MIAMI — Boeing is trying to persuade customers to place orders for its 737 MAX 10X, a new variant derived from a stretch of the MAX 9.

The unveiling of the first images of the -10X took place at the ISTAT conference in San Diego, California. There, Randy Tinseth, Vice President sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said the airplane “would give airlines increased capacity and the lowest seat costs ever for a single-aisle airplane. Simply put, the 737 MAX 10X would be the most profitable single-aisle airplane the industry has ever seen.”

The 737 MAX 10X would benefit from a mature platform, and would incorporate two extra forward and aft sections, stretching the fuselage by 66 inches, and taking the maximum capacity up to 230 seats in a single-class configuration, and 189 in a standard two-class passenger cabin.

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The aircraft would also use the same CFM International LEAP-1B engine as the other MAX models.

Given the stretch of the fuselage, the main landing gear must be modified to enable adequate clearance of the longer body for rotation on takeoff and landing. According to Boeing, the company is studying variations of a trailing-link main landing gear, possibly including a telescopic feature.

Both Airbus and Boeing are looking for the Boeing 757 replacement market. With 1050 aircraft built between 1982 and 2004, the 757 is considered a true middle-of-the-market (MoM) aircraft, with enough north transatlantic range to serve routes between small cities and open new markets.

While Airbus has focused on making the A321neo / A321LR variants a suitable 757 replacement, Boeing has believed that the market is limited. While Boeing hesitated to give the MoM a go, and proposed the MAX 9 as a replacement, Airbus outsold it by a 5:1 ratio.

“Compared to the A321neo, the MAX 10X would offer the same capacity, lower costs (5% lower per seat and per trip) and more range,” said Tinseth.

The decision to launch the MAX 10 would ensure Boeing a low-risk development cost, a faster entry to service and gain time (and customers) to develop an eventual true MoM replacement.

According to Tinseth, the variant would be a relatively minor development program, following the entry into service of the MAX 200 and MAX 7. Boeing expects to introduce the MAX 10X “in the 2020 time frame.”