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PICTURE: Boeing begins final assembly of last 717

Boeing has begun final assembly of the 156th and final 717, an aircraft that was integrated into the manufacturer’s product line after the 1997 acquisition of McDonnell Douglas.

The aircraft currently being manufacturer (pictured below) is scheduled to be delivered to AirTran Airways in May. That delivery will also mark the closure of Boeing’s Long Beach, California facility, which first opened in 1941.

Boeing 717 final aircraft assembly W445
© Boeing Photo

Boeing currently has three other 717s in production, with deliveries to Midwest Airlines scheduled for March and May, and another to AirTran in April. Midwest took delivery of another 717 earlier this month.

The 717 was developed by McDonnell Douglas with the project name MD-87-105 before being launched as the MD-95-30 to serve the 100-seat market. The aircraft was certificated in August 1999 and the first model was delivered to AirTran, which is now the largest 717 operator, one month later.

Boeing announced the end of the programme in January 2005, saying the market did not support the aircraft.

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