Boeing has completed the final of assembly of the first 737 MAX 8, which will make its first flight in early 2016.
The aircraft left the Renton, Washington, factory on 30 November and will undergo pre-flight preparation before departing for flight test readiness. Boeing says the second and third 737 MAX 8s flight test aircraft are in final assembly and the fourth is in sub-assembly. The manufacturer says it is on track to deliver the first 737 MAX to the launch customer, Southwest Airlines in the third quarter of 2017.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes 737 MAX vice president and general manager, Keith Leverkuhn says: “Today marks another in a long series of milestones that our team has achieved on time, per plan, together.”
“With the rollout of the new 737 MAX – the first new airplane of Boeing’s second century – our team is upholding an incredible legacy while taking the 737 to the next level of performance.”
Boeing says the MAX uses 20 per cent less fuel than first generation 737s because of improvements including CFM International LEAP-1B engines and other technologies including winglets.