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13 Apr 2016 - 737 MAX production aircraft commences.

After the first 4 prototype 737 MAXs have been built, Boeing will continue to assemble a further 7 production specification aircraft which will then be stored at Renton, without engines, until the testing and certifcation is complete sometime in 2017.

This is being done for a number of reasons; first to give builders a chance to familiarise themselves with the new aircraft in slow-time before production ramps up to full speed. Second to get some aircraft almost ready to go to ensure that early deliveries can be made; and third to give Boeing some time to make any late changes to design that the test phase may discover.

The engines will be amongst the final components to be added after their flight testing program is complete so that any changes can be made by CFM at their factory rather than on-wing.

It is thought that Boeing has adopted this strategy after it experiences with the 787 in which the early aircraft had to have extensive post-production modifications which was expensive and time-consuming.


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*** Updated 18 Apr 2019 ***

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