Boeing successfully flew the latest variant of its new 737 family, the MAX 9, on April 13. The 2hr 42min flight started at the manufacturer’s Renton facility and touched down at Boeing Field, under the command of Boeing Test & Evaluation Captains Christine Walsh and Ed Wilson. During the sortie, tests were performed on flight controls, systems and handling qualities. The MAX 9 will now undergo comprehensive flight testing before customer deliveries begin in 2018.
“The MAX 9’s first flight is another milestone that continues the programme’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.”
The 737 MAX 9 offers carriers a maximum capacity of 220 passengers and a range of 3,515 nautical miles. It is powered by the CFM International LEAP-1B engine.
Keith Leverkuhn, VP and General Manager, 737 MAX programme, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, praised the work of his colleagues: “The 737 MAX team continues to fire on all cylinders. Each new milestone we meet builds knowledge and experience that gets leveraged to keep the programme moving forward on track.”
Boeing also has the smaller MAX 7 and high density MAX 200 variants in the pipeline and says studies and customer discussions “continue on further growing the family”.