One of the special treats of working in Aviation is getting behind-the-scenes shop-floor tours. Now Boeing gives the world a private tour as it shares the processes behind building the new 737 MAX fuselage.
The first 737 MAX fuselage stringers are machined at the Boeing Fabrication Integrated AeroStructures in Auburn, Wash. The striggers these men are working on run the length of the fuselage structure, giving it stability and strength.
After forming, Boeing will send the stringers to Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita, Kan. where they will be incorporated in the first 737 MAX fuselage. From there, the fuselage will be shipped to Boeing’s Renton, Wash. facility where Boeing employees will complete the build of the 737 MAX.
Boeing indicates that the program is on track to begin final assembly of the first 737 MAX in 2015. The aircraft these parts are being built for will be part of the flight test fleet and is scheduled to fly in 2016.
Boeing’s vice president of Marketing, Randy Tinseth, gives us a step-by-step tour on his blog.
“This is a big milestone for the team as the first airplane literally starts to take shape,” says Tinseth.
Here are the highlights from Tinseth’s tour, in pictures:
The first stringer for the 737 MAX is produced with a Progressive Roll forming machine at Integrated Aero Structures, Auburn, Wash. Oil is used as a lubricant while the part is transformed from flat to formed in a matter of seconds.
“The team is doing a great job of keeping everything on track as we look forward to the start of final assembly next year,” says Tinseth.
You can watch a full video of the process here on the Boeing site.
The 737 MAX features the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to MAX-imize efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. Boeing asserts that the 737 MAX will be 14 % more fuel-efficient than today’s most efficient Next-Generation 737s – and 20 % better than the original Next-Generation 737s when they first entered service.
Featured Image: Pictured here, Joggle Press operator Rich Harrison/Boeing