uninterrupted production in the same factory of 42 737s every month. A rate that will be going even higher. That first 737 MAX 8, fresh from the paint shop, made its debut to Renton employees, and to the world, in early December. In this photo essay, meet the newest member of Boeing’s jetliner family. See it take shape as employees transform that first fuselage into an airplane that Boeing is counting on to carry its rich tradition of innovation into its second century. LAUREN.L.PENNING@BOEING.COM DECEMBER 2015–JANUARY 2016 19 Follow the journey of the first 737 MAX through final assembly BY LAUREN PENNING PHOTOS BY MARIAN LOCKHART On Aug. 21, a 737 fuselage assembly arrived by freight train at the Renton, Wash., plant from Wichita, Kan. It looked like any of the hundreds of fuselage sections of Boeing’s bestselling, single-aisle jetliner that arrive in a steady flow from Wichita to meet record production rates. But this one, Wichita line No. 5602, was different. It was the fuselage for the first 737 MAX, which Boeing says promises to raise the bar to an even higher standard of efficiency and capability. The world’s airlines have already ordered nearly 3,000. The MAX represents the culmination of more than four years of design and engineering—as well as the immense transformation of the Renton site that makes possible not only the seamless assembly of a new jetliner but the Photo: The first 737 MAX 8 fuselage, line No. 5602, arrives in Renton, Wash., by rail in August.
Frontiers December 2015 - January 2016 Issue
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