Posted April 06, 2018 06:23:59As Boeing Co prepares to debut its new P7-300 family of jets in the coming months, the company is hoping to accelerate the development of its airframe, propeller and landing gear.
While its production-ready 737 MAX jets have already been flying since the first deliveries in January, the 737 MAX will be the first new jetliner to be built in North America.
Its successor will be powered by the 737-800, the latest generation of the 737 family, which is expected to begin deliveries later this year.
The 737-700 and 737-900 are the only new jets that Boeing has delivered to customers, while the 737MAX is expected be the most complex jet the company has ever built.
“Our customers are really excited about this plane,” Boeing CFO and vice president Tom Beaumont told reporters in a conference call earlier this month.
“This is a big deal.
This is the biggest milestone we’ve had for the 737 line.”
The 737MAX will be designed to be a light-weight, fuel-efficient jet, capable of carrying a crew of just three and can take off from a maximum weight of 7,500kg (16,000lb) without a single-engine jet engine.
“We are really taking a risk here with this plane.
It’s not a light plane, and that’s a risk we are taking,” Beaumoun said.
Boeing said the 737 Max is the most fuel-friendly jet it has ever produced, with an engine capacity of 1,600kg (3,000lbs) and a range of 2,000km (1,700 miles).
Boeas is also hoping to develop the 737Max’s first-ever full-scale production line.
Beaumont said the aircraft will be manufactured on a new, state-of-the-art plant in South Carolina.
“The assembly line is being built right now in South Georgia.
We will be building the engines, the airframe and the landing gear in South Florida,” he said.”
So we are getting into the second stage of building that facility.”
The first 737 MAXs were delivered to US airlines in the summer of 2018.
Baker Hughes and Pratt & Whitney have been working on the 737 engines for a decade, with the first batch of 737 engines being delivered to Boeing in February 2019.
The new engines will be upgraded with improved fuel efficiency, and Boeing hopes to begin the production of the new engines in 2020.
Bombers from the United States and Canada have already flown and landed on the new jets, but Beaumon said there is still no guarantee the aircraft can fly to the UK or other destinations.
“It is a very long journey to get to a final destination, and we are not sure that will happen for at least the next couple of years,” he told reporters.
“But the engine is a significant milestone in the 737 lineup.
It is a step in the right direction.”