Boeing says its 737 MAX airliner remains on course to enter service in 2017 as the program enters the final phase of wind tunnel testing.
“Wind tunnel testing is on the critical design path of the program,” said Michael Teal, the chief project engineer and deputy program manager of the 737 MAX program. “Based on previous work in the wind tunnel, we are confident this final phase of testing will substantiate our predictions of the aerodynamic performance of the airplane.”
Boeing claims the 737 MAX, a re-engined upgrade of its popular single aisle airline, will be 10-12 per cent more fuel efficient that current generation aircraft.
Wind tunnel testing will begin at contractor QinetiQ’s test facility in Farnborough, England, where engineers will substantiate the forecasted low-speed performance of the 737 MAX on takeoff and landing. Further testing also will be completed at the Boeing Transonic Wind Tunnel in Seattle to substantiate the forecast of the high-speed performance of the aeroplane.
The US planemaker said it expects wind tunnel testing to be complete by mid-year.