Boeing recently marked another airplane development milestone with the debut of the first 737 MAX 7 at the company’s factory in Renton, Washington.
The airplane, the first of two MAX 7 flight test airplanes, will begin its flight testing program in the coming weeks and is is scheduled to enter service in 2019, following delivery to launch customer Southwest Airlines.
“For our airline customers serving airports at high altitudes or remote locations, the MAX 7 is the ideal complement to their fleet. This is the third 737 MAX family member our team has successfully introduced in just three years,” Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in an announcement.
The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 4,300 orders from 92 customers worldwide.
The jet is designed for up to 172 passengers and a maximum range of 3,850 nautical miles, which is the longest range of the MAX airplane family. Technology improvements allow the MAX 7 to fly 1,000 nautical miles farther and carry more passengers than its predecessor, the 737-700, while having 18 percent lower fuel costs per seat.
“The entire 737 MAX family is designed to offer customers exceptional performance, with lower per-seat costs and an extended range that will open up new destinations in the single-aisle market,” the company said.
Furthermore, Boeing’s MAX 8 entered service with customers across the globe last year; the MAX 9 will start deliveries in the coming months, while MAX 10 was launched at last year’s Paris Air Show and is scheduled to enter service in the 2020 timeframe.