Boeing’s revamped 737 lineup has gained even more forward momentum as the second iteration of the MAX series made a rainy-day debut this morning at Boeing’s Renton, Wash., assembly plant.
With a maximum capacity of 220 passengers (in a very tight configuration) and a range of 3,515 nautical miles, the new single-aisle plane is roughly nine feet longer than the 737 MAX 8, which is expected to receive FAA certification in advance of its commercial debut in the coming months.
In a standard two-class configuration, the MAX 9 can accommodate 178 passengers vs. the MAX 8’s 162, and both have the same 3,515NM range.
System checks, fueling, and engine runs are up next, and the inaugural test flight is expected to happen in just a few weeks.
Boeing also officially announced the even stretchier 737 MAX 10X this week (see the below charts for comparisons of the different models).
Boeing spokesman Adam Tischler said the new plane is aimed squarely at the center of the market and was designed to help improve airlines’ bottom lines by reducing per-mile costs.
“If you start marketing by saying things like ‘well, you can’t get this thing to Machu Picchu in the summertime,’ you’re working at the edges of the envelope. We cover the vast majority of routes and airports,” Tischler said, adding that the new plane was “a scheduler’s dream” based on the flexibility it offers to airlines.