MIAMI — Boeing says that production of the first 737 MAX fuselage stringers are now under construction at the manufacturer’s Fabrication Integrated AeroStructures in Auburn, Washington. And flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has announced an order for 50 737 MAX 8s.
An aircraft’s stringers run the length of the fuselage structure to give it stability and strength. Once completed, the stringers will be shipped to Boeing partner Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita, Kansas, to be incorporated into the first 737 MAX fuselage.
The fuselage will then be shipped to Boeing’s Renton, Washington, facility where employees will build the 737 MAX. The aircraft is on schedule to begin final assembly of the first aircraft in 2015, and scheduled to fly in 2016.
The 737 MAX has 2,294 orders from 47 customers, including Air Canada, American Airlines, Flydubai, Icelandair, Ryanair, Southwest Airlines, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines. The Garuda Indonesia deal is valued at $4.9 billion. The carrier will take delivery of 46 737 MAX 8s and will convert four existing Next-Generation 737-800s orders to MAX 8s.
The 737 MAX will feature CFM International LEAP-1B engines and advanced technology winglets. The aircraft will have eight percent lower operating costs than its competitors. The new winglet will provide an increase in fuel efficiency of up to 1.8 percent, and the noise footprint of the 737 MAX will be 40 percent smaller than today’s single-aisle airplanes. Finally, the aircraft will feature the new Boeing Sky Interior created to elevate the passenger experience.