Boeing has introduced comprehensive modifications to the 737 Next Generation's nacelle design.

While Boeing is on track to meet the FAA's July 31, 2023 deadline for design changes, it seeks an additional 17 months to address human-induced errors.

Boeing's revisions are informed by both external incident investigations and the company's internal safety analysis.

ARLINGTON — Boeing has revealed a comprehensive update to its 737 Next Generation's (737NG) nacelle design intending to enhance its defense against shattered fan blades. Yet, the aerospace giant has signaled a need for extended timelines to resolve human-induced errors, such as mistakenly unlatched doors, Aviation Week reports.

Boeing's recent regulatory disclosure, dated July 19, underscores its determination to adhere to the FAA's forthcoming July deadline for introducing design alterations. This step was propelled by two safety episodes involving Southwest Airlines 737-700s, in which detached nacelle segments led to unanticipated aircraft damage.

Following the 2019 NTSB guidelines, Boeing has liaised with the FAA over nearly four years, endeavoring to modernize the 737NG nacelle layout based on up-to-date analytical frameworks and guarantee the retrofitting of these updates throughout the 737NG lineup.

Last year saw Boeing proposing a lengthier seven-year timeframe for the design's inception and certification. However, the FAA compartmentalized the task, granting Boeing a year to dispel agency apprehensions about the design and lay out foundational retrofit directives.

Per their latest documentation, Boeing is set to present all design revisions to the FAA by July 31, 2023. Yet, the company has also flagged intermittent maintenance discrepancies causing complications at takeoffs and touchdowns, leading them to seek more time to tackle these unnoticed mistakes in collaboration with the FAA.

To devise a remedial approach for these maintenance hiccups, Boeing has pinpointed a need for an additional 17-month period. The company remains resolute on ensuring that its nacelle modifications comply with the pertinent Part 25 stipulations.

These new procedures complement alterations in inspection criteria and blade life limits, introduced by engine producer CFM, in the wake of the duo of FBO events - one of which had tragic consequences with a passenger losing their life. Boeing has communicated its strategy to the FAA, emphasizing that their joint measures aim to curtail the likelihood and repercussions of future FBO incidents.

Both cited accidents witnessed broken fan blades causing significant havoc, with the 2018 tragedy resulting in a life lost due to sudden decompression. Boeing's refinements are reflective of risks unearthed during these probes, leveraging insights from both external investigations and the company's proprietary safety mechanisms.

In its 2022 critique of Boeing’s design outlines, the FAA recognized Boeing's endeavors, noting the reinforced nacelle architecture which is engineered to withstand fan blade malfunctions.