Boeing Achieves 737
Production Rate Increase
By Steve Hall
January 15, 2012 - Boeing has successfully achieved a production rate of 35 airplanes a month for the Next-Generation 737, with the delivery of the first airplane produced at the new rate to AWAS Aviation Services, Inc. Norwegian Air Shuttle will lease the airplane from AWAS.
The 35th airplane to be built at the new rate is on
schedule to roll out of the factory today which
demonstrates that the production system has been
operating successfully at a rate of 35 airplanes a
Prompted by the modern Airbus A320, Boeing initiated development of an updated series of aircraft in 1991. After working with potential customers, the 737 Next Generation (NG) program was announced on November 17, 1993.
encompasses the -600, -700, -800, and -900, and is to date the
most significant upgrade of the airframe. The performance of the
737NG is, in essence, that of a new aircraft, but important
commonality is retained from previous 737 models. The wing was
redesigned with a new airfoil section, greater chord, increased
wing span by 16 ft (4.9 m) and area by 25%, which increased
total fuel capacity by 30%. New, quieter, more fuel-efficient
CFM56-7B engines were used. The wing, engine, and fuel capacity
improvements combined increase the 737's range by 900 nautical
miles to over 3,000 nautical miles now permitting
increased fuel capacity, higher maximum takeoff weight (MTOW)
specifications are offered. The 737NG included redesigned
vertical stabilizers, and winglets were available on most
models. The flight deck was upgraded with modern avionics, and
passenger cabin improvements similar to those on the Boeing 777,
including more curved surfaces and larger overhead bins than
previous-generation 737s. The Next Generation 737 interior was
also adopted on the Boeing 757-300.
will focus on stabilizing the production rate at 35 a month
while investments are underway to go up in rate to 38 737s a
month in second quarter 2013 and 42 a month in the first half of
"Working as a team, we have achieved production levels never previously reached," Beverly Wyse, vice president and general manager of the 737 program, told employees. "It's because of the focus and dedication of 737 employees that we've reduced waste in our production system and identified opportunities to further increase our productivity.
airplane at the 35-a-month production pace rolled out of the factory the
smoothest ever. Only eight jobs were completed outside of our production
sequence out of thousands and we only experienced three part shortages
during production," Wyse said.
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