Boeing finishes production of first 737 under new 35 per month rate

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Boeing has rolled out its first factory-complete 737 under a new production rate of 35 per month, a record for the company's Renton, Washington factory.

The aircraft, intended for delivery to all-Boeing operator Norwegian Air Shuttle, left the company's final assembly line on 4 December. First flight and functional testing will be performed at the adjacent Renton Municipal Airport.

To assist in advancing the rate, Boeing split its electrical systems installation on its 737 wingboxes into two dedicated lines, one for the left and right-hand wings with dedicated teams for each to reduce variability that previously slowed production.

Boeing expects to achieve two additional rate breaks in the coming years, with further increases of 38 per month in the second quarter of 2013 and 42 per month in the first half of 2014.

Boeing first achieved a previous record rate of 31.5 aircraft per month in the third quarter of 2009, up from 31 per month.