Boeing marked another airplane development milestone today as thousands of employees celebrated the debut of the first 737 MAX 7 at the company’s Renton, Washington, factory.
The MAX 7 is the third and newest member of Boeing’s 737 MAX family to come down the assembly line.
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 per cent lower fuel costs per seat.
“For our airline customers serving airports at high altitudes or remote locations, the MAX 7 is the ideal complement to their fleet.
“We look forward to demonstrating the incredible flexibility and range of this airplane,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“This is the third 737 MAX family member our team has successfully introduced in just three years.
“That’s a phenomenal accomplishment and a testament to the dedication of the entire 737 team.”
The first MAX 7 will now undergo system checks, fuelling and engine runs on the flight line in Renton.
The airplane, the first of two MAX 7 flight test airplanes, will begin its flight testing program in the coming weeks.
The 737 MAX 7 is scheduled to enter service in 2019, following delivery to launch customer Southwest Airlines.
The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 4,300 orders from 92 customers worldwide.