Again? Boeing Faced With NEW 737 MAX Production Issue

By Spyros Georgilidakis | February 5, 2024

Boeing faces more delays in delivering 737 MAX aircraft, because of a new issue involving mis-drilled holes in a fuselage component.

No, this isn’t the story you remember, from a few months ago. That problem had to do with mis-drilled holes in the rear pressure bulkhead of some 737 MAX aircraft. This one involves a different part – but it DOES involve Spirit AeroSystems.

Again? Boeing Faced With NEW 737 MAX Production Issue
Photo: Henry Siismets

Boeing announced that last Thursday Spirit notified them of a “non-conformance” issue in some 737 MAX fuselages. It involves two holes on a window frame, that are closer to the edge of that particular piece of metal than they should be.

This is called a “short edge margin” issue, and Boeing will need to inspect as many as 50 737 MAX aircraft, that were up for delivery soon. Boeing and Spirit found 22 737 fuselages that exhibited this non-conformance, after inspecting 47 fuselages.

Again? Boeing Faced With NEW 737 MAX Production Issue
Photo: Sam Almo-Milkin, CC BY-SA 4.0

737 MAX Issue – Not A Safety-of-Flight Concern

Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal also revealed that this problem came to light after a Spirit employee flagged it to his manager. After last month’s events, the manufacturer asked its suppliers to be more vigilant about conformance and quality issues.

This non-conformance is not an immediate safety-of-flight concern, according to Boeing. But the issue comes as American lawmakers put pressure on the FAA, asking if it has found persistent quality control problems with the production of the 737 MAX.

Photo: Sachin Amjhad

Also, it has now been over a month since the Alaska 737 MAX-9 blow-out, which means that NTSB could publish an interim/factual report of that event very soon – possibly this week. The airlines have now almost completed the necessary checks on the mid-cabin door plugs of their 737 MAX-9s.

But between this problem and the upcoming NTSB report, the 737 MAX remains in the news, for all the wrong reasons. On top of everything else, it is another factor in slowing deliveries for Boeing, after a year where 737 production suffered twice from quality-related delays.


Leave the first comment