Boeing has completed the assembly of its first 737 MAX, after construction began earlier this year. The MAX 8 model is the first of the new family, which will be cheaper to run, more comfortable and more efficient than the first Next-Generation 737. It rolled off the production line on November 30.
Named the "Spirit of Renton," after the US city in which the Boeing factory is based, the aircraft was transferred to the paint hangar for the addition of special Boeing livery before being presented to employees on Tuesday (Dec. 8). From here, pre-flight preparation will be carried out in the factory, before going on to Renton Field for flight test readiness.
Boeing says the delivery of the 737 MAX 8 is exactly on schedule, as planned more than four years ago. The second and third 737 MAX 8 flight test airplanes are currently said to be in final assembly, with the fourth and final one in sub-assembly. The 737 MAX 7, MAX 8, MAX 200 and MAX 9 make up the rest of the family.
The single-aisle airplane features Boeing's "Sky Cabin" interior, with less intrusive overhead compartments, larger windows and variable color lighting. This can be changed to mimic the time of day, indicate the stage of the flight or match the airline's branding.
Elsewhere, the 737 MAX features the new CFM LEAP-1B engine and Boeing-designed Advanced Technology winglets. These are said to reduce fuel consumption by up to 1.8 percent over conventional winglets through generating lift from air that flows off the tip of the wing.
Boeing says it has received nearly 3,000 orders from 60 customers worldwide for 737 MAX models. The first flight of the 737 MAX 8 is due to take place in early 2016 and the company says is on track to make its first delivery in the third quarter of 2017.
The video below provides an overview of the Boeing 737 MAX family.