Boeing

Overview

Boeing’s 737 factory at the Renton, Wash., site leads the industry as the most efficient airplane factory in the world. More than 11,600 commercial airplanes (707, 727, 737, and 757) or about 30 percent of the worldwide fleet flying today were built in Renton. According the Guinness World Records, the 737 is the “most produced large commercial jet” in aviation history. Covering 1.1 million square feet of factory space, the 737 program rolls out 42 airplanes a month and is expected to increase the rate to 47 a month in 2017 and 52 in 2018. From the time a fuselage enters the factory, it takes 10 days to complete an airplane. The final assembly building has two moving lines producing Next-Generation 737s and a third that will initially produce the 737 MAX beginning in 2015. The P-8, a Navy submarine hunter and maritime patrol aircraft, and a military derivative of the 737-800, is also built at Renton.

Aerial view of factory

History

The Renton Site is synonymous with aviation history, with its roots dating back to WWII. Originally built by the Navy in 1941 to manufacture the PB2B Sea Ranger bomber, the Air Force bought the site in 1943 and constructed the adjacent Renton airfield to build the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. In 1954, the factory produced one of the most important airplanes in aviation history -- the Boeing Dash 80. The Dash 80 led to the Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker (first military jet tanker) and the 707 - the world’s first commercial airplane that ushered in the jet age and opened the gateway to international travel. The 707 paved the way for the most successful selling commercial jet in history – the 737 in 1965. Renton went on to produce the 737 family (Initial Model, Classic, and Next Generation), the 757, the 767, and the Navy’s P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft. The newest family member, the737 MAX will begin production in 2015.

737s

Quick Facts

  • The XPBB-1 Ranger was the first airplane built in Renton and only one was built, prompting the nickname “Lone Ranger.”
  • From 1974 to 1985, the Renton plant also was a shipbuilding facility; military hydrofoil missile ships and commercial jetfoils were produced alongside the aircraft production lines.
  • From airplanes to elephants: From July 1946 to 1949, no aircraft were built in Renton. The plant was used for other purposes, such as a temporary home for a circus—including elephants.
  • On average, over 2,000 737 airplanes are in the air at any given time.*
  • One 737 takes off or lands every 2.0 seconds.*
  • For all 737 models, there are approximately 24,000 scheduled passenger flights per day. This means that 31 percent of all commercial flights are on 737s.***
  • The 737 family has carried more than 16.8 billion passengers; that is equivalent to every single man, woman and child flying at least twice. (2013 world population was 7.1 billion).*
  • The 737 has flown more than 119.0 billion miles; equivalent to approximately 640 round trips from the earth to the sun.* This represents more than 184 million flights recording 264 million flight hours.
  • With approximately 5,580 airplanes in service, the 737 represents more than a quarter of the total worldwide fleet of large commercial jets flying today.
  • Each of the four large commercial jetliners built at Renton—the 707, 727, 737 and 757—has surpassed the 1,000-aircraft-delivery milestone, a record of success unmatched by any other aircraft production facility in the world.
  • There are over 40 miles of wire on the 737 Next-Generation aircraft and approximately 600,000 total parts on a Next-Generation 737 airplane.

*As of December, 31, 2013
**Ascend Worldwide (January 7, 2014)
***OAG, August 2013. Nonstop, ticket-selling flights.