Boeing’s 737 MAX, the newest version of the single-aisle airliner, flew for the first time Jan. 29, the company announced.
The airplane took off from Renton Field in Renton, Wash., and landed 2 hours, 47 minutes, later at Boeing Field in Seattle. The flight tested the jet’s systems and structures, and onboard equipment sent real-time data to a team on the ground in Seattle, Boeing said. Ed Wilson, the 737 MAX chief pilot, called the event a success, saying the plane “just felt right in flight.”
Equipped with new engines and other upgrades, the 737 MAX is designed to be more fuel-efficient, quieter, less expensive to maintain and more comfortable for passengers than earlier versions of the 737, the world’s best-selling commercial plane, which first flew in 1967.
Boeing said that 62 customers worldwide have ordered 3,072 planes from the 737 MAX family, which will consist of several differently sized variants. Southwest Airlines, the launch customer, is scheduled to receive the first plane in the third quarter of 2017.