The Boeing 737 MAX 9 completed its first flight today 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.”
The airplane completed a successful 2 hour, 42-minute flight, taking off from Renton Field in Renton, Wash., at 10:52 a.m. local time and landing at 1:34 p.m. at Seattle’s Boeing Field.
Piloted by Boeing Test & Evaluation Capts. 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 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 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.”
The 737 MAX family has been designed to offer customers exceptional performance, flexibility and efficiency, with lower per-seat costs and an extended range that will open up new destinations in the single-aisle market. The MAX 8 and 9 will be followed in 2019 by the smaller MAX 7 and higher capacity MAX 200, while studies and customer discussions continue on further growing the family.
The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.
The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 3,700 orders to date from 86 customers worldwide.