Boeing finds itself grappling with a new and unusual production issue for the 737 MAX. As recently revealed, MAX 8 model aircraft had the aft pressure bulkhead fixing holes drilled incorrectly.
The automated process caused misaligned or elongated and as a result, around 165 aircraft will have to be inspected and corrected before being delivered to customers.
Part of the fuselages are still with Spirit AeroSystems, which is the main supplier of 737 structures, while other aircraft already assembled will be verified by Boeing.
Due to the new problem, Boeing admitted that the goal of delivering 450 aircraft of the model in 2023 was unfeasible. It is more likely to hit the bottom of the target of 400 737s, Brian West, Boeing’s CFO, said at an investor call on Thursday.
As of August, the US manufacturer had delivered 265 MAX family aircraft, with 111 jets shipped in the 1st quarter and 100 others in the 2nd quarter. In the 3rd quarter, however, only 54 aircraft had been delivered in two months.
Also present at the same conference, Spirit CEO Tom Gentile stated that inspections are carried out by X-Ray and that repairs should be completed by November.
Boeing assured that the problem does not affect the safety of the 737 MAX.