Boeing's newest airplane, the 737 Max, completed its first test flight on Friday. It begins a testing program that, barring any problems, should see the first 737 Max delivered to launch customer Southwest Airlines in 2017.
It wasn’t a great day to fly, but Boeing’s new 737 Max soared into the skies for the first time on Friday morning.
The flight begins a testing program that, barring any problems, should see the first 737 Max delivered to launch customer Southwest Airlines in 2017.
Its biggest selling are its engines, which are said to be 14 percent more fuel efficient than current generation 737s and the aircraft has a new winglet that also helps with aerodynamics.
Pilots will notice a difference in the cockpit too. The 737 Max contains big displays similar to the 787. And because they are bigger, there’s been an overall cut in the number of displays needed.
Boeing has already received orders for more than 3,000 of the airliners — a big vote of confidence in the 737. The first jet in the series took to the skies in 1967 and it’s become a workhorse on short and medium haul routes.
It’s biggest competitor will be the Airbus 320 neo, which had its first flight last year.
The 737 Max touched down after a flight of just under 3 hours, which should have given engineers enough time to test out most major systems in the aircraft.