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Spirit AeroSystems finishes project on 737 thrust reverser
Spirit AeroSystems, one of the world's largest independent producers of large and complex aerostructures for leading airplanes, with its core products that include fuselages, pylons, nacelles, and wing components, has announced the completion of an expansion project on the Spirit Wichita campus to support production of the 737 thrust reverser.
The expansion supports production rate increases already planned for the Boeing 737 program. The company also celebrated delivering the first 737 MAX thrust reverser with the new composite inner wall to the flight test program. Spirit produces the 737 MAX fuselage, pylon, thrust reverser and engine nacelle at its Wichita, Kan., facility and the wing leading edges at its Tulsa, Okla., facility. Spirit is responsible for delivering about 70 percent of the 737 structure to Boeing.
Spirit is using a proven composite inner wall material, providing Boeing with a maintainable, producible and reliable solution for the 737 MAX. The new design includes a thermal protection system, which provides reliable protection from the heat generated by the new fuel efficient Leap-1B engines made by CFM International. The 737 MAX is 20 per cent more fuel efficient than the original Next-Generation 737.
The 737 MAX will extend the Next-Generation 737 range advantage with the capability to fly more than 3,500 nautical miles (6,510 kilometres), an increase of 340 to 570 nautical miles (629 to 1,055 kilometres). Delivery of the first 737 MAX is scheduled for the first half of 2017.
Boeing, which currently produces 42 737s per month, will increase the rate to 47 airplanes per month in 2017. To support rate increases, Spirit also opened a new expansion to support 737 MAX thrust reverser production. The new expansion is 45,000 square feet and will deliver 94 thrust reversers per month to support the next rate increase. (GK)