Boeing [NYSE: BA] employees in Renton, Wash., said they have started final assembly on schedule of the first 737 MAX 8, the first member of Boeing´s new, more efficient single-aisle family.
After the first fuselage arrived on Aug. 21 from Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita, Kan, mechanics began installing flight systems and insulation blankets.
Crews next moved the fuselage to the wing-to-body join position on the new production line where the first MAXs will be built. Mechanics then attached the wings to the body of the airplane.
The wings feature Boeing´s new Advanced Technology winglets. Designed exclusively for the 737 MAX, they will give customers up to 1.8 percent additional fuel-efficiency improvement over today´s inline winglet designs.
Boeing will build the first 737 MAXs exclusively on the new production line in the Renton factory. Once mechanics prove out the production process, the team will extend MAX production to the other two final assembly lines in Renton.
The 737 MAX team remains on track to roll out the first completed 737 MAX by the end of the year and fly it in early 2016. Launch customer Southwest Airlines is scheduled to take delivery of the first 737 MAX in the third quarter of 2017. In total, the 737 MAX family has 2,869 orders from 58 customers worldwide.