Boeing’s new 737 MAX 7 took off for the first time on March 16. Piloted by Boeing Test and Evaluation Captains Jim Webb and Keith Otsuka, the aircraft completed a successful 185-minute flight, taking off from Renton Field in Renton, Washington State at 10:17am Pacific, and landing at 1:22pm at Seattle’s Boeing Field. It was put through tests on its flight controls, as well as checks of its systems and handling qualities.
The aircraft is the third and newest member of Boeing’s 737 MAX family to be produced, with a maximum capacity of 172 passengers. The MAX 7 has a range of 3,850 nautical miles, the longest of any MAX family aircraft. It is designed for exceptional performance for airline customers flying out of airports at high altitudes and hot climates. The project now begins a comprehensive flight test programme, leading to certification and delivery in 2019.
“Everything we saw during today’s flight shows that the MAX 7 is performing exactly as designed,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX programme, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “I know our airline customers are going to enjoy the capabilities this airplane will bring to their fleets.”
The 737 MAX family incorporates the latest CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, Boeing Sky Interior, large flight deck displays and other advanced features. According to Boeing, the 737 MAX is the fastest-selling aircraft in the company’s history, accumulating more than 4,300 orders from 93 customers worldwide.