Boeing shows off first 737 MAX 9

Crowds gather to welcome the Boeing MAX 9. (Boeing)
Crowds gather to welcome the Boeing MAX 9. (Boeing)

Boeing has shown off the first 737 MAX 9 as the clock ticks down to first delivery of the MAX 8 variant.

The 737 MAX 9 was presented to Boeing staff and invited guests at the company’s Renton, Washington facility on Tuesday (US time).

The aircraft, a stretch of the MAX 8, has been designed with a maximum range of 3,515nm for up to 220 passengers in a single-class or 178 passengers in a two-class configuration.

Boeing said 737 MAX 9 flight testing would begin in the “coming weeks”, after the aircraft undergoes system checks, fuelling and engine runs.

The 737 MAX 8 is currently in flight testing and due for first delivery in a few months.

“We are going to begin delivering aircraft in the first half of this year and we are on track to deliver our first MAX in the second quarter of 2017,” Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg said during the company’s quarterly earnings call on January 25.

The entry into service Boeing 737 MAX 9 was expected to be in 2018. (Boeing)
The entry into service Boeing 737 MAX 9 is expected to be in 2018. (Boeing)

The 737 MAX program has booked 3,612 orders through January 2017, according to the Boeing website. In addition to the MAX 8 and 9, Boeing also offers the smaller MAX 7 and 200-seat MAX 200 as part of the 737 MAX family.

The company was also currently evaluating other variants, saying “studies and discussions continue with customers on growing the family”.

At a recent aviation conference, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president for marketing Randy Tinseth showed the first details of what the company has dubbed the proposed MAX 10X, which features 230 seats in a single-class layout or 189 seats in a two-class configuration.

Tinseth told the ISTAT Americas conference, held in San Diego, Boeing hoped to launch the aircraft this year, according to the Leeham News and Comment website.

While Boeing has not published a breakdown of 737 MAX orders by variant, 14 airlines have been publicly announced as MAX 9 customers including Air Canada, Copa Airlines and Icelandair.

However, market analysts have estimated that the Airbus has booked three or four times as many orders for its A321neo compared with the 737 MAX 9.

The competitive disadvantage of the MAX 9 versus the A321neo has led some to believe Boeing may choose to launch a new aircraft model as a replacement for the 737.

In this part of the world, Virgin Australia has ordered 40 737 MAX aircraft. The airline recently deferred first delivery “final quarter of the 2019 calendar year”, from 2018 previously.

Boeing’s other two 737 MAX customers in Oceania are Air Niugini, which put pen to paper in February 2016 for four MAX aircraft arriving from 2020, and Fiji Airways, which has five 737 MAX 8s slated for delivery from 2018.

A supplied image of the Boeing 737 MAX 9 parked outside the Renton factory doors. (Boeing)
The Boeing 737 MAX 9 parked outside the Renton factory doors. (Boeing)

Comments

  1. Will says

    Absolutely brilliant aircraft, cant wait for the 777-8/-9 to start rolling down runways!

  2. deano says

    I don’t get why Boeing didn’t look at a NEO for the 757 which would have beat the A321 in size and range…

  3. Bob says

    Got twenty cents they won’t Jakob. They’re stuck with 99 A320’s they’ve got to pick up. And isn’t that the shame of it. Pilots, engineers, spare parts, tooling, all ready to rock and roll. Furthermore, the only person I’d let fly on one of those plastic un-fantastic’s is my mother in law. But saying that, QF management will be making the decision, so anything is possible.

  4. EH says

    @Deano

    Agree with you completely. The B757 was in many respects a far more important and versatile aircraft than many (including Boeing themselves) probably gave it credit for.

    In the context of Australia, there are many long thin routes (both domestically and internationally) that don’t have the cargo volume nor pax yield to warrant a wide-body, and the B737/A320 families just aren’t ‘enough aircraft’ to fill the void.

    Australia’s market maturity and population density has probably only just reached a level where the B752 would have been a great choice….. 20 years too late for the B752 unfortunately! The configuration (big undercarriage, reasonable cabin size, intercontinental fuel capacity and commensurate range) are realistically beyond any re-engineered B737MAX design, and the A321neoLR too.

    Boeing could do well to consider a re-engineered and re-engined design based on the characteristics of the original B752 configuration.

  5. Jackson says

    The 737 MAX will be a great addition to the Australian fleet. The 737 that is in service now is extremely reliable and i belive the new wingtips will be a great way to help the fuel efficiency of the new Boeing 737 MAX.

  6. Jackson says

    It is still a 1960s design stretched and stretched in efficiency and size… Boeing, please just start a new design, it is just ancient airframe technology now… it has basically lasted half of the history of aviation!

  7. Kim says

    In the mid ’70’s I purchased a beautiful Dinky model of a Lufthansa 737. Still have it! Shows longevity. However, I flew to Darwin in 1989 on a 727 – next year on a 737. The 737 not suited to 4 hr. flights. 767 to Darwin with Qantas 10 years ago was nearly as good as the 727 -my favourite. First flight in one 1967 -Melbourne to ADL return. Not forgotten -awesome after Electras.

  8. ESLowe says

    As an ordinary passenger, here, I can only think that Boeing is stuck in a rut. All they are really doing in making glorified a 707 over and over again.. Yes, there are advances in materials and computers and engine efficiency…and yes, the 787 lets the likes of me travel anywhere in the world within 48 hours and visit places I’d only see in magazines otherwise. BUT planes are no FASTER than they were 50 years ago!.

    It is the promising start-up companies that offer supersonic flight with technology, both in materials and computing power beyond the wildest dreams of the builders of the Concord (that pencil thin tube with pigeon-hole windows I walked under at the air and space museum). Yet there is promise of comfortable supersonic flight within five years. Admittedly the $5,000 one way ticket price is out of my range, but so was the $3,000 (when a middle-class salary was $80 p.w.) 1962, 707 one-way flight from Sydney to London.