Largest Boeing 737 MAX mannequin takes off on maiden flight By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are parked on an aerial photo at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, the United States, on July 1, 2019. REUTERS / Lindsey Wasson / file photo

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Posted by Eric M. Johnson

RENTON, Wash. (Reuters) – Boeing’s 737 MAX 10, the largest member of its best-selling single-aisle family of aircraft, took off on its maiden flight Friday to recover from the safety ground of a smaller aircraft model.

The plane completed an approximately 2 1/2 hour flight over Washington State and returned to Renton Municipal Airport near Seattle at 12:38 p.m.

The first flight heralds months of testing and safety certification work before the jet is expected to enter service in 2023.

In an unusual departure from the PR craze surrounding the first few flights, the event was held cautious as Boeing (NYSE 🙂 tried to manage overlapping crises caused by a 20-month take-off ban after two crashes and the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Boeing 737-10 with 230 seats is intended to close the gap between the 737-9 with 178 to 220 seats and the Airbus A321neo with 185 to 240 seats, which dominates the upper end of the narrowbody jet market and is worth quite a bit 3, $ 5 trillion over 20 years.

However, the market opportunities for the 737 MAX 10 are limited by the jet’s range of around 3,300 nautical miles (6,100 km), which is below the range of the A321neo of around 4,000 nm.

Boeing must also complete the aircraft’s safety certification under a tougher regulatory climate after two fatal crashes of a smaller 737 MAX version grounded the model for nearly two years – with a safety ban in China.

Boeing made design and training changes to the MAX family, which returned to U.S. operations in December.

Stan Steal, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said the company produces approximately 16,737 MAX jets per month at its Renton facility. Boeing is working on safety improvements for the 737 MAX 10, including its flight data display system and the addition of a third cockpit display required by European regulators for “angle of attack”, a parameter required to prevent stalling or loss of lift avoid. Deal comments were made available to the media through a pool reporter at the Boeing factory.

While the smaller MAX 8 is Boeing’s fastest-selling jet, slow sales of the MAX 9 and 10 models have put Boeing at a disadvantage over the A321neo.

Boeing has abandoned plans to tinker with the design of the 737 MAX 10, but is considering a bolder plan to replace the single-aisle 757, which overlaps with the upper end of the MAX family.

Still, Boeing says it believes in the MAX 10 and is stepping up efforts to sell more of the jet, with key destinations including Ireland’s Ryanair.

One of the customers is United Airlines with 100 orders. Though sources say United is weighing a new order for at least 100 or even up to 200 MAX, the need for large single aisles will be served by Airbus – which reinforces the market split.

The flight, watched by dozens of staff but virtually no visitors when Boeing attempted to downplay the event, featured a revamped landing gear system that illustrated an industry battle to get as much miles as possible from the current generation of single aisles.

It increases the height of the landing gear during takeoff and landing, a design necessary to compensate for the MAX 10’s extra length and prevent the tail from scraping the runway during takeoff.

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