Skeptics about Boeing’s 737 production rate

By Scott Hamilton

Feb. 5, 2024, © Leeham News: The Federal Aviation Administration froze Boeing’s production rate of the 737 MAX at its current level.

But just what is this rate?

Boeing says it’s 38 airplane per month. Last year, it was common knowledge that Boeing struggled to consistently maintain a rate of 31/mo. Supply chain issues and voluntary “pauses” by Boeing during final assembly impacted the rate. LNA used the latter number to illustrate how many scheduled 737 deliveries will be affected by the FAA’s freeze. Hundreds of MAXes contracted for delivery will be delayed this year and next, and likely beyond, depending on how long the freeze remains in place.

But there was plenty of skepticism about Boeing’s announced rate cap of 38 per month expressed at last week’s Aviation Week suppliers conference in California.

“We don’t really know”

Kristine Liwag, the aerospace analyst at Morgan Stanley, said “We don’t really know” what the rate is. Is it 31 or 38, she asked during a panel at the conference.

“As of 4Q23, if you look at the deliveries, production, and performance, their one-way average is about 33, and December exited at about 35. But so far in January (this was January 25), deliveries are only seven. What does that freeze actually mean?”

That’s the question Liwag said she received all morning at the conference and also from investors.

“But I actually think the production rate may matter a little bit less, because people are looking at whatever that number is, is it 30, is it 38, is it 31, that’s the floor. And the risk that I think the market’s under-appreciating is more on the delivery front,” she said.

Liwag noted that “the FAA has been very clear that they’re going to take an aggressive look at the inspections and make sure that each airplane that gets delivered are conforming to the design. And the problem with that is the delivery rate. So, if every single airplane is going to be scrutinized, similar to how 787 was scrutinized in 2021 and 2022, that delivery cadence is what we need to be watching out for, because the floor could actually be a lot lower than what that freeze actually is.”

Delays on certification

Ron Epstein, the aerospace analyst for Bank of America, suggested Boeing could lose some orders for the 737 MAX 10 because certification will be delayed. Speaking on the same panel as Liwag, Epstein noted that the fallout from the Alaska Airlines flight 1282 MAX 9 investigation means the MAX 10 certification will shift to the right.

United Airlines removed the MAX 10 from its fleet planning for 2025, the year the MAX 10 was supposed to be delivered. Press reports—unconfirmed by United—suggested CEO Scott Kirby met with Airbus to discuss placing new orders for the A321neo to replace the delayed MAX 10.

If Airbus can find A321s in its oversold order book, Epstein said this would result in some more share shift from  Boeing to Airbus.

“The repercussions of this are pretty meaningful,” Epstein said. “If you’re a supplier, probably at first, you won’t see a great investment, depending on how long this goes and how extreme the potential share shift is.

“You might see a little boost up in your Airbus business, a little decline in your Boeing business, and you’re going to have to remain at the end. The whole point of it is, who wants to build as a supply chain? Well, it’s not going to happen.”

Investors have to decide

Epstein returned to a theme he’s been writing about for months if not years: what is Boeing going to be?

“Investors have to make a decision. Do they want to invest in an aerospace company that is trying to be a lead, or an aerospace company that’s going to try to make the best airplane in the world?

“What I mean, be a lead is the goal of the Boeing company is to pay dividends and buy back shares, or make the best products in the country? And that’s the fundamental crossroads we have to make on each side. An investor will have to decide….”

 

50 Comments on “Skeptics about Boeing’s 737 production rate

  1. “As of 4Q23, if you look at the deliveries, production, and performance, their one-way average is about 33, and December exited at about 35. But so far in January (this was January 25), deliveries are only seven. What does that freeze actually mean?”

    —————————————-

    Does the delivery total accumulate or is it like data on your phone? If you don’t use it, it’s lost.

    There’s another thread to this bow;

    BA is struggling to get to the 400/year mark, even without the Max 9 issues. All this could be posturing by the FAA to be seen as being strict, once again – on a company that left them with egg on their face, after having overseen the ‘most scrutinized aircraft’ in history.

    —————————————

    “The repercussions of this are pretty meaningful,” Epstein said. “If you’re a supplier, probably at first, you won’t see a great investment, depending on how long this goes and how extreme the potential share shift is.

    What is the potential that Airbus pulls a Boeing and approaches it suppliers like BA did with Spirit and taps into some of the cash they have been stockpiling to help them bump up production?

    Surely, Airbus know where the bottlenecks are in the chain. Target those suppliers and give them a helping hand.

    • Frank P:

      The sudden surge in deliveries is nothing new for Boeing or Airbus.

      What is iffy now is suppliers building for XX number and finding Boeing can only take -XX due to the line slowing down.

      The rivets aka the miraculous Spirit catch are just the start. Its of interest it did no “exccape” Spirit but why did not an inspector catch it at Spirit or Boeing?

      As for Airbus, it has a lot of suppliers and many are critical in the chain in that you can’t go back and replace a wing rib. You can but you have to take apart the wing.

      Ergo, and AC unit late can be corrected at some cost but AC units are replaced all the time (aka access). Its definitely a bump in the production ops.

      The reality is Airbus or Boeing needs those parts in at least the build numbers, and worst case is the part is late and no stock in the system.

      So you fill your water tank but you don’t fill it by, ok, that quarter slice of the tank there we top up first. Granted water tanks are self leveling.

      Aircraft production is not, you have to ensure its a all supply level.

      Airbus can’t just go poach Boeing suppliers. Like it or not they have contracts.

      Long term they can morph to Airbus but Airbus has some history of stiffing suppliers as well. Its hard telling as the Airbus side does not talk.

      Airbus has to get their whole supply chain rising at the required level, not just a part here and there.

      • Considering they still have 150 built and stored MAX aircraft should have been delivered 2 years ago…

        Spirit catch on the rivets??? they have had rivet problems for years…they are just now disclosing it up front because everyone is watching…
        heading off the storm on already built but undelivered aircraft only, right?

        • Brian:

          Yep, there is the rub , another bucket of falls on the situation in that they will also have to inspect all delivered aircraft and it could go back to the NG as well.

          The blown hatch is just a bell-weather of a hosed up system that is going to take years to correct.

          Its been going downhill for years and its going to be an uphill climb and its worse with Calhoun and the board Boeing has (good old boy network where they all serve on each others boards and rub each others backs).

          Its so entrenched they don’t even think about it anymore.

          Its like a Psychopath. The only thing you can do is lock them up, you can’t correct them, they are too far gone.

          • you are talking like the current issues are a bug.

            they are a feature. ever since McD bought Boeing, this has been a cash extraction exercise. line your pockets while you ride it down until it is time to declare bankruptcy and sell all the assets and jump out the window with your platinum parachute.

          • I just noticed the issues that Boeing is now having with the T7…
            damn..

            Something with every business line…

      • “What is iffy now is suppliers building for XX number and finding Boeing can only take -XX due to the line slowing down.”

        😂
        IIRC Boeing promised to take more 737 MAX fuselage etc from suppliers than they are going to put into production, but let’s see how long it can last as CF quickly accelerate out the door.

  2. As brought to attention by Pedro in a previous article:

    https://theaircurrent.com/feed/dispatches/boeing-halts-deliveries-from-spirit-to-catch-up-on-unfinished-manufacturing-work/

    ‘Boeing halts some deliveries from Spirit to catch up…’

    —————————————

    If you’re a Boeing supplier and you see this happening (again) and also feel the pinch of ‘Partnering for Success’, with payments getting stretched out over the horizon – how on earth do you ever want to get in bed with these guys?

  3. Boeing in ‘last chance saloon’, warns Emirates head

    https://www.ft.com/content/ad41382f-3279-46ad-9ddd-8f7b0c368f07

    Tim Clark blames management and governance mis-steps for ‘progressive decline’ in US plane maker’s manufacturing standards

    “They have got to instil this safety culture which is second to none. They’ve got to get their manufacturing processes under review so there are no corners cut etc. I’m sure [chief executive] Dave Calhoun and [commercial head] Stan Deal are on that . . . this is the last chance saloon,” he said.

    ———————————-

    How many times has this guy flip flopped?

    • Frank P:

      Yea my reaction as well. He is full of hot air and some other things that the site (rightfully) does not want in text.

      I thought his all time best was when he magically gave the Trent 900 a 7% boost in SFC. Its all about negotiations and that is fine, but he truly is full of it and its not just bleed air.

  4. From AW:
    “Data compiled by consultants Aero Analysis Partners/AIR show Boeing averaged about 24 737 roll-outs per month in the fourth quarter and just more than 28 per month for the full year. It reached 38 back in June, rolling out 40, but quickly dropped amid production quality issues that slowed the lines and required re-work.”

    • To clarify a few things.

      I worked the 737 pre flight and delivery center for a long time. Durning the NG days.
      Factory roll out rates and delivery rates are two different things.
      When I was there the build rate was 38/month. When the end of the quarter always creeped closer we were tasked to ‘deliver’ as many as we safely and within compliance as we could….. to increase better financial performance. It also depended on the airline customer if they would take them but we never got a no. One month we delivered 60!

      Of course this isn’t necessarily the way at Boeing any longer. Probably never again. IDK.
      Production quality non conformance’s and rework is always just part of the process. Works the same for all airplane manufacturing OEM’s.

      I will say this. There are many good qualified people that work the delivery centers, this includes managers. They are all airplane people and understand the process to the Nth degree. They are also on the DOT random drug testing program…. Unlike factory workers.

      • Airdoc:

        Great background, fantastic even. Its that inside detail that really gets a better picture.

        I knew one of the Delivery guys. He was an amazing tech and I wondered about his moving into delivery (sure not my gig). He was very good and very conscientious about it.

        As a person and as an employee they just don’t get better than that, have to figure equal and in different ways but top notch for sure.

      • These are BA’s delivery of the MAX in Q4 last year:
        Oct 18
        Nov 45
        Dec 44
        Total: 107

      • Even if fuselages are big should there not be a measurement protocol including hole locations, deformations and shimming in addition an internal and external robotic CMM (coordinate measurement machine on tracks) check with protocol that is send with the fuselage to Boeing receiving inspection that they check before doing SPC (statistic process control) checks and then accept the fuselage and send the money to Wichita? Maybe procedures did not change after the sale of Wichita as then it was just a transfer between Boeing shops under the same quality system.

  5. I assume that everyone has at least heard about Ed Person’s interview with KIRO Channel 7 here in Seattle. If not here is the link. This fellow captured it and posted it on YouTube, which then went viral.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGdH23_jQrw

    Now as bad as that is, I actually think think things are worse than Ed describes because he does not touch on at least three serious additional issues that fed into the mess. One is the shift away from hardware to software in systems design for things where this should not be done. Another is the loss of talent due to the destruction of the defense side of the business which was commercial’s talent backup (I’ve commented extensively on both of those here before). And the third is the incompetence of Boeing IT and large corporate IT in general due to something that IT people call ITIL, which is profoundly wrongheaded. After all, it was the IT organization that built these crappy production support tools.

    • @RTF

      I know Ed, worked with him in a program called goldcare. He was in program mgmt.
      Then he moved to flight test then finally the factory where he as a sr mgr.
      I will say this, Ed is a smart guy but every time something bad surfaces about the 737 there’s Ed, he loves the limelight talking about how unsafe everything was/is. Ed and his organization have no power to change anything except they love the press… then when things die down he goes away.

      Ed was a sr mgr in the factory and always talks about how bad things were and he witnessed it daily. All I have to ask, well Ed you were a sr manager. What did you do to institute change? We don’t hear this, when he saw problems did he stop the line?
      Did he go to Pat Shanahan and tie the problems? Pat Shanahan had the 73 oversight at the time… good man and he listened.
      Factory sr managers have responsibility to do that!

      I don’t know, maybe he did….. I’m betting he didn’t. I’m one who’s tired of how the press loves to get this guy in front of the camera.
      He’s never turned a wrench on a jet, he’s never been a quality inspector.
      Boeing has been operating this way for a long time, put unqualified people in charge of building jets just because they have a pedigree. But they are clueless on how things really function.

      • Airdoc:

        Again, thank you.

        As for manages of any level and their job, the reality is their hands are tied by the system above them. Its not that they could not take action, for a short time, but as soon as that variation of the Emperor having no cloths hit the next level up, the wrath of hell would descend on him.

        If he had a good circle of support he might keep his job. But the X would be on his (or her) back and the first chance someone could slip the knife in, well there they would be with a knife in their back.

        We had one manager try to close out an hours bank at the end of his fiscal year. In short we had XXX hours at XXX rate to fix a bunch of bad building control software. It was enough of contractual finger pointing the paying manager got approval to just spend that money. I would meet with their guy once a week but not fixed and if something blew up we could put to Wds or the next week.

        Then the close out bill came. The paying manager calls me in and asks, are all those hours used up? I look at him and its, no, but I can’t tell you how many left, 50 or so at a guess but I am not assigned to tracking the hours. He bills the hours at the end of the month and you get the bill so you have last months. We sure as daylights have not spent those remaining hours this month (he knew that but typical manager, oh darn, now I have to dig it out and do the match – he had no adminstaror to support him so it was a pain)

        So he pulled the bills, did the hours and called the controls manager and it was, what in the world (a lot stronger than that) do you think you are doing.

        Cutting it short, he said, well its a quality multiplier, we do such good work we retire more hours than in the contract. BOOM.

        Was the controls manager stupid. Not exactly, his uppers put the finger on his branch (all the time) and made him do bad things. It was comply or loose his job. Sadly he would rather comply, he was a typical example of the kind of manager you don’t want but also fit perfectly into the Controls Company schemes. There was always another clown right behind him that wanted his job.

        Bottom line is once the top becomes corrupt, the best manager in the world gets shoe horned in and if they do their job right, they get savaged at best and usually terminated, then or latter.

    • If you won’t fly a MAX -9 then you would not fly a MAX-8 either. The both come from the same place and go through Renton exactly the same.

      • @TW

        Excellent point. I’m tired of hearing this rhetoric from people that say they won’t fly on a max. Ed Pierson says the same thing. Well then, I guess if you’re going to fly somewhere good luck on that, cause chances are it will be on a 737. Just think about the number of departures daily in the US.

        I do understand people’s apprehension. All the bad press doesn’t help. Agreed that Boeing doesn’t help themselves either.

          • BA hoped they would not be caught and were and I cannot emphasized enough that it was insanely lucky and 177 passengers and the crew were not killed or a wreck and killed, injured on landing.

            Hope is not a strategy.

            I don’t expect anything other than the Lip service we have seen out of Boeing (note the board has not said diddly)

            But, this is the kind of story that has legs because the buckets of cold water keep coming.

            I don’t generally make predictions but I believe Calhoun is toast in the next couple of months and have to see if the board gets the ax too (er resigns)

            That said the big unknown then is if Boeing board and the CEO they appoint actually work at getting Boeing corrected or its more of the same oh same oh.

            That I make no predictions on if its an effective more or not.

            Calhoun was their best chance to start (not finish) correcting Boeing and they blew it (deliverable, good old boys network)

            Dump Calhoun and hope it goes away will be the next big move (Stan is gone, he just has not been terminated yet).

            Then Calhoun is thrown under the plane (with a huge payout) and then we see.

        • I used to work with a quality engineer (he was French btw) and before working for our company, he worked for Boeing on the 767 and 757. He stated (this was around 2007) that he preferred to fly on Airbus because he did not know what is wrong with them while he knew every little issue on Boeing aircraft. He also stated that if he had worked for Airbus, he would have preferred flying Boeing for the same reason.
          That was the same for me: I would never buy a car I worked on because I knew all small little issues relating to the engine so I preferred a car I had no clue about because I would not have heard about any problems. It is a stupid way of thinking but ignorance is bliss but this is human nature.

          • LOL

            Not as a deflection but some stupid things have happen with Airbus as well that easily could have been a crash, unlike AF447 they skinned by and I am delighted (you can only hate a crash as the victims are not the ones that perpetrated it).

            I long admired Cummins engine as they were very solid and lower cost than Cat (and as good).

            Now a bit blow up on their cheating with emissions cheat devices (and not one is going to jail, bought their way out of it).

            Generally they catch issues once in service. Ak Airlines with the MD loss after SFO is an example of cost cutting killing passengers and the fail of failure on the jack screw was enough to make you cry.

            AK Exit Blank ejection is the perfect story , no one hurt or killed and Boeing can’t cover it up.

  6. I hadn’t thought about that !
    Effectively the FAA rate increase ban is meaningless because Boeing is no where near producing 38 per month, and they can’t produce 31 per month safely and efficiently.
    As I get older, I have come to realise that having watched C beams glitter in the dark over the Tahnhauser gate is a more valuable commodity than I had ever imagined and that all this experience shouldn’t be allowed to vanish like tears in the rain of short term shareholder “benefits “

    • Nice BladeRunner quote. Did you let go of the dove at the same time, too?

    • Grubbie:

      I think its been mentioned several times that while Boeing can’t open a new line, the effect of inspections is going to be a slow down of whatever rate they are really at.

      Its a win win for the FAA, they and the administration can claim they are not interfering in a business god given right to turn out bad stuff, but its Boeing fault for a slow down as they have so much wrong. Fix that and the rate goes up to 38!

      Having wathed Bureaucracies at work, its classic, and in this case to the public benefit.

      Keeping in mind there is another party out there that throws accusations like it was confetti. Getting ahead of that is nicely done.

  7. ” An investor will have to decide….”

    After the initial offering of shares is distributed ( and money as investment collected in return )
    there are no further “investors” involved.

    Just various parties pedling shares.

  8. Based on that bombshell revelation by a Boeing whistleblower on this site a few weeks ago, the 737 production line is replete with QC failures. So, the rate of 31 per month quoted last year was only achieved in the midst of chaos and multiple quality escapes (as evidenced by the Alaska incident, and all the loose bolts found subsequently).
    What rate will Boeing achieve if it’s forced by the FAA to do things properly? I’m thinking low 20s (if even that).

    p.s. Aren’t we lucky that that door blew out on a US plane? If that had been a MAX in India, Indonesia, etc., it would just have been dismissed as being due to shoddy maintenance by the airline.

    • Bondi:

      I agree with all of that in spades.

      I made that point about a US failure needed to get the legs to keep the story up front and Boeing can no longer duck (try yes but its just one bucket after another, its not even drip drip)

      I was holding my breath as a crash would get attention and you have dead people again and I don’t wish that on anyone to get to Boeing.

      This was the perfect event, no on killed but such a massive failure it makes the Orville Spillway failure look like nothing (not that people downstream were not sweating it big time).

      People have knocked me about the financials, what they don’t get is this drives the financials and Boeing is getting beat with the ugly stick and its not going to stop short of a complete top clean out.

      A clean out does not SOLVE the problem, but it buys you time and if we are lucky, it actually becomes a fix fore Boeing not lip service.

      The financials are ugly and will remain so, but if you can make progress, then its better than going deeper and deeper.

    • CFM engines for Boeing and Airbus are completely different despite the same name and a different front fan size
      The cores arent interchangeable as the B version is smaller diameter to enhance the BPR because of the limit of the overall fan size and the B version runs faster RPM and ‘hotter’

      The max thrust also isnt the same A- 35,000lbs while B- is 28,000 lb – thats because the max thrust needs of the Boeing are less – bigger wing, lower empty weight

      • Anyone can see the writing on the wall: one is losing market share while the other one is gaining. Can anyone resist the tide??

      • “thats because the max thrust needs of the Boeing are less – bigger wing, lower empty weight”

        Baloney!

        the important difference is Single Engine Out performance
        as demanded by the applicable certification.
        For the 737 it still is some value from 1965.
        For the A320 certification required performance was stepped up quite a bit. ( same as the markup in crash G-specs.)

        either a boon or one of these “leveling the table” operations.:-)

        • No evidence for that claim.
          The 737 is lighter and with a bigger wing ( thanks the NG when they designed one with bigger area , more internal volume and lighter weight)

          Certification engine out follows after the above reasons.
          Like many of your most vehement claims, a sign they are plain wrong

      • Small adjustments to the line planning allow CFM to produce LEAP A,B or C at will.
        Airbus does the same: a customer can make a last-minute switch from an A320 to an A321, without rocking the cart.
        I can imgine that CFM and Airbus are already discussing quota shifts.

        • “last-minute switch from an A320 to an A321,..”

          I don’t think that Airbus is light handed in that domain.

          previously changing from A320 to A321 could include an FAL jump. ( Toulouse was A320 only, the new FAL there solves the issue.)
          That is more than just cutting the baguette in a different place 🙂

          The stark differences Leap-A and Leap-B show strongly hinders easy “right balancing” of production numbers.

          based on the history of CFM my guess is the B are produced on GE premises while A is produced on Safran premises.
          ( Who serves the Tianjin and Mobile FALs?)

        • The Leap A arent B engines arent interchangeable parts, the reasons I mentioned – cores are completely different because the tech is different as well, The B uses ceramics
          They even have final assembly lines in different countries – US and France

    • Keeping in mind they are different engines and not just packaging. They are to different sizes. Probably only the auxilery stuff is common.

      With Airbus backlog, if I have an actual slot (and note those slots are over allocated already) then I either need the aircraft or would only sell it at a premium.

      You can’t make money if you buy hulls at premium prices (most markets)

      Its taken Airbus a long time to work up to 50% and a long time to whittle Boeing down another 10%. That was before they were sold out until 2030 and had over sold that production.

      Everyone in the Q has to give up that slot if it comes open and the only way Airbus can really take advtanage of this is to increased production.

      An its not like Smart phones, it takes years to get production rate up and Airbus has been shooting for 75 and not close yet.

      In the short term Airlines will shift to the MAX -9 if they can’t get the -10.

      And hope EICAS does not rear its waivered head. The wild thing as a tech and pilot, I agree with the EICAS being a wrong move and was just stupid language in the legislation.

      Boeing has now turned a well supported reason into dirt and now we have to see what stage the Boeing meltdown is at when the Waiver comes up again.

  9. The NYT article (if you can read it) is exactly why this is not going away

    https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/05/us/politics/faa-boeing-737-max-9.html

    Yes it has some errors but the gist of it is there are going to be hearings and it won’t end soon. Legislation will be proposed to go back to ODA full report to FAA not Boeing.

    Sadly the end is reality, even if the FAA wanted to inspect every rivet, it cannot, it does not have the resources and reality is they should not have to.

    That said its also a political football that this may have given the FAA the opening they wanted to take but could not without risking backlash from those who want to score political points and do not care about public safety.

    So now either way, the FAA is full into it. They can hire inspectors or hire a 3rd party though said 3rd party has to report to Boeing and it might work that way. But it would require funding and the FAA might get that a lot easier than a budget increase to hire its own people.

    If done right it could work. I would sign up in a heartbeat (granted I know nothing about inspecting airplane production but I could not be worse than what they got now!)

    The real bottom line is its crucial that at all levels people should be able to report what they believe is a problem, it gets looked into and a determination made as to if its a problem or not.

    You do have people that compalin about stuff and that is not given its an issue.

    What is a given is you need to be safe in reporting and not get canned right now or an X on your back and canned latter (managers at more risk than union hands but reality is also managers are at the center of all this)

    The US in WWII trained millions of people into high tech jobs and some of the most complex equipment of the day had people who were naturals.

    The myth was that you could get the worlds best mechanic put in as a cook. The reality was, if the Navy had enough mechanics and needed cooks, you were a cook. A mechanic trained on their equipment was better than a mechanic who had to learn it.

    You can train people. Yes it takes time but you can break it down into smaller tasks and then let them get upgraded as they get good at it.

    It does take time and none of this is solved over night. It will take years.

    But it can be done and the FAA has the perfect leverage to inflict pain on Boeing to do so.

    I won’t swear to it but what came out of Charleston in a non union plant was the Shim Issue got reported and they still are under scrutiny.

    You can stabilize the ship in a couyple of years but its going to take 5 years of concerted effort to get it pumped out and back to normal water in the bilge and then your inspector are catching all the issues.

    And no matter what anyone thinks, its not going to ever be perfect.

    You need it good enough that the high levels of overbuilt make sure its not a failure be it a crash or blank blowout and cracks and those issues don’t propagate into a loss.

    Aircraft have had some wild incidents and the over build is what saved them.

    We want to make sure the build is good enough it falls into that basket and as long as its a save and not a loss we can correct a tech issue (human factors are something else though there is some promising moves there as well)

    • “The company received subpoenas related to the probe in November and January from the Securities and Exchange Commission, RTX said late Monday in a regulatory filing. The agency sought engineering, financial and other documents in connection with the probe, RTX said.”

    • Fully-Captured Regulators have to be seen as doing *something*..

      Wake me up when something significant- i.e., detrimental to the Regulated- happens.

      • You fail to realize that there is no such thing as fully captured.

        Any agency move is to throw a client under the bus.

        In this case the FAA may or may not have been interested but Boeing made them throw them under the plane.

        Any agency HATES being called in front of a Congressional committee.

        There was a movie lo Many Years ago, Wake Me When Its Over. A real classic.

        Boeing management nightmare continues and its got a long play ahead of it.

  10. First flight figures are likely closer to production rates than delivery data.

    This is monthly data regarding 737 MAX’s first flights in 2023-2024 according to Planespotters:
    – Q1: 29, 30, 38 (avg. 32.3)
    – Q2: 33, 38, 36 (avg. 35.7)
    – Q3: 31, 25, 27 (avg. 27.7)
    – Q4: 29, 19, 22 (avg. 23.3)
    – Jan 2024: 19

    https://www.planespotters.net/special/boeing-737-max-grounding

    According to this data, monthly first flights were close to the advertised production rate (38 per month) between March and June (avg. 36.25). Then, first flights progressively decreased starting from July/August (when Boeing identified a quality problem involving improperly drilled holes on the aft pressure bulkhead).

    A similar discrepancy between first flight data and advertised production rate also exists for the 787.

    First flights:
    – Q3: 2, 3, 2
    – Q4: 2, 4, 3
    – Jan 2024: 2

    https://www.planespotters.net/special/boeing-787

    For the 787, Boeing advertised a production rate between 4 and 5 in Q3 and equal to 5 in Q4.

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