The first Boeing 737 MAX 8 made its inaugural appearance Tuesday in Renton, Wash., which houses the factory where the jetliner was built.
The MAX 8 is the first aircraft to be produced in Boeing’s efficiency-oriented family of single-aisle 737 Max aircraft. The family, which has already netted nearly 3,000 orders from 60 customers, includes the MAX 7, MAX 8, MAX 9, and MAX 200.
“Today marks another in a long series of milestones that our team has achieved on time, per plan, together,” said Keith Leverkuhn, the VP and GM of 737 MAX at Boeing Commercial Airplanes in a statement. “With the rollout of the new 737 MAX – the first new airplane of Boeing’s second century – our team is upholding an incredible legacy while taking the 737 to the next level of performance.”
The new aircraft will use 20 percent less fuel than Boeing’s first Next-Generation 737s, as well operating costs that will be 8 percent per seat less than Airbus’ A320neo airliner. Boeing incorporated into the 737 MAX its newly developed Advanced Technology winglets, which the company claims will provide aircraft with up to 1.8 percent greater fuel efficiency than Boeing’s present winglets.
“It’s (the Advanced Technology winglet) just one of the features that differentiate the 737 MAX and make it an amazingly fuel-efficient machine,” Leverkuhn said in a September statement.
The 737 MAX will also feature state-of-the-art CFM International LEAP-1B engines, and other improvements that the company claims will improve the aircraft family’s efficiency, reliability, and passenger comfort.
Boeing is currently in the final stage of assembling the second and third 737 MAX 8 flight test aircraft, and the fourth and final test plane is in the sub-assembly phase. Boeing said that the 737 MAX is on pace to be delivered to Southwest Airlines, who is the launch customer, by the third quarter of 2017.
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