I have posted images of stored 737 Max jets at Boeing Field. However, there is limited space there for storage and far more of the jets have been stored at Moses Lake. I wanted to see how things looked over there which was part of my reason for visiting. As I got close to the field, it wasn’t hard to spot the jets. They are everywhere it seems. The east side of the field has a bunch of them parked up. There are also plenty on the south side of the airport.
I took some shots of them to make panoramas but the fence made it harder to get a good look and the light was on the wrong side by that time in the day. The south side of the field gave some better angles as did places along the road running around the airport. I quite liked the long view across to the large numbers of planes but the heat haze was really harsh so the shots, while giving an idea of how many planes there are, lose something from being so blurred.
The south side of the field had the best light angles and you were quite close to the jets so haze was less of an issue. I like looking through the rows of planes neatly lined up to emphasize just how many of them there are. It seems Boeing is getting closer to restoring their airworthiness so we shall see how quickly they can mobilize to get the jets ready again and how willing the customers are to take delivery at this point!
The grounding of the 737 Max fleet has resulted in plenty of parked jets. I have shown them at Paine Field but Boeing Field seems to be a big storage location. The employee parking lot has been turned into a 737 parking lot. I have seen jets over there before either awaiting engines or from customers that can’t pay but nothing on this scale.
I took a trip to South Park so I could walk across the bridge and get a good view down into the storage area. I made a rough count and think there were probably over fifty jets stored there. While Boeing cut the production rate after the grounding, they only took it down to 42 a month so jets are still coming out at a prodigious rate. This area is full so, aside from Paine Field and Renton, I believe they are flying them to other storage locations.
The 737 flight tests involve a departure from Renton and arrival at Boeing Field from which all further flying takes place. However, on some flights, approaches are made to Paine Field. One COPA 737 Max made such an approach while I was there. I was at the departure end of the field and, while sometimes they will land and back taxi before taking off again, this time it was a go around. Consequently, they were quite high by the time they passed me. Still worthy of a few shots, though.
Engine supply is a bit of a problem for the big two airliner manufacturers at the moment. Rolls powered 787s are going through a drawn out program of rework and A320neos are sitting around awaiting both Pratt and CFM engines. Boeing is also short of CFM Leaps and the result is a lot of parked 737 Max jets at Renton and Boeing Field. Apparently, they are flying jets to Boeing Field and then trucking the engines back to Renton. As I flew over Boeing Field earlier in the week, the flightline did look full!
I wanted to see all of these parked jets so took a trip to Renton one weekend to see how things were. There were certainly plenty of jets around and quite a few had ballast weights attached to the pylons. Supposedly the backlog will not be sorted out until the fourth quarter (although some think that is a bit optimistic)!