Boeing (NYSE: BA) said it has celebrated the completion of final assembly of the first 737 MAX 8.
“Today marks another in a long series of milestones that our team has achieved on time, per plan, together,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager, 737 MAX, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With the rollout of the new 737 MAX — the first new airplane of Boeing´s second century — our team is upholding an incredible legacy while taking the 737 to the next level of performance.”
The production-complete airplane rolled out of the Renton factory and into the paint hangar on Nov. 30, the precise date determined when the MAX development schedule was defined more than four years ago. Named the Spirit of Renton, the new plane was revealed to employees in a special teal version of the Boeing livery.
After celebrations are complete, the airplane will undergo pre-flight preparation in the factory before departing for Renton Field to continue flight test readiness. The airplane is on track for first flight in early 2016.
With the second and third 737 MAX 8 flight test airplanes currently in final assembly and the fourth (and final) in sub-assembly, the 737 MAX remains on track for first delivery to launch customer Southwest Airlines in the third quarter of 2017.
The new single-aisle airplane will deliver 20 percent lower fuel use than the first Next-Generation 737s and the lowest operating costs: eight percent per seat less than the A320neo.