A recently identified problem with the 737 MAX could require the manufacturer to service hundreds of the model’s aircraft and possibly stop fresh 737 MAX deliveries.
The problem was discovered by Spirit AeroSystems, which informed Boeing about a problem that a “non-standard manufacturing process” was used when joining the aft fuselage and the vertical tail with two fittings of specific 737 NextGeneration (NG)-based aircraft, including the 737 MAX-7, MAX-8, MAX-8-200, and the P-8 Poseidon. There is no impact on the 737 MAX-9.
As a Tier 1 supplier, Spirit AeroSystems constructs and delivers the fuselages for the Boeing 737 as well as the 767, 777/777X, and 787. The Wichita, Kansas-based company also provides components for the A220, A320ceo/neo family, and A350 programs at Airbus. It previously provided parts to the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8, neither of which is still being produced.
In a statement, the Federal Aviation Administration said that it agrees with Boeing’s assessment that there is no immediate safety issue.
Boeing recently beat European aircraft manufacturer Airbus for quarterly deliveries for the first time in five years. Boeing managed to deliver 130 aircraft in the first three months of 2023, compared to the 127 jets delivered by Airbus.
Key to Boeing’s success in the first quarter was the deliveries of 737MAX jets.