Boeing should achieve its objective of delivering at least 400 single-aisle 737 MAX this year, despite the persistence of manufacturing defects of its suppliers, its financial director Brian West declared yesterday during an investors conference.
However, deliveries will be within the “low fork” of the target of 400 to 450 aircraft, acknowledged the financial manager. The latest problem, discovered at the end of last month, concerns mounting holes on the rear pressure bulkhead of the 737 MAX which were incorrectly drilled and therefore misaligned. Around 75% of the 220 737 MAXs in stock with the aircraft manufacturer will have to be reworked, and the repair will take longer than another previous problem involving loose brackets on the single-aisle’s vertical tail.
“Ithere are hundreds of holes that are inspected, there is an x-ray inspection step that is required, and it is a very critical part of the aircraft“, explained Brian West. Deliveries of 737 MAX, which exceeded 100 copies in the first and second quarters, will only reach around 70 copies in the third quarter, after the disappointing delivery of 22 copies in August.
Subcontractor Spirit AeroSystems, which manufactures the fuselage of the 737 family of planes for Boeing, is the source of the latest two manufacturing defects. Even so, Brian West said Boeing had no plans to change its suppliers’ master schedule, still banking on a monthly production rate of 50 737 MAXs between now and 2025-2026.