s make the interisland ‘doughnut run’

There’s only one Krispy Kreme doughnut store in Hawaii. But thanks to a reliable fleet of Hawaiian Airlines 717s, Hawaiians across the state’s eight major islands can get the delectables. The average interisland 717 flight lasts between 11 and 17 minutes, and commuting islanders have been loading the overhead bins with fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts to take home as gifts for family and friends. The only Krispy Kreme in the 50th state, which opened in January, is less than a mile from Kahului Airport on Maui. “The locals bring so many boxes of doughnuts on board that we can’t always fit them on our flights. Some people will put five or six boxes in an overhead bin,” Mark Dunkerley, president of Hawaiian Airlines, recently told Reuters News Service.

— Bill Wasserzieher

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