Boeing 737 MAX, the newest airliner from the company, successfully completed its maiden flight. The commercial jetliner, costing $110 million, belongs to the profitable and dependable product line which will compete against Airbus A320neo and A321neo.
A new fleet of planes will soon be rolling out of Boeing’s assembly lines. In preparation, Boeing 737 MAX, the first of its kind, was flown for the first time. The 737 MAX 8 took to the skies for its maiden voyage from Renton, Washington, reported Business Insider. The flight lasted almost three hours and proved the ability of Boeing to quickly develop the airplanes commercial airlines across the world want in their fleet. Boeing 737 MAX, available in four variants, features improved interiors and electronics. However, Boeing is particularly proud about the highly improved and refined engines that boast of class-leading fuel efficiency.
The test flight went without a hitch, shared the company. The maiden flight of Boeing 737 MAX 8 lasted two hours and 47 minutes. Boeing’s flight operations vice president and chief test pilot, Craig Bomben, and Captain Ed Wilson were at the controls, reported HNGN. The duo took the plane to an altitude of 25,000 feet (7,620 meters). The plane flew at an airspeed of 250 knots, or about 288 miles (463 kilometers) per hour. These figures are quite typical of a first flight sequence. Subsequent to the test flight, Boeing Commercial Airplane’s President and Chief Executive Officer Ray Conner made the following statement.
“Today’s first flight of the 737 MAX carries us across the threshold of a new century of innovation – one driven by the same passion and ingenuity that have made this company great for 100 years. We are tremendously proud to begin testing an airplane that will deliver unprecedented fuel efficiency in the single-aisle market for our customers.”
There were no other persons on board besides the duo, but the plane was laden with test equipment, which logged all details about the test flight. This data will be used to make minor tweaks, if needed, before the plane moves into subsequent stages before delivery. Confirming the success of the flight, Capt. Wilson said the following.
“The flight was a success. We had no issues. The 737 MAX just felt right in flight giving us complete confidence that this airplane will meet our customers’ expectations.”
Boeing produced the 737 MAX 8 last month at its assembly facility in Renton, just south of Seattle. The new plane is expected to enter the market as early as next year. The first airline to boast about having 737 MAX will be Southwest Airlines, reported CNBC.
The 737 MAX program managed to stay true to the tight production schedule and achieved the milestone of its first flight, shared the company. The plane will now begin a rather complex and daunting flight-test program, which will involve testing all components of the plane for commercial flights. Once the testing phase is satisfactorily completed, the Boeing 737 MAX family will head to certification. After the jetliner is certified, deliveries will commence to eagerly waiting buyers.
The Boeing 737 MAX 8 is a member of Boeing’s new family of single-aisle airplanes – the 737 MAX 7, MAX 8, MAX 200 and MAX 9. The 737 Max boasts delivering the best in its class efficiency, which has been meticulously coupled with reliability and passenger comfort, in the single-aisle market, claims Boeing. As compared to the first generation 737s, the 737 MAX is able to fly further, while using up to 20 percent less fuel.
Commercial jetliners will appreciate the fact that the Boeing 737 Max, which can be built with varying capacities from 126 to 220 passengers, offers 8 percent lower operating costs per seat, when compared to its closest competitor, the Airbus A320neo. The 737 MAX already has a rather large order backlog, which Boeing is confident it will be able to fulfill.
[Image via YouTube]