Boeing provided a bright spot in Washington State -- and the global and local aerospace communities – as the first 737 MAX 8 exited the airframe manufacturer’s paint hangar in Renton, Wash.
Thousands of Boeing employees in Renton, Wash., celebrated the completion of final assembly of the first 737 MAX 8 this morning. The freshly painted 737 MAX 8, dubbed the “Spirit of Renton,” was revealed to employees in a special teal version of the Boeing livery.
“Today marks another in a long series of milestones that our team has achieved on time, per plan, together,” affirms 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.”
Now this first 737 MAX airplane will undergo preflight preparation in the factory before departing for Renton Field to continue flight test readiness. The airplane is on track for its first flight in early 2016.
The second and third 737 MAX 8 flight test airplanes are currently in final assembly, and the fourth (and final) is in sub-assembly.
The 737 MAX is on track for first delivery to launch customer Southwest Airlines in the third quarter of 2017, officials say.
The new single-aisle airplane will deliver 20 percent lower fuel use than the first Next-Generation 737s and the lowest operating costs (8 percent per seat less than the A320neo, officials say). The 737 MAX incorporates CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Boeing-designed Advanced Technology winglets, and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability, and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.
The 737 MAX 8 is the first member in Boeing’s new family of single-aisle airplanes – the 737 MAX 7, MAX 8, MAX 200, and MAX 9 – to begin production.
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