RENTON, Wash. – Boeing has begun work on the first of the 737s that will roll out of the Renton factory at a rate of 38 per month.
The company gave reporters and photographers a look at the line Tuesday as production increases from 35 planes a month.
Boeing has a big backlog for the best-selling jetliner that was introduced in 1979.
The current version, called the next-generation 737, is the most widely flown jetliner in the world. Boeing plans to increase production next year to 42 per month.
By 2017 Boeing expects to start delivering the newest version, the 737Max.
Wichita’s Spirit AeroSystems builds portions of all Boeing commercial airliners, including the 737 fuselage.
Boeing officials earlier this months said it would continue to focus on raising production rates and improve how it builds airplanes.
While work on the 737 ramps up, Boeing continues to withhold deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner, which has been grounded because of fires associated with lithium ion batteries.
The FAA, Boeing and others are investigating the cause of those fires, and it’s uncertain when the Dreamliners will be cleared to fly.
More information about how Boeing has been affected by problems with its Dreamliner could come today when the company announces its fourth quarter financials.