Boeing has detailed an innovative ‘shrinking’ mechanism for the 737 MAX 10’s landing gear. The system has allowed Boeing to extend the fuselage of the plane while retaining the same wheel well design as the rest of the 737 MAX family.

Gary Hamatani, Chief Product Manager for the 737 MAX programme, said the MAX 10’s fuselage has been extended by 66 inches, based on customer feedback. This usually then requires a longer landing gear, which in turn would have an impact on the main gear wheel well.

“We wanted to preserve commonality in the MAX Family,” Hamatani said. “We needed to get the landing gear back into the unchanged wheel well of the MAX 8 and 9.”

More than 95% of the design and 90% of the build of the MAX 10 will be identical to previous models. The primary difference in the MAX 10 compared to other models is in the new, levered design of the main landing gear.

This includes a lever that allows the landing gear to grow taller upon take-off, and a shrinking mechanism that helps the gear retract to fit into the existing wheel well.

Boeing supplier UTC Aerospace Systems began production of the main landing gear on August 20.

Hamatani said: “From a pilot’s perspective there’s absolutely nothing different between the MAX 10 landing gear and the existing MAX family’s.”

He said the engineering team “knocked it out of the park” with the design.