Boeing’s new 737 MAX 7 successfully completed its first flight on Friday. The airplane remains on schedule, Boeing says, and is now beginning a comprehensive flight test programme leading to certification and delivery in 2019.
Piloted by Boeing Test and Evaluation Captains Jim Webb and Keith Otsuka, the airplane completed a successful 3-hour, 5-minute flight, taking off from Renton Field in Renton, Washington, at 10:17 am Pacific, and landing at 1:22 pm at Seattle’s Boeing Field. The airplane was put through tests on its flight controls, as well as checks of its systems and handling qualities.
The plane is the third and newest member of Boeing’s 737 MAX family to be produced, with a maximum capacity of 172 passengers. The MAX 7 has a range of 3,850 nautical miles, the longest of any MAX family airplane. It is designed particularly for airline customers flying out of airports at high altitudes and hot climates.
“Everything we saw during today’s flight shows that the MAX 7 is performing exactly as designed,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “I know our airline customers are going to enjoy the capabilities this airplane will bring to their fleets.”
Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, added: “The MAX 7 will provide airlines an efficient product for opening and flying thinner markets and accessing challenging airports, while enjoying all the benefits of being part of the 737 MAX family.”
The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 4,300 orders from 93 customers worldwide.