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Big air: How Boeing builds a 737 jet in nine days

Any frequent flyer could tell you that a Boeing 737 is one of the most common commercial planes in the industry.

What they probably couldn’t tell you, however, is that it’s built in just nine days.

WIRED.com went inside Boeing’s Renton plant outside of Seattle, Wash. to get a first-hand look at how these jets are made. Renton is the most productive airplane factory in the world, pushing out 42 of the vessels per month.

Each 737 is sent through a production line, which begins with the outer shell of the plane being hauled to the factory from Wichita, Kan.. Once in Renton, days one through three focus on the interior of the plane, such as plumbing and insulation.

From there, the shell starts to become a plane as the wings and tail are added. Power is then added to the 737, making initial tests possible. By the eighth day, the engines are added and flight control checks are taking place.

The moment of truth comes on day nine with a customer walk through and the plane’s first flight.

Since launching the 737 airplane in the mid-1960’s, Boeing has built more than 9,000 of the single-aisle jets.

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