Boeing’s largest 737 Max aircraft just took to the skies but it won’t see passengers for another 2 years – take a look at the $134.9 million jet

Boeing's 737 Max 10 departing Renton Municipal Airport on its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

  • 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.
Boeing just put another milestone between it and the grounding of its 737 Max.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 departing Renton Municipal Airport on its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

The first 737 Max 10 successfully took to the skies on June 18 for its maiden aerial journey.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

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's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

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.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 departing Renton Municipal Airport on its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

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.

The route of the Boeing 737 Max 10's first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The route of the Boeing 737 Max 10’s first flight.

Take a closer look at the Boeing 737 Max 10.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a 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.

Looking at Boeing's 737 production plant in Renton, Washington
Boeing’s 737 production plant in Renton, Washington.

Read More: Boeing 737 timeline: From the early days to the grounding of the 737 Max after 2 fatal crashes that killed 346 people 5 months apart

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.

Boeing 737 MAX

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.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

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.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

Source: Boeing

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.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

The smallest Max 7, for comparison, can fly a greater range of 3,850 nautical miles.

Boeing 737 Max 7

Source: Boeing

In terms of wingspan, however, the Max 10 shares the same dimensions as its sibling at 117 feet and 10 inches.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

Source: Boeing

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.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

The engines offer 28,000 pounds of thrust apiece and contribute to the aircraft’s increased fuel efficiency compared to older model 737 aircraft.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

Source: Safran

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.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

United Airlines holds the largest stake for the aircraft with 100 jets on order.

United Airlines Houston Boeing 737

Source: United Airlines

United also flies the smaller Max 9 and will fly the even smaller Max 8 this summer.

United Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9
A United Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9.

Read More: I flew on United Airlines’ first Boeing 737 Max flight in nearly 2 years and it was just the boring flight the airline needed

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's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

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.

Boeing 737 Max

Read More: I flew on an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max weeks before it was grounded again — here’s what it was like

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.

FILE PHOTO: An employee works near a Boeing 737 Max aircraft at Boeing's 737 Max production facility in Renton, Washington, U.S. December 16, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
An employee works near a Boeing 737 Max aircraft at Boeing’s 737 Max production facility in Renton

Source: Seattle Times

The notable exception remains to be airlines in China, where the jet has not yet been approved to fly once more.

Boeing 737 Max
Boeing test pilot Jim Webb gives a thumbs-up from the cockpit of a 737 MAX 7 at Boeing Field, on March 16, 2018 in Seattle, Washington, after completing the plane’s first flight. The aircraft is the shortest variant of fuel efficient MAX family.

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.

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max
An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max.

Read More: I flew on Boeing 737 Max aircraft from United and American and found one airline to be a lot more transparent than the other — here’s how the 2 compare

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.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

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.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

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.”

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

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.

Airbus A321neo

Source: Airbus

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.

Airbus A321XLR
A computer rendering of an Airbus A321XLR.

Compared to the Max 10, the A321XLR offers a 4,700 nautical miles range and United is also a customer.

A321XLR United Airlines

Source: Airbus

Boeing has still yet to provide a next-generation replacement for its Boeing 757 aircraft that directly competes with the Airbus A321.

LAX Day Trip Alaska Airlines - Delta Air Lines Boeing 757
A Delta Air Lines Boeing 757.

Read the original article on Business Insider