Seattle, 13 April 2017 – The Boeing 737 MAX 9 completed its first flight on 13 April. The flight flew in the skies above Puget Sound. The 737 MAX program achieved the milestone on schedule, beginning a comprehensive flight-test program leading to certification and delivery.
“The MAX 9’s first flight is another milestone that continues the program’s strong track record of progress,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Kevin McAllister. “The MAX family of airplanes offers more value than any competitor and its strong market acceptance is reflected in over 3,700 airplanes on order from 86 customers around the world.”
This flight took off from Renton Field in Renton, Washington, at 10:52 a.m. local time and landing at 1:34 p.m. at Seattle’s Boeing Field, a 2 hour, 42-minute flight.
Piloted by Boeing Test & Evaluation Captains Christine Walsh and Ed Wilson, the airplane performed tests on flight controls, systems and handling qualities. The MAX 9 will now undergo comprehensive flight testing before customer deliveries begin in 2018.
“The 737 MAX team continues to fire on all cylinders,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager, 737 MAX program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Each new milestone we meet builds knowledge and experience that gets leveraged to keep the program moving forward on track.”
Michael T. Teal, Vice President/Chief Project Engineer Deputy Program Manager 737 MAX Program of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told media during a teleconference briefing that the 737 MAX is the fastest-selling Boeing airplane in the history, accumulating more than 3,700 orders to date from 86 customers worldwide.
The design of 737 MAX advanced from 737 Next-Gen in various aspects. The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines. The new design of advanced technology winglets deliver the highest efficiency. The nose gear is redesigned to lift the fuselage to accommodate larger engines, additional Fly by Wire control for spoiler. These will result 14 percents less fuel burn comparing to 737NG.
The other improvements, upgraded avionics, onboard network systems, advanced flight deck display systems and Boeing Sky Interior will deliver the reliability and passenger comfort.
The 737 MAX family has been designed to offer customers exceptional performance, flexibility and efficiency, with lower per-seat costs and an extended range for the single-aisle market.
Boeing 737 MAX 8 just completed its first flight in February this year and granted FAA’s amended type certification later in March. The aircraft is on its way to first delivery to customer in May this year. Malaysia’s Malindo Air will be world’s first airline to fly 737 MAX.
The 737 MAX 9 is the second member of Boeing’s industry leading 737 MAX family, with a maximum capacity of 220 passengers and a range of 3,515 nautical miles. The aircraft just flew its first flight on 13 April and will entry into service in 2018.
The smaller 737 MAX 7, which can be seated up to 172 seats, and higher capacity 737 MAX 200 which suits low cost carriers and can accommodate up to 200 seats achieved their firm configuration and will start final assembly in Q4 2017. 737 MAX 200 is a high density version of 737 MAX 8 with extra exit doors allowing 7 seats more in the cabin.
Boeing is studying and discussing with customer to continue on further growing the family. Boeing 737 MAX 10X is offerability, this largest variant of 737MAX might attract Chinese and other Asian carriers who needs a high capacity aircraft to maximize their revenue. All the progress of 737 MAX program is ahead of schedule.
Malindo Air, a Lion Group’s subsidiary, which will be the first airlines to fly 737 MAX in May. Other ASEAN’s carriers placed 737 MAX orders are Lion Group(Lion Air, Batik Air, Malindo and Thai Lion Air), Vietjet, Silk Air, Malaysia Airlines, Nok Air, and Garuda Indonesia.