Saturday, August 24, 2013

737 Max Parsing Through The Single Aisle War

Reading through the press you sense how serious this business of building the single aisle market arises to a fever pitch. The buzz word of the year from Boeing is "discipline". The Max is not your brothers 787. The build process is disciplined, not ambiguous or a meandering onslaught of lessons learned that were found in the 787 project! The 737 Max is marching in lock step to 2017, so says the Boeing VP, Scott Fancher.

"Through our disciplined development on the 737 MAX program, the team has retired key technology risks," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager, Airplane Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, during a briefing at the 2013 Paris Air Show. "We have informed our customers and they are pleased they will be able to put these more fuel-efficient airplanes in their fleets sooner than planned." 

Then Later, on July 23, this statement comes out by a different spokesperson off the same script.

"We have defined the design requirements for the 737 MAX that provide our customers with the most value in the single-aisle market," said Michael Teal, chief project engineer, 737 MAX, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We continue to follow our disciplined process to ensure that we have completed all the requirements for the development stage of the program and are ready to begin the detailed design phase."  

The Takeaways from Boeing's scripting:

  • Discipline, discipline and discipline
  • Chopped off one quarter of time... 3rd  QTR 2017 because of our discipline.
  • 8% better than the NEO
  • For further details read on with the Blah Blah section.
  • Design Scope is now  frozen and design details are now under construction.
  • Design details will be completed before 2015. 

Parsing the word, "discipline", demonstrates the 737 Max is well beyond the bravado of the 787 process at this junction. Everything learned with the 787 can be installed onto the Max not requiring an agonizing process like the 787 experienced. Rather than adding on additional delay time in years like the 787, the Max discipline has  already removed 90 days of time, before the first test model. This A team is not in a learning school for the unknown, like the 787 team found out, but is a virtuoso of 737 Engineers, suppliers and aviation journeymen, using tools and materials they play with everyday. 

I would expect another quarter or two chopped off before the deed is done and an expecting framer to roll out a customer aircraft during the first quarter 2017. The Max innovation stays within the relevant range of proven technologies across the board, including newly proven 787 type technologies as Boeing levers lessons learned just paid for into the Max. That is why the Max Timeline will continue to shrink as it parleys  its vast resources into the Max without fear of a substantial set backs. This airplane should excite the customer base and balloon the customer orders in 2014 after the detail designs are fixed and suppliers retool its support.