Posted on: 16 June 2015
The Boeing 737 MAX family is on track to meet its performance and schedule targets, according to Scott Fancher, senior vice-president and general manager, airplane development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“We have achieved 90% drawing release and completed it ahead of schedule and the LEAP-1B engine is on track, with the initial flight enveloope cleared. It’s doing exactly what we need it to do, maybe a little bit better,” he declared. “Also, wing assembly recently started – on the exact date planned years ago (29 May) and our new production line is nearly complete.”
The first flight of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 will be in 2016 with entry-into-service following in 2017.
Discussing the challenge from Airbus, Fancher suggested that observers “think about the competition as families of aeroplanes, not 737 MAX 8 vs A320neo and 737 MAX 9 vs A321neo”. He went on to claim that from the moment that the two families became available, “the market has been split 50:50”.
With the development on track, Fancher explained why the Airplane Development group was formed to develop aircraft under a single management system. “It’s allowed us to inject stability and restore confidence in our ability to develop new products. The mission is all about meeting customer expectations, delivering value and reducing risk,” he stated. “The simpler the products are, the easier they are to build, operate and maintain.”
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net
Le Bourget, Paris, France