SEATTLE — On Tuesday March 7, Boeing rolled out the 737 MAX 9, its second variant of the family aircraft (N7379E • 1B001 • MSN 42987 • LN 6250 ) to media and employees, the day after the manufacturer announced its plans for a stretched variant, dubbed the MAX 10X.
To date, Boeing has reaped 3,600 orders for the MAX family aircraft. Of these, 418 correspond to the 9 MAX variant, with Indonesian carrier Lion Air as the launch customer of the type.
“The 737 MAX team continues to do a fantastic job getting us to these important milestones right on schedule,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Our primary focus is delivering an aircraft that has the legendary reliability our 737 customers depend on, plus the optimized flexibility and range capability they desire.”
The new jetliner, was presented featuring the company’s MAX teal livery, similar to the color scheme seen on the first 737 MAX 8 when it was unveiled back in December 2015, and subsequently applied to the fourth MAX 8 flight test aircraft.
Just like the MAX 8, the MAX 9 will be powered by CFM LEAP-1B engines. Boeing will deploy two MAX 9 testbeds, with the first flight scheduled to take place in the next four to six weeks.
Boeing also announced to reporters on Monday when it unveiled its proposed MAX 10X, that the flight test campaign for the MAX 8 variant was completed, and it was now submitting all the data and test results to the Federal Aviation Administration to complete the certification.
To date, seventeen 737 MAX have been built, all of them in a surge line at the company’s Renton factory. However, this surge line has now been integrated with both NextGeneration and MAX family aircraft.
Boeing has also informed that the first two production aircraft are about to fly for the first time. The first aircraft wears Southwest Airlines livery, while the second one features Lion Air’s subsidiary Batik Air.
The 737 MAX 9 is scheduled to enter service in 2018. The 737 MAX 8 is on track to deliver to customers in the second quarter of 2017, followed in 2019 by the smaller MAX 7 and higher capacity MAX 200, while studies and discussions continue with customers on growing the family with an eventual MAX 10 X.