As the wheels touched the tarmac on the airfield in Seattle on Friday afternoon, it was a landmark moment for Boeing. Its largest plane of the 737 Max family, the Max 10 successfully completed its first test flight. The company has now begun the certification process that will enable the plane to be available for passenger service in 2023.
This is welcome news to the aircraft manufacturer who had the 737 family planes grounded after two plane crashes and deliveries stopped after electrical issues. The successful flight will help restore public confidence at large. But more importantly, it will allow Boeing’s customers to plan their fleet with an offering from the most sold family of planes. After facing order cancellations, sales have now sprung back at Boeing with United Airlines, Copa Airlines, and Virgin Australia placing orders for 500 aircraft of Max 10 alone.
At 143 feet (43.5 meters) in length, the 737 Max 10 is Boeing's longest single-aisle aircraft. It can seat just about 230 passengers and has a range of over 3300 nautical miles. Designed to compete with AirBus’ 321 Neo, the 737 Max 10 offers a roomy passenger cabin, about 50 percent quieter engines, and 14 percent more efficient engines compared to current 737s.
Capt Jennifer Henderson, the Chief Pilot of the test flight from Washington to Seattle said, "The aeroplane performed beautifully. The profile we flew allowed us to test the aeroplane's systems, flight controls, and handling qualities.”
Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes adds, “Our team is committed to delivering an aeroplane with the highest quality and reliability."