The First Boeing 737 MAX 10 Takes Flight

Boeing’s largest 737 MAX variant, the MAX 10, has lifted off from Renton Municipal Airport (RNT). The 737 MAX 10 made its maiden flight in a very different manner from other Boeing jets, as the aircraft manufacturer grapples with the dual effects of the pandemic and the lingering memory of the MAX grounding. Nevertheless, this is good news for Boeing and airlines are awaiting the MAX 10’s arrival in their fleets.

Boeing 737 MAX 10
Boeing’s 737 MAX 10 finally took to the skies on Friday. Photo: Boeing

Boeing’s 737 MAX 10 makes its maiden flight

The aircraft, painted in the Boeing house livery, took off from Renton at 10:07 local time in Seattle. The jet will spend the next few hours in the air undergoing various testing and giving Boeing’s engineers and employees a first look at the plane’s actual performance in the air.

The jet is flying under the callsign “BOE101.”  This is a pretty standard callsign for Boeing’s test flying. At the time of writing, it was scheduled to arrive at 12:35 in Grant County International Airport (MWH). Better known as Moses Lake, this facility is also where Boeing has stored MAX aircraft during the grounding.

Boeing 737 MAX 10 Takeoff
The aircraft took off shortly after 10:00 in Seattle. Photo: RadarBox.com

The MAX 10 will largely fly over the Pacific Northwest before making its way to Moses Lake. In the future, the jet could fly some interesting and longer paths as Boeing gets closer to receiving final certification for the aircraft to enter commercial service.

In the sky, the MAX 10 will undergo the first round of inflight testing and procedures it needs to complete before being fully certified. Boeing has experience with the MAX, having undergone the initial certification process several years ago, and then a very rigorous recertification process after the global grounding hit.

737 MAX
The story of the 737 MAX will forever be linked to two entirely fatal crashes and a global grounding, but after a very thorough review process, the MAX is back in the sky and Boeing is moving ahead with its pinnacle MAX 10. Photo: Getty Images

The aircraft

According to data from RadarBox.com, the registration of the aircraft is N27751. This aircraft was the first 737 MAX 10 to debut to the public after an employee celebration in late 2019. Now, just over a year and a half later, the jet is taking to the skies as Boeing charts a future away from the MAX groundings.

Data from ch-aviation shows that the test aircraft is supposed to be delivered for passenger flying. It is expected to go to United Airlines, which is a major MAX 10 customer. It is not unusual for test aircraft to end up flying for an airline customer.

About the 737 MAX 10

Boeing launched the 737 MAX 10 at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The aircraft garnered strong commercial interest and Boeing was happy to offer a larger variant of the MAX family for customers who need the additional seating capacity.

Boeing 737 MAX 10
At the high end, the MAX 10 can seat 230 passengers. Photo: Boeing

According to Boeing, the aircraft has a maximum capacity of 230 passengers. Though, when outfitted in a two-class layout, Boeing estimates the plane can carry anywhere from 188 to 204 passengers. This will depend on how customers want to outfit the aircraft.

Boeing has pitched the 737 MAX 10 as a competitor to the Airbus A321neo and a natural extension of any airlines’ 737 MAX fleet. Boeing believes the jet will offer 5% lower trip costs than its competitors.

While the MAX 10 can certainly compete with the Airbus A321neo on capacity for short- and medium-haul routes, it lacks the ability to do the kind of long-haul flying that the Airbus A321LR and A321XLR can do. Boeing advertises a range of approximately 3,300 nautical miles (6,110 km). Out of New York, the jet can go this far:

737 MXA 10 Range
The range of the MAX 10 out of New York City. Rendering created at Great Circle Mapper

This story is breaking. Check back for more updates.


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