Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Boeing rolls out the first 737 MAX 9 prototype

Boeing has unveiled the second member of the MAX family, the 737 MAX 9 today from its Seattle facility.

Currently the largest member of the MAX family, the MAX 9 has a range of 3515 nautical miles (6510 km), which Boeing claims to be 600 miles (1100 km) more range than the competitor.

It can seat 178-220 passengers, 16 more seats than the smaller MAX 8, and offer 7 per cent lower trip cost than the competitor.

The airplane now begins system checks, fueling and engine runs on the flight line. Once completed, the airplane will begin flight testing in the coming weeks – the final phase of verification of the operational characteristics and overall performance of a new airplane.

Major changes of the fourth generation MAX family from the previous 737 NG family is the new CFM LEAP-1B engine, aerodynamic improvements and the AT split-tip winglets.

The 737 MAX 9 is scheduled to enter service in 2018. The 737 MAX 8 is on track to deliver to Norwegian Air Shuttle and Southwest Airlines, in the second quarter of 2017. Both variants will be followed in 2019 by the smaller MAX 7 and higher capacity MAX 200.

Boeing is also actively engaged in discussions with customers about a stretched 737 MAX 10X, fourth member to the family to compete with the Airbus A321 neo, which have won five times the order for MAX 9.

Compared to the Airbus A321neo, Boeing claims, the MAX 10X would offer the same capacity, lower costs (5 percent lower per seat and 5 percent lower per trip) and more range.

What Boeing claims to be a relatively minor development program, the MAX 10X can enter into service in the 2020 time frame.