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Originally published Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 5:49 PM

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Boeing upbeat about 737 MAX

Boeing said it will finalize the main design elements of the 737 MAX in July and expressed confidence that the jet will achieve parity with the Airbus A320neo in the market.

Seattle Times aerospace reporter

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The head of Boeing’s 737 MAX program, Keith Leverkuhn, said Thursday the program is meeting all performance and schedule targets and the company will finalize the new single-aisle jet’s major design elements in July.

In an update in advance of the Paris Air Show next month, Leverkuhn noted only one significant design change: the inner wall of the thrust reverser wrapped around the engine will be titanium instead of composite plastic in order to slim down the nacelles that surround the bigger engines.

He said the MAX will retain the current 737’s distinctive nacelle shape, flat at the bottom instead of circular.

And even though the rival Airbus A320neo remains far ahead of the MAX in orders — more than 2,000 orders for the neo compared to less than 1,400 for the MAX — Leverkuhn said that customer interest is such that he’s confident “the market share will reach parity over time.”

Dominic Gates: (206) 464-2963 or

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