With a fresh coat of paint and the sun shining through the doors to light it up, a brand new Southwest Airlines 737 looked gorgeous today as we officially opened a newly renovated paint hangar next to our Renton factory. The Southwest 737-700 was one of the first airplanes to be painted at the facility.
The hangar was built back in the late 50’s at the start of the 707 program. Before it closed in 1994, the hangar was also used to paint 727s and 757s. We’ve refurbished the hangar so that it can now paint all Next-Generation 737 models. In case you’re wondering, a crew of about eight painters can finish an entire 737 in about three days.
This hangar will play a key role as the 737 program goes up in rate. Right now, we stand at 31.5 airplanes per month. By the first half of 2014, the program will go all the way up to 42 airplanes per month. It’s great to be able to turn a piece of Boeing history into something that will be a valuable part of our future.