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Boeing finds a 737 MAX manufacturing problem.

A recently identified problem with the 737 MAX could require the manufacturer to overhaul hundreds of the model’s aircraft and possibly temporarily halt fresh 737 MAX deliveries. 

The problem was discovered by Spirit AeroSystems, which informed Boeing about a problem that a “non-standard manufacturing process” was used when joining the aft fuselage and the vertical tail with two fittings of specific 737 NextGeneration (NG)-based aircraft, including the 737 MAX-7, MAX-8, MAX-8-200, and the P-8 Poseidon. There is no impact on the 737 MAX-9. 

The problem was initially covered by Bloomberg on April 13, 2023. 

As a Tier 1 supplier, Spirit AeroSystems constructs and delivers the fuselages for the Boeing 737 as well as the 767, 777/777X, and 787. The Wichita, Kansas-based company also provides components for the A220, A320ceo/neo family, and A350 programs at Airbus. It previously provided parts to the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8, neither of which is still being produced. 

Production period of four years 

The issue, according to the supplier, may affect Boeing 737 MAXs made over the previous four years, including those created after the model was grounded in March 2019. 

Following its second tragic tragedy in a matter of months, aviation authorities grounded the aircraft after an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD), Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. According to a statement from Boeing, it will “affect a significant number of undelivered 737 MAX airplanes, both in production and in storage,” even though it is not “an immediate safety of flight issue,” allowing the currently operating 737 MAXs to continue flying. 

The 737 MAX’s production was temporarily halted by the manufacturer between January 2020 and May 2020 because the plane was not lifted off the ground in 2019. 

Between January 1, 2019, and April 14, 2023, the US-based Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) produced 879 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft (excluding the MAX-9) according to statistics from Between November 1, 2020, and April 14, 2023, Boeing produced 438 of the type (excluding the 737 MAX-9), according to The 737 MAX was ungrounded by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on November 18, 2020, and American Airlines conducted the first post-grounding flight with the model on December 29, 2020. 

According to data from, Boeing delivered 752 of the type of aircraft (excluding the 737 MAX-9) between November 18, 2020, and April 14, 2023. 

Boeing is presently assessing the full scope of the issue to determine whether deliveries will need to be halted and whether 737 MAXs that are currently in use by airlines need to be examined. 

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