Boeing rolled out the initial 737 MAX 9, N7379E (c/n 42987), at Renton on March 7. This is the largest MAX variant to be developed to date. Its first flight was due to take place a few weeks later, after the completion of ground tests and engine runs. The first delivery is due in 2018 following certification testing.
This isn’t the only recent milestone in the MAX programme. Two days after the MAX 9’s roll-out the 737 MAX 8 received US Federal Aviation Administration Type Certification. Separately, Boeing confirmed during the ISTAT Americas conference in San Diego that it is working a proposed new addition to the family, the 737 MAX 10X. A Boeing statement to AIR International said: “Boeing is studying a new stretched variant. It would offer customers increased capacity [and] the lowest seat costs ever for a single-aisle aircraft. Boeing is actively engaged in discussions with customers about the 737 MAX 10X and has extended business offers in some cases.”
A presentation during ISTAT by Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice-President Marketing Randy Tinseth claimed the 737 MAX 10X would have 5% lower trip costs and 5% lower costs per seat than the Airbus A321neo, its direct competitor. If Boeing’s board approves the variant a formal launch could happen later this year. Should it be developed, the MAX 10X would follow the MAX 200 and MAX 7 in the development pipeline with service entry around 2020, Tinseth said. Mark Broadbent