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Thread: How Boeing makes 40 737s a month

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    Silver Hawk Member 53k's Avatar
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    How Boeing makes 40 737s a month

    Did you ever wonder how Boeing produces over forty 737 airplanes a month?

    The train arrives with the main body in the morning.

    This 3:28 minute video is fascinating.

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/SE71NJl-naY?autoplay=1

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    President Member 48skyliner's Avatar
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    The 737 is certainly more complex than anything built in WWII, but it is interesting to compare this with the B-17 production. The engines, landing gear and gun turrets were shipped in, but the structure was built in-house, and they were at one point delivering 16 airplanes a day from the Seattle plant.
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    President Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    That was great. Thanks for the link.
    Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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    Thanks 53k for the link to knowledge-love it.

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    Silver Hawk Member Chris Pile's Avatar
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    Yup. The bodies are made in Wichita, and then are shipped halfway across the country via rail. It's a beautiful thing.
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    The Airbus A320 production look nearly similar:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWtlDsteh5o
    We produce approx. 20-25 aircrafts of the A320 Family in Hamburg/Germany, 15-18 in Toulouse/France, 4-6 in Tianjin/China and 4 in Mobile/Alabama in a month

    The bodies and parts are made in several european countries, for example Toulouse/France, Broughton/Great Britain, Getafe/Spain, Stade/Germany and then will be shipped for assembly to the 4 main production facilities

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CguTM233xoc

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    Champion Member Big Smooth's Avatar
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    We can ramp up even more :-) ... If it aint Boeing I'm not going...

    Boeing is also global. Airbus and Boeing rely on the same supply chain. We are competitors, but work together at an international level to make aviation safe.
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    I had the privilege of touring the Airbus assembly plant in Mobile on Monday. Very impressive. I've been in paper mills, foundrys, cryogenic tank plants, and steel mills before. Needless to say this was the cleanest and most controlled facility. Also the only climate controlled large plant - which is nice in south Alabama in the summer. The most interesting thing to me is that all of the component parts except engines are shipped from Germany even though a large percentage of the other parts are made in America. Apparently it is a logistical necessity despite shipping costs. And they bragged that they have more American parts in their plane than the other company (as they called Boeing). Also said that if they stopped taking orders on the 320/321 today, it would take 9 years at current production to fill all orders. At around $100 million per plane.

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    President Member 48skyliner's Avatar
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    Selling these very expensive airplanes in foreign countries always involves a lot of politics. The agreement to have mechanical, hydraulic and electronic parts and even structural assemblies, like flaps and body panels, made in the customer country is often part of the sales negotiations.
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    Silver Hawk Member Swifster's Avatar
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    That was very interesting. Short of painting the plane last, it's very much like a modern auto assembly plant (only larger).
    Tom - Bradenton, FL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Smooth View Post
    .... We are competitors, but work together at an international level to make aviation safe.
    That's true

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    President Member Commander Eddie's Avatar
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    One of my brothers works at the Boeing plant in Everett Washington and I had a chance to tour part of the facility last year during there occasional Friends & Family day. He programs the 5-axis CNC machines that make some of the critical parts, right down to shims. I was very impressed by the scale of the place. It is also very clean. Overhead cranes move almost everything during assembly. One of the buildings I toured was 5 million square feet. Awsome. This is construction on a grand scale.
    If any of you ever get a chance to do this I highly recommend it. My brother will be retiring from Boeing soon and he actually said he will miss it.
    Ed Sallia
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    Silver Hawk Member Chris Pile's Avatar
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    He programs the 5-axis CNC machines that make some of the critical parts, right down to shims
    So he's a CATIA jockey?
    The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    It amounts to the world making jets for the world. Whether Boeing or Airbus, the global economy can not be reversed.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/boein...pliers-2013-10


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    Not all suppliers, but also interesting (FAL means Final Assembly Line):

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    Silver Hawk Member StudeDave57's Avatar
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    It's not so anymore, but back in the day- Airbus used four old Boeing birds converted for large cargo to transport their parts around Europe. NASA owns the only flier left.

    True story!!!


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aero_S...es_Super_Guppy




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    That's right. The Super Guppy:


    One of them you can find in our own aircraft exhibition in Hamburg Finkenwerder.

    Now we use the Beluga, modified A300:

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    Silver Hawk Member JBOYLE's Avatar
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    And recall the Guppy family were Boeing Stratocruiser/C-97s at heart...which were developed and re-engineered WWII B-29s.
    While avoiding the Airbus/Boeing rivalry, I will say Boeing sure knows how to build aeroplanes.

    I'll admit to being biased, my dad flew B-17s in the war and I've flown in everything from a Boeing 40... their first airliner, to B-17s, B-52, to B-1 (which Boeing is responsible for following since Rockwell left the a aircraft business)...as well as all their jetliner...except the new 787.

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    President Member 48skyliner's Avatar
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    The first few pre-production C-97s were derived from the B-29, but the B-50 became available and the production C-97s and civilian Stratocruisers were based on the B-50, with the more powerful 4-row Pratt engines. In the mid 50s two C-97s were converted to the T-34 turboprop engines and designated YC97J. Two Lockheed Constellations were also converted to these engines for the Navy. The performance was spectacular for both airplanes, with about 5500 hp per engine, but the fuel burn was apparently pretty high. One summer in about 1958 I saw one of the YC97J airplanes on Guam, and was told it was the personal airplane of some general who was head of Air Materiel Command.

    Conroy Aviation in Santa Barbara acquired the two YC97Js and converted them to the "Super Guppy" for transporting oversized missile parts. Conroy also made some based on the piston powered C-97s. In the early 60s I was in the Air Force in Tucson, and I think I saw the two Connies in the boneyard there - most likely scrapped.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing...C-97J_USAF.jpg
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    Silver Hawk Member JBOYLE's Avatar
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    Yes, I know about the B-50...but in basic design that was a development of the B-29. The new engines and taller tail were easy to see...one major change from the 29 to 590 was the change from 24ST aluminium to 75ST...so the aircraft was re-engineered, but in basic design, still was an update of the B-29.

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    President Member Kato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Smooth View Post
    We can ramp up even more :-) ... If it aint Boeing I'm not going...

    Boeing is also global. Airbus and Boeing rely on the same supply chain. We are competitors, but work together at an international level to make aviation safe.
    As a pilot who has flown the Airbus A330/340 and currently flying the B777 I can tell you both companies make outstanding aircraft. As far as pilots go it is a bit of a Ford vs. Chevy sort of thing. Why we have favorites is not easy to define or justify. Airbus philosophy regarding flying their machines is to rely more heavily on automation, Boeing less so. They are both highly automated but Boeing maintains a somewhat simpler operating principle than Airbus. There are pros and cons to this as with anything. Boeing guys will refer to the Air France A330 accident in the South Atlantic as an example of overly automated operating principles causing problems. Overall I would have to say I enjoy flying a Boeing more than Airbus but again they are both outstanding products.

    Thanks for posting the video, it was very interesting!

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