The first 737 MAX takes off from Renton – Photo: Chu-Yi Chuang
Yesterday, the Boeing 737 MAX successfully completed its first flight — and landing. It took off at 9:46 am (PST) to the cheers of several thousand Boeing employees and media. Wait… wasn’t that earlier than planned — it sure was!
I often poke fun of “Boeing time,” which refers to them often being late for test flights. I might not be able to use the term anymore. We will see. Either way, I was quite impressed that they took off early, but they also had some motivation — the weather.
The first Boeing 737 MAX after landing at Boeing Field
The weather reports for the day did not look great. In the morning, it was overcast and raining. Boeing wanted to complete its almost three-hour test flight, and land at Boeing Field (BFI) before things got worse. It all worked out. It doesn’t mean I kept dry, but it was well worth it!
The 737 MAX taking off for its first flight
BOEING 737 MAX FIRST FLIGHT: Follow us live
Earlier today, the Boeing 737 MAX successfully completed its first flight. We have been doing things a bit differently and sharing our live coverage of the flight here. Later, we will update our story with photos and more information. Think of this as more of an evolving story, and don’t forget to come back for more!
Several thousand Boeing employees and media braved the rain to witness the first flight of the 737 MAX
The 737 MAX took off on its first flight at 9:46 am (PST) to the cheers of several thousand of Boeing employees and media. The plane flew for nearly three hours, before landing a few miles away at Boeing Field (BFI) at about 12:32 pm. You can watch a live feed from Boeing and we will continue to cover the event live on our Twitter feed below:
Up, up, and away! The 737 MAX leaves the ground on its maiden flight. We’ll catch up with it soon at Boeing Field.
The MRJ enjoys its first flight – Photo: Mitsubishi
Earlier this week, the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) took to the skies for the first time. The aircraft lifted off from Nagoya Airfield (NKM) and flew for about 90 minutes before landing. The flight not only was special for the aircraft manufacture, but also for the country of Japan, since they have now joined the exclusive club of countries that produce a flight worthy airliner.
People are lined up along the fences to watch the MRJ’s first flight – Photo: Mitsubishi
“The MRJ successfully took to the sky today thanks to ongoing cooperation and support from all members involved,” said Hiromichi Morimoto, President, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation. “We will make our utmost efforts towards type certificate acquisition, committing all our resources to develop and produce the finest regional jet aircraft to enter commercial service in 2017.”
Over the Caribbean Sea – Photo: David Delagarza | AirlineReporter
That’s one small flight for a 737, one giant leap forward for Southwest Airlines and Houston Hobby Airport (HOU). In a sign of things to come, Southwest added to its daily Aruba service out of Baltimore and Orlando with a seasonal weekly flight between Houston and Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA). Last Saturday, I joined Southwest for the inaugural flight between Aruba and Houston. This flight was the first international commercial arrival into Hobby airport.
I ♥ Aruba, the unofficial theme of the island – Photo: David Delagarza | AirlineReporter
Although Hobby Airport does not have customs and immigration facilities, Southwest is able to operate the flight thanks to the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) preclearance facility in Aruba, which allows passengers to clear customs and immigration prior to departing for the United States. This October, however, Hobby Airport is scheduled open a new five-gate international terminal, complete with customs and immigration facilities, which will enable Southwest to further add to its international offerings at Houston.