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Video - Boeing 737: behind the production scenes

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On April 16th., Boeing delivered its 8,000th. 737. Since 1965, it is here, in the Renton plant, the most productive in the world, and located 20 kilometres ( 12 miles ) south of Seattle in Washington state in the U.S.A., that the medium haul has been assembled at an incredible pace.

42 units roll off the two final assembly lines each month. A steady pace made possible by a production process called ''in motion''; unlike the A-320 which is moved station to station throughout its assembly, each 737 moves progressively ( and continuously ), at a rate of five centimetres ( two inches) per minute.

Chris OFSTHUS, Operations Manager - Boeing B-737 assembly line :

"We move the line because when there's a problem the line would stop and that would signal we need help to the line. Right now, we actually have barge positions supporting every float aim, and when there's a problem we need immediate help to the line, and that's been very successful in making sure that we can get the airplanes continually built through our process.

Green means good, yellow means you have a problem, red means you haven't solved the problem, or in our case, blinking purple means you haven't solved it; so, we want immediate help to any airplane production problem."

If Boeing needed 22 days at the being to make one of these twin-engined jets, today, it takes them no longer than nine. The first five days are devoted to the wiring, at the junction of fuselage and wing sections, and of the landing gear installation. The sixth and seventh days to the fitting out of the passenger cabin, the eighth, to the checking of the various systems, and the nineth to attaching the Snecma CFM-56 engines. A significant advantage for Boeing, is that absolutely everything goes on in this 380,000m2 ( 4,100,000 sq.ft. ) hangar / plant, where 10,000 employees work, and which has a lift ( elevator ) just for the airplane seats, nothing less than that.

Chris OFSTHUS, Operations Manager - Boeing B-737 assembly line :

"What it does is it actually rolls the seats up into the platform that we can take it off the seat loader and then roll them on the airplane. Prior to that we had a process that was about three and a half hours to do, now we're in the 30 to 45 minute range with our seat loader."

Before delivery to the customer, the aircraft carries out a few test flights and then it is painted in the relevant company's livery - on the spot.; and Boeing does not intend to stop there; the airframer plans to increase its present monthly production of 42, to 47 aircraft, by 2017. At that time, a third 737 MAX assembly line for the re-motorised version of the Boeing 737, which now counts more than 1,900 firm orders, should be in operation at Renton.

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