Boeing said Thursday it has freed up a large floor space inside its 737 assembly plant in Renton that, after further chess-like moves, will provide room for a dedicated 737 MAX final assembly line in 2015.
Between 4 a.m and lunchtime on a Saturday earlier this month, a moving crew cleared the wing systems installation line out of the building.
Nine structurally complete wings were moved out into a newly cleared space inside the adjacent wing fabrication building. Several other wings with their systems all but ready were left behind, ready to go on the airplanes.
The space now free, an area beside the second 737 assembly line, will be used to build six new fuselage systems installation stalls in front of three such stalls already there.
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Preparatory work has already begun prior to tearing up the floor and putting in supports for the fixed jigs that will hold the fuselages in place.
Once those are ready, the fuselage systems installation positions beside the first 737 assembly line in an adjacent building will be dismantled, clearing the floor space to build the dedicated MAX assembly line.
The new 737 MAX is set to begin final assembly in 2015, to have its first flight in 2016 and to enter service with Southwest in fall 2017.
Dominic Gates: (206) 464-2963 or firstname.lastname@example.org