Those of you who read Sunny Abercrombie's post CAN WE BOTTLE THAT SMELL? will remember when she asked the question, "love that new car smell?" Well I'm here to tell you that there is nothing like the smell of a new Boeing 737-700.
On September 26, 2006, aircraft N257WN was delivered to Southwest Airlines from the Boeing Company, and upon its arrival in Dallas, it taxied onto the ramp just outside of the maintenance hangars. The Mechanics then towed it into the hangar. If you had any sense of smell, it would not have taken you any time at all to realize that there was a new airplane in the hangar.
Why would a brand new airplane just delivered from the manufacturer be brought to the maintenance hangar you might ask? When an airplane is delivered to us from Boeing it is airworthy, but there are a few items that are added. Richard "Blaze" Blazek, one of our veteran Mechanics of 23 years was part of the crew that performed the work on the new airplane, and he explained to me the process that we go through when we receive a new airplane:
"We have to do a MAKE READY check; that's when we add other items to the airplane that Boeing did not, items like trash cans, ice buckets, coffee makers, the onboard wheel chair, and decals/placards, just to name a few. We also make some other minor modifications. It's less expensive for Southwest to finish preparing the aircraft for service than having Boeing do it."
Let me hear from you if you are one of the lucky ones to fly on one of our airplanes that has the new smell of leather.