Posted on: 03 June 2015 by Ross McSweeny
Boeing employees have started to assemble the wings of the first 737 MAX flight test aircraft at the company’s facility in Renton, Washington.Machine operators loaded 737 MAX wing skin panels and stringers into the new panel assembly line that uses automation to drill holes and install fasteners in the upper and lower wing panels. Mechanics also loaded the initial parts of the first 737 MAX spars – internal support structures in wings – into automated spar assembly machines. The unfinished skins, stringers and spars were machined by Boeing Fabrication Skin and Spar in Auburn and Fredrickson, Washington. When finished, the panels and spars will be transformed into completed wings.“Achieving this milestone on schedule is a testament to the success of the 737 and our integrated design and build team,” noted Keith Leverkuhn, VP and general manager, 737 MAX.The wings will be attached to the first 737 MAX fuselage on the new Central line in Renton Final Assembly later this year. The new production line will allow the team to isolate the first 737 MAX build from the rest of production in order to learn and perfect the build process while the Renton factory continues to build at a rate of 42 aircraft per month.To date, the 737 MAX has 2,720 orders from 57 customers worldwide.