Boeing launches 737 MAX 10

An artist's impression of the Boeing 737 MAX 10. (Boeing)
An artist’s impression of the Boeing 737 MAX 10. (Boeing)

Boeing has launched the 737 MAX 10 at the 2017 Paris Airshow with orders and commitments for 240 of the type from 10 customers.

While the company has been publicly touting the proposed aircraft since as early as March 2017, the first day of the Paris Airshow marked the official introduction of what is the fifth and largest variant of the 737 MAX program.

The aircraft is configured to fly 3,215nm with 230 passengers in a single-class layout, Boeing said in a statement on Monday (European time). Entry into service was expected to occur in 2020.

Announced customers on the day the 737 MAX 10 was launched included BOC Aviation, GE Capital, CDB Aviation, TUI Group, Tibet Financial Leasing, SpiceJet and Lion Air Group.

Some of the orders were also detailed on Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ Twitter page.

Boeing said more customers would be announced during the Paris Airshow.

“The 737 MAX 10 extends the competitive advantage of the 737 MAX family and we’re honored that so many customers across the world have embraced the outstanding value it will bring to their fleets,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive Kevin McAllister said in a statement.

“Airlines wanted a larger, better option in the large single-aisle segment with the operating advantages of the 737 MAX family. Adding the 737 MAX 10 gives our customers the most flexibility in the market, providing their fleets the range capability, fuel efficiency and unsurpassed reliability that the 737 MAX family is widely known for.”

The 737 MAX 10 is the fifth variant of the MAX program, which was first launched in August 2011.

The MAX family of aircraft features a new flightdeck, fly-by-wire spoilers and new technology winglets compared with the current model 737 NG. It is powered by CFM International LEAP 1B 176cm fan diameter engines, compared with the CFM56 155cm fan diameter on the NG.

To accommodate the larger diameter engine, the MAX incorporates a taller nose wheel landing gear leg, while the engine nacelles’ trailing edges feature noise-reducing chevron shaping, as also seen on the 787.

Boeing said other changes of the the 737 MAX 10 included a levered main landing gear, a variable exit limit rating mid-exit door, a lighter flat aft pressure bulkhead and a modified wing for low speed drag reduction.

Industry estimates suggest Airbus’ A321neo was outselling the 737 MAX 9 by a factor of five to one, prompting Boeing to respond with the MAX 10.

The other variants include the MAX 8, which at 3,515nm range with 162 passengers in a two-class configuration Boeing describes as the “heart of the market”, was certified in March. First delivery to launch operator Batik Air Malaysia, part of Indonesia-based Lion Air group’s portfolio of carriers, was in May.

The larger MAX 9 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.

The company is also building the 200-seat MAX 200, which uses the same fuselage as the MAX 8 but trades reduced range for more seats. Ryanair is the launch customer.

The smallest variant, the MAX 7, has been designed to carry 138 passengers in a two-class layout 3,825nm. Assembly of the first aircraft is expected in the final quarter of calendar 2017, with first flight in the first quarter of calendar 2018.

In this part of the world, Virgin Australia has ordered 40 737 MAX aircraft. The airline recently deferred first delivery to the “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.

Meanwhile, Qantas is expected to run a competition between the 737 MAX and A320neo at some future point for the replacement of its existing 737-800 fleet.

In April, Boeing 737 MAX chief project engineer and deputy program manager Michael Teal said the MAX 10 would be a 1.68m stretch of the MAX 9, with 1.17m forward of the wing and the remaining aft of the wing.

As a result, Boeing engineers were working on a larger landing gear to accommodate the additional length of the aircraft.

“We just need a little more extension of that gear to enable the same rotation margin on takeoff as well as the landing performance from a contact margin,” Teal explained to reporters during a conference call.

“We’ve looked at several different design parameters. We are still in what I’ll call that design development.

“I’ve seen several of our concepts that we are now putting into prototype testing. It’s looking really good and I don’t feel we’re going to have any real issues with it. It’s just getting that final design done.”

The aircraft was expected to reach firm configuration at the end of 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020.

Boeing published a video introducing the 737 MAX 10 on its website.

Comments

  1. Jasonp says

    So it can’t reliably do trans-Atlantic routes, (JFK-LHR=3,000nm)

    Missed opportunity to start with a clean sheet replacement for the 757?

  2. Derrick says

    Don’t get me wrong I love the 737, but…. It’s still the same body as the NG, the same width and most airlines love to cram as many people as possible.

  3. Mick181 says

    The basic 737 design is past it’s 50th b/day and still their introducing new models, incredible.

  4. Jeff says

    1 hard landing and will snap in half,you can see the stringers in daylight on the 800 series,need a thick skin like the 727.

  5. Corey D says

    I hope Qantas finally pull their head out of the sand and order a fleet of 737MAXs. A mixed fleet of the MAX 8s and MAX 10s. The MAX 10s would be used in the NZ, Singapour and the East Coast-West Coast routes along with the BNE-SYD-MEL route times with high volumes. 14% or greater operating cost reduction, minimal crew training along with additional passengers for no extra operating cost seems like the smart thing to do. A Fleet of 90-100 aircraft would be nice up from the current fleet allowing for additional flights and additional destinations. Also, why not look at replacing the 717 fleet?

  6. Craigy says

    @ CoreyD Just out of interest, as a start, what route and operating cost (direct and indirect) analysis have you done to support your claims of the suitability of both the Max 8 and 10 for Qantas?

    As for the B717, Qantas has said they will continue to operate them and the F100 as they are the right size aircraft and operating cost make routes financially viable. Also, according to The Qantas Source, Qantas recently announced the use of B717 on the east coast triangle on weekends for some flights due to demand.

  7. Corey D says

    Look at it this way. If you could fly an aircraft with about 190-200 (16 Business and 174-180 economy) seats for the same cost or close to it for a 174 seat aircraft and a hell of a lot less than an A330-200 would you? I’d think so because it would be roughly the same level of seats as the A330 well maybe 30-40 less however I’ve been told not all those flights are full. The MAX 10 would fit into the BNE-SYD-MEL routes very nicely especially those times when the plane is super full. It would help on the East-West routes and the Tasman routes to NZ freeing up the A330s. I’m not saying buy a whole heap of them just a few to cover those high demanding routes where more seats than a 738 but less than a 332 would be ideal. I know Qantas have said they’re looking to buy more 717s but I’m surprised they’re cheaper to operate than a new E195E2 and the C100. If Qantas were smart they’d stick with the 737 series because it would cost much much less to retain the flight crews.

  8. Jasonp says

    The 717 is a lovely aircraft and cheap as chips to operate compared to a 737.

    I’m still not convinced on the MAX10…seems like a rather half-assed knee jerk reaction to the A321neo which has already bolted out the gate and is half way across the paddock already.

  9. Craigy says

    @ CoreyD Your logic is floored. Firstly, without knowing the average load factor on the routes you are suggesting, you don’t really know whether the increased seating will be occupied. Secondly, there are many flights each day where there are free seats so highlighting the A330 flights is misleading. Thirdly, your cost savings in flight crew costs is misplaced. The max series has a new avionics suite similar to the B787 and a number of other changes to the control systems such as fly by wire spoilers so it is not a straight forward conversion. Furthermore, support wise, it means new simulators, a different spares inventory, training for all employees involved in working with the aircraft. The max 10 complicates the issue even more with changes to the main undercarriage and other features so the spares inventory becomes more extensive and more expensive. And we haven’t even looked at the capex to purchase the aircraft.

    The B717 are less expensive to operate because they are cheaper to buy and less complicated means they are cheaper to operate. In addition, being operated by National Jet, the direct operating costs are lower.

  10. AlanH says

    I have only one thing to say about an even more extended version of the 737 … Boeing 757! Why didn’t Boeing develop it instead? It already had the range and comfort over the 737 plus the more robust and higher landing gear that could easily accommodate the newer engine profiles being offered today. Then they wouldn’t have needed “a little more extension of that gear to enable the same rotation margin on takeoff as well as the landing performance from a contact margin.” Missed opportunity there Boeing!

  11. Teddy says

    It still seems like Boeing is mucking around at the edges of the former B752 market, and in so doing is failing to exploit the market for 4000+nm range single aisle routes.

    It is like they can’t quite work out if range or payload/pax-load is more important, with pax rather than range winning out (perhaps based on a reluctance to do major re-engineering) – which inevitably leads them away from one of the strengths of the B752.

    All of the ranges quoted above (aside of the small bodied B737-7MAX) still sit well below 3900nm which the B752 had as maximum range.