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Boeing praises suppliers for crucial role in making 737s

  • Published Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at 5:27 p.m.

Boeing is praising the role its suppliers play in the production of its popular 737 single-aisle jetliner as it celebrates delivery of its 7,500th plane.

The Next Generation 737 contains about 400,000 parts per airplane built by 325 suppliers in 30 countries.

U.S. suppliers come from 41 states and Puerto Rico.

That includes the 737’s largest supplier, Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita. Spirit builds the plane’s fuselage, pylons and thrust reversers. It also builds wing components at its Tulsa facility.

About 47 percent of Spirit’s revenue comes from the sale of components for the 737.

Spirit ships the fuselages by rail to Renton, Wash., for completion.

“The success of the 737 shows what is possible when we partner with the world’s best aerospace companies,” Kent Fisher, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president and general manager, said in a statement. “Our long-term competitiveness in the marketplace depends on a continued focus on quality, reliability and affordability.”

Boeing has projected that demand for single-aisle airplanes over the next 20 years will total 23,240 jets valued at $2 trillion.

The company plans to increase 737 production rates from 38 planes a month to 42 a month in the first half of 2014.

The 7,500th 737 to come off of the production line was delivered to Malindo Air in Malaysia.

Since its introduction, the company has taken orders for more than 10,500 737s from 265 customers.

A 737 takes off or lands every two seconds, according to Boeing.

In 2017, Boeing will begin deliveries of the 737 MAX, with new engines and more fuel efficiency.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com.

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