Posted: Thursday, 17 April 2014 5:23AM
Boeing Delivers 8,000th 737, Wichita Has Been a Big Part of Each
WICHITA - The Boeing Co. on Wednesday delivered its 8,000th 737 passenger jet in a delivery ceremony with United Airlines marking a milestone not just for the company, but for Wichita as well.
Between Spirit AeroSystems Inc. and Boeing Commercial Airplanes before it, the Air Capital has churned out the fuselage of each of the aircraft.
That has helped the 737 become the first commercial airplane ever to reach the 8,000 mark.
Spirit (NYSE: SPR) builds about 70 percent of the aircraft for Boeing (NYSE: BA).
Of course, the production drum-beat doesn’t stop at 8,000. Rather, it’s speeding up in a rate increase that will push the 737 to more milestones more quickly.
Boeing is now building the 737 at the rate of 42 a month, with plans to increase that total to 47 a month in 2017.
At that point, the company will be building more that 560 of the planes a year — an almost 50-percent increase over 2010 production
The program has a backlog of more 3,700 aircraft, including nearly 2,000 orders for the new-engine variant, the 737 MAX.
Wichita Business Journal