Biggest member of Boeing's 737 MAX family makes its maiden flight
Over a year and half after its rollout, Boeing's 737 MAX 10 passenger jet has made its first flight. The largest member of the 737 MAX family, the MAX 10 is designed to compete with the Airbus A321neo in the anticipated highly competitive post-COVID-19 aerospace market and in the wake of the 737 MAX groundings after two fatal air crashes in 2018 and 2019.
The aircraft took to the air from Renton Field in Renton, Washington on June 18 at 10:07 am EDT with 737 Chief Pilot Captain Jennifer Henderson at the controls, before making its way to Boeing Field in Seattle, where it landed at 12:38 pm. The successful first flight of the MAX 10 marks the beginning of a comprehensive test program leading up to the certification of the aircraft by regulators before entering service in 2023.
Based on the 737 MAX 9, the MAX 10 is a stretched version of its predecessor, retaining many of its features, which includes the wing, though there is a new undercarriage. The MAX 10 generates 14 percent lower carbon emissions and 50 percent less noise than the current Next-Generation 737.
The MAX 10 is claimed to have the lowest seat-mile cost of any production single-aisle airplane. It comes in two-class variants seating 188 to 204 passengers, but its length of 43.8 m (143.6 ft) allows it to carry up to 230. In addition, it has a range of 3,300 nm (6,110 km) thanks to its twin LEAP-1B from CFM International engines.
"The airplane performed beautifully," said Henderson after the flight. "The profile we flew allowed us to test the airplane's systems, flight controls, and handling qualities – all of which checked out exactly as we expected."