Sun. Jan 29th, 2023
Boeing is ramping up production of its 737 and 787 jets. See inside the factory where the MAX planes are built.

Insider toured the factory in June 2022.

Boeing announced a $663 million loss for the fourth quarter, citing lingering supply-chain issues.
This is despite the strong post-pandemic rebound, which saw more orders and deliveries compared to 2021.
Boeing plans to increase production of its 737 and 787 aircraft between now and 2026.

Boeing fell short in its fourth quarter report, announcing a $663 million loss despite an increase in sales and aircraft deliveries. The company’s total loss for the fiscal year was $5 billion.Boeing 737 factory in Renton, Washington.

Source: Boeing

According to Boeing, its bolstered revenue was underscored by unusual costs and other added expenses, like research and development.Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Source: Boeing

However, president and CEO Dave Calhoun described 2022 as “an important year in our recovery” and said Boeing is on track to restore “our operational and financial strength.”Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun at a ceremony at the White House in January 2020.

Source: Boeing

Boeing had an improved 2022 performance with 480 planes delivered and 774 net orders. This is a significant increase compared to 2021, which saw 340 deliveries and 479 net orders.The third of four Boeing 747-8 freighters was received by Atlas Air in November 2022. The final freighter will be deliveries at the end of January.

Source: Boeing

And the company plans to up the production of 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliner jets. The MAX family, in particular, saw some big sales in 2022, including Delta Air Lines’ order for 100 MAX 10s in July…Delta Boeing 737 MAX 10.

Delta just ordered 100 Boeing 737 MAX 10 jets to upgrade its narrowbody fleet. Take a look inside one of the test planes.

…and Allegiant Air’s order of 50 MAX 7 and MAX 8200 planes in January. While the 8200 variant is ready for service, certification of the MAX 7 and MAX 10 is still ongoing.Rendering of Allegiant 737 MAX jets.

Ultra-low-cost airline Allegiant is flipping its business strategy by buying 50 Boeing 737 MAX jets

However, the planes got clearance from Congress in December as long as Boeing adds two specific safety enhancements to both jets.Boeing 737 MAX 10.

Source: Boeing, Seattle Times

The system upgrades come after two deadly 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019, which killed 346 people, led to a worldwide grounding of the jet, and forced Boeing to reengineer its stall prevention system.Ethiopian Airlines’ 737 MAX crashed in March 2019. Lion Air crashed about five months before in October 2018.
Since the Federal Aviation Administration signed off on the plane’s airworthiness in November 2020, airlines have started flying them again.WestJet Boeing 737 MAX 8
About a year and a half after its ungrounding, Insider toured Boeing’s Renton factory to learn more about the 737 MAX final assembly line — take a look.Insider toured the factory in June 2022.
Production of the MAX started in 2015 and is the latest in a large family of 737 jets. Three models — the MAX 8, MAX 9, and MAX 8200 — are currently in service with airlines around the world.A lineup of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft (Alaska -9, Ryanair -8200, and Southwest -8).
To build this family of jets, Boeing’s director of 737 program business operations, Dennis Eng, explained the factory is split into three assembly lines — east, west, and center.
Currently, the west and center lines are active, and Boeing plans to activate the east side once it has enough staff. The company has been reluctant to increase production until labor and supply shortages normalize.

Source: Boeing

As of January, Boeing is producing 31 MAX jets per month, with plans to increase that to 50 by 2025 or 2026.
Walking through the factory, Eng said the planes go through 10 different flow days during final assembly, which includes things like hydraulic, wiring, and systems installation, joining the wings to the fuselage, installing the interior, and testing.
The fuselage comes complete from Wichita, Kansas, and is built by Spirit AeroSystems. It is then transported via rail to Renton where it is joined to the wings.
To join the body is a complicated process, according to Eng, who said workers use cranes and other tools to move parts around the massive building.Cranes on the ceiling of the Renton factory.
Because of the complexities, the movements are done during one of the three shifts employees work.
When installing economy class seats, Boeing uses a modified hay bail. This process is done during the first shift and completed while the fuselage is still open in the back to make it easier.
The planes have their engines and landing gear by the last flow.
After final assembly, the jets will complete flight testing out of Boeing Field, be painted in their respective livery, and delivered to their operator.
Eng explained Boeing has reimagined its Renton factory over the years to create more efficient processes. Specifically, the planemaker has developed a system that better stages parts to ensure employees have the exact tools they need for each flow.Some of the tool kits.
This is done by assembling flow-specific kits that are positioned at each station. This eliminates the need for workers to walk back and forth between the plane and the tool room during shifts.Some of the tool kits.
The system improves quality and safety and decreases the risk of plane damage, according to Boeing.
We saw a few completed 737 planes at the factory, including Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and a United MAX 10, which Eng said is a test aircraft. It is rare to see the -10 in a completed livery.The United-painted 737 MAX 10.

Delta just ordered 100 Boeing 737 MAX 10 jets to upgrade its narrowbody fleet. Take a look inside one of the test planes.

During our grand tour of Boeing factories, Insider also spent time in Everett where the manufacturer is building cargo planes and other passenger jets, like the 777 and 787.
There were several seemingly complete 787 aircraft in the factory, which, at the time of the tour in June, were unable to be delivered due to safety concerns from the Federal Aviation Administration regarding gaps between fuselage sections.We were not given a full tour of the 787 side of the building.

American just received the first Boeing 787 delivery in 15 months. Here’s why the FAA paused deliveries of the jet and how it impacted airlines.

Boeing finally resumed deliveries of the Dreamliner in August after years of fixes, with the first being sent to American Airlines. The company said it plans to up production of the 787 from five per month in late 2023 to 10 in 2025 or 2026.American’s first 787 since the FAA paused deliveries.

Source: Boeing

As a special treat, we also saw one of the last 747 planes ever to be built, which is one of three 747-8Fs delivered to cargo carrier Atlas Air in 2022.Boeing 747 Factory Tour.

Boeing’s iconic 747 will leave the assembly line for the last time this year. See one of last jumbo jets the planemaker will ever build.

The final freighter — and the last commercial 747 to be produced by Boeing — rolled off the assembly line in December and will be the fourth delivered to the cargo giant on January 31.Boeing’s last 747 rolled out of the Everett assembly line in December and is headed to Atlas Air.
The delivery will mark the end of a 54-year era that revolutionized air travel by making international flights affordable for the first time.Boeing 747 Factory Tour.

More airlines are choosing single-aisle jets for flights from North America to Europe — see the full evolution of jet-powered transatlantic flying

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