Boeing has succeeded in three very important achievements for the B737 MAX project this week: the rollout of the first B737 MAX 9, the unveiling of the 737 MAX 10 and the certification of the B737 MAX 8.
The rollout of the first 737 MAX 8
On March 7th, Boeing has rolled out the first 737 MAX 9 in front of thousands of Boeing employees.
The 737 MAX 9 will soon begin system checks, fueling and engine runs on the flight line at Everett Paine Field. Once all these tests will be completed, in the coming weeks the airplane will start its flight testing campaign.
“The 737 MAX team continues to do a fantastic job getting us to these important milestones right on schedule,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Our primary focus is delivering an aircraft that has the legendary reliability our 737 customers depend on, plus the optimized flexibility and range capability they desire.”
The 737 MAX 9 is scheduled to enter service in 2018.
The unveiling of the 737 MAX 10X
Boeing has also unveiled the first image of the proposed 737 MAX 10X on March 6th at the ISTAT Americas convention in San Diego.
The 43.8m (143.7ft)-long 737 Max 10X was revealed as a relatively straightforward, 1.68m stretch of the 737 Max 9, featuring the latter’s distinctive mid-aft exit door and no other obvious differences besides length. Boeing is continuing to evaluate several options to extend the rotation point of the landing gear, allowing more flexibility on take-offs despite the longer fuselage.
Tinseth argues the 737 Max 10X will offer the same capacity as the slightly longer Airbus A321neo, but with lower fuel consumption and slightly greater range.
Boeing could formally launch the 737 Max 10X later this year, becoming the fourth member of the re-engined 737 family, Tinseth says.
The certification of the MAX 8
Boeing on March 9th has announced the 737 MAX 8 has been officially certified for commercial by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Boeing is now in the final stages of preparing the first MAX 8 delivery in the coming months.
To earn certification for the 737 MAX 8, Boeing undertook a comprehensive test program that began just over one year ago with four airplanes, plus ground and laboratory testing. Following a rigorous certification process, the FAA granted Boeing an Amended Type Certificate for the 737 MAX 8, verifying the design complies with required aviation regulations and is safe and reliable.
“This certification is a true testament to the dedication and commitment of our entire MAX team throughout the process, from airplane design to flight testing,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager, 737 MAX program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The Renton team looks forward to delivering superior efficiency, reliability and design to our customers as they start to receive their 737 MAX aircraft in the next few months.”