Boeing must inspect thousands of holes on some 165 737 MAXs in storage

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The American aircraft manufacturer acknowledged that the problem would cause delivery delaysbut is confident of reaching 400 had sent to its customers in 2023.

Boeing finds itself grappling with a new production problem, unusual for the 737 MAX. Thus, the automated process caused the partition mounting holes to be misaligned or elongated and, as a result, approximately 165 planes must be inspected and corrected before being delivered to customers. Part of the fuselages is still at Spirit AeroSystems, which is the main supplier of the 737 structures, while other already assembled aircraft will be verified by Boeing. The MAX defect is complicated to repair and affects three quarters of the 220 planes still in stock. “We literally have armies of people from Boeing and the supplier working on this problem,” said Brian West, Boeing’s chief financial officer. “This is 100% the most important thing we’re working on right now. »

Due to the new problem, Boeing admitted that the goal of delivering 450 planes of this model in 2023 was unachievable. It’s more likely to hit the low end of the 400 737 target, Brian West said. In August, the American manufacturer delivered for the year 2023, still in progress 265 MAX family aircraft, including 111 aircraft delivered in the 1st quarter and 100 more in the 2nd quarter. At 3rd quarteralone 54 planes had been delivered in two months. Boeing assured that the problem did not affect the safety of the 737 MAX.

Spirit AeroSystems CEO Tom Gentile said inspections are done by X-ray and repairs should be completed by November. Speaking separately at the same financial conference Thursday, Tom Gentile, also said the company was renegotiating the terms of the 787 Dreamliner contract with Boeing due to Spirit’s heavy cumulative losses on this aircraft program, amounting to $1.4 billion since the first deployment in 2007. “It’s really not sustainable for Spirit”commented Gentile.

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