I hope you are looking forward to these packets of photos from our friends at Boeing as much as I am. Aside from the larger cabin and revised galleys, the most anticipated difference between the 737-800 and our existing airplanes might be the Sky Interior that was first developed for the 787.
If you’ve ever wondered what the backside of those wall panels in a cabin look like, here’s your chance. In the view above, we are looking forward, and the panels for the right side of the cabin are laid out in order.
Workers bring the panels for the left side into the cabin and place them along the wall. The overhead bins are already in place, and with the Sky Interior, the bins make up a large part of the ceiling. They are of a new design that will accommodate more carryon bags. (I think the overhead bins look like an upper berth in a Pullman sleeping car.) Keep in mind that all of this assembly is going on while the entire airplane inches down the assembly line at the rate of two inches per minute.
Once all the sidewall panels are onboard, workers begin to install them up and down the cabin. A temporary work light has been attached to the long ventilation panel that runs down the length of the cabin. This view, like the previous ones, is toward the front of the aircraft, and while it may be hard to see, the forward jumpseat position and the forward galley have been installed.
Above is a view of the sidewall around the emergency window exits. A good spotting feature of the 737-800 is the second window emergency exit due to its greater capacity. The insulation and soundproofing have yet to be installed in the wall between the exit windows, and it is possible to see the back of the outer skin.
In this view looking aft, most of the sidewalls have been installed. We get a good look at the work stools that the installers sit on, which are at the proper height and allow mobility around the cabin. The wiring and oxygen masks for the overhead PSUs (passenger service units) are located in the area between the top of the wall panels and the bottom of the overheads. These pictures show that assembling a multi-million dollar jetliner is a carefully choreographed procedure. Stay tuned for the next installment.