Boeing: 737 MAX deliveries corrected for incorrectly drilled holes by Spirit AeroSystems

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Boeing started deliveries of single-aisle aircraft 737 MAX-8 which have been verified and possibly modified following the discovery of a production defect from the supplier Spirit AeroSystems.

The manufacturing error concerns elongated and poorly drilled holes about some rear pressure bulkheads manufactured by Spirit AeroSystems. Earlier this month, the US planemaker expanded the scope of inspections to include hand-drilled holes that were not originally checked during the overhaul process, as well as those drilled by an automated machine.

The US planemaker said the problem affected its best-selling MAX-8 model and required it to carry out X-ray examinations on 165 planes to ensure the holes were correctly sized. The issue does not affect the larger MAX-9 model. The first reworked 737 MAX-8 was delivered on Thursday. Boeing declined to say which airline had accepted the reworked plane, Reuters reported.

The problem has crippled some 737 MAX deliveries, which fell to just 15 in September and are expected to remain at that level in October. It also slowed Boeing’s goal of increasing production from 31 to 38 single-aisle aircraft per month. Also, the aircraft manufacturer has revised downwards its 737 MAX delivery forecasts from 400/450 copies to 375-400 for this year.

John Walker Avatar