- Boeing’s 737 Max 10 just flew for the first time, departing from Renton Municipal Airport near Seattle for a test flight on June 18.
- The largest member of the Max family can fly up to 230 passengers as far as 3,300 nautical miles.
- United Airlines holds the largest order for the aircraft with 100 planes to be delivered later in the decade.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The first 737 Max 10 successfully took to the skies on June 18 for its maiden aerial journey.
The Max 10 is the fourth and largest Max variant to take flight but the first new model since the Federal Aviation Administration ungrounded the aircraft family in November.
Boeing test pilots flew the plane, still designated as “experimental” until its official certification, from the manufacturer’s 737 production plant at Renton Municipal Airport near Seattle to nearby Boeing Field.
Though the straight line distance between the two airports is five miles, the test flight took the long way around Washington and even performed a touch-and-go landing at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington.
Take a closer look at the Boeing 737 Max 10.
Boeing is entering a new realm with the Max as it’s not only the largest Boeing 737 Max but the largest Boeing 737 family member to be built by Boeing since the product line’s inception in 1964.
Until now, each 737 Max aircraft has had a previous generation counterpart. The Boeing 737 Max 8 has the 737-800, the 737 Max 9 the 737-900, and the 737 Max 7 the 737-700.
But the Max 10 is in a league of its own as there’s no Next Generation equivalent. It’s closer in size to the Boeing 757-200 with a difference in length of only 10 feet and four inches.
In terms of length, Boeing’s latest jet comes in at 143 feet and eight inches, enough to seat up to 204 passengers in a two-class configuration and 230 in a single-class configuration. Its size does come with tradeoffs, however, most notably in range.
The Max 10 can fly up to 3,300 nautical miles when equipped with an auxiliary fuel tank, making city pairs such as New York-Dublin, Ireland; London, UK-Dubai, UAE, and Hong Kong-Perth, Australia feasible under the right conditions.
The smallest Max 7, for comparison, can fly a greater range of 3,850 nautical miles.
In terms of wingspan, however, the Max 10 shares the same dimensions as its sibling at 117 feet and 10 inches.
Also the same as its predecessors are the Max 10’s engines. A pair of CFM International LEAP-1B engines power the entire 737 Max family.
The engines offer 28,000 pounds of thrust apiece and contribute to the aircraft’s increased fuel efficiency compared to older model 737 aircraft.
Also aiding in the aircraft’s fuel efficiency is a pair of “advanced technology” winglets on each wing, which comes standard on all Max aircraft.
United Airlines holds the largest stake for the aircraft with 100 jets on order.
Source: United Airlines
United also flies the smaller Max 9 and will fly the even smaller Max 8 this summer.
The Max 10’s range would allow United to fly the aircraft of any of its domestic routes and even fly to cities in Western Europe from its Newark and Washington, DC hubs.
Boeing has been quickly putting the Max saga behind it, even after a second grounding came in April once electrical issues were discovered with some aircraft.
Most countries around the world have allowed for the Max to fly and more than 130,000 hours have been flown by the aircraft family since November, the Seattle Times reported.
Source: Seattle Times
The notable exception remains to be airlines in China, where the jet has not yet been approved to fly once more.
All four US airlines that ordered the Max have resumed or began service with the Max and they can be found flying across the country.
Boeing is also reportedly clearing out its backlog of “whitetail” aircraft, the term for planes that were built but lost their customer, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Source: Wall Street Journal
The Max 10 still has a ways to go before it will be flying for any passenger airline, however, and likely won’t do so until at least 2023, according to the Seattle Times.
Source: Seattle Times
Safety fixes to prevent another fatal crash are being implemented into the aircraft, including a third sensor to gauge the airline’s “angle of attack.”
Source: Seattle Times
The Max 10, as the largest variant, competes against Airbus’ A321neo aircraft. Airbus already has a head start on Boeing as it began delivering the A321neo in 2017. And so far, it has a flawless track record.
But by the time the Max 10 is flying passengers, Airbus will already have introduced another long-range version of its popular A321neo aircraft, the A321XLR.
Compared to the Max 10, the A321XLR offers a 4,700 nautical miles range and United is also a customer.
Boeing has still yet to provide a next-generation replacement for its Boeing 757 aircraft that directly competes with the Airbus A321.