Boeing has opened a new paint hangar that will help increase its Next-Generation 737 production capacity. The 737 programme currently produces 31.5 aircraft per month and expects to go to 35 per month in early 2012, 38 per month in second quarter 2013 and then to 42 per month in the first half of 2014.
One of the first planes to be painted in the facility, a 737-700 for Southwest Airlines, was completed yesterday. Paint crews began work in the facility at the beginning of this month and now have incorporated the facility into the 737 production system.
“We identified this paint hangar as a key piece of infrastructure to support our future plans for increased 737 production several years ago,” said Beverly Wyse, Vice President & General Manager of the 737 programme. “We have a measured approach to meeting rate increases on the program. Bringing this facility online demonstrates our progress.”
The paint hangar was originally built in the late 1950s at the start of the 707 programme. The hangar also was used to paint 727s and 757s until 1994. The refurbished hangar is 4,672 cubic metres by volume.