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The new Boeing 737 MAX makes its debut flight

The new Boeing 737 MAX makes its debut flight

On Friday, 29th January 2016, Boeing’s first 737 MAX aircraft completed its first flight from the company’s Renton factory in Washington, to land after 2.5 hours at Boeing Field, near Seattle.  The weather conditions were not ideal for the first flight, with the aircraft taking off from a rain-slick runway, but the flight itself was smooth flying.

Take a look at "The Spirit of Renton" making its debut flight: 

The prototype took off for its inaugural flight with Boeing’s Flight Operations Vice President and Chief Test Pilot Craig Bomben, and Captain Ed Wilson at the controls. Over the past few years, the 737 family has become one of the best-selling airliners in the history of commercial aviation, with over 13,000 aircraft sold since 1965. The 737 MAX is the fourth version of the original 737, which made its first flight in 1967.

The new 737 MAX has several new features, such as advanced engines from CFM International, which promise to improve the fuel efficiency by 14 percent when compared to the current generation 737.  Going head-to-head with Airbus’ A320neo (New Engine Option), the battle for market share has begun, with Boeing having sold 3072 aircraft to date. The A320neo made its first delivery to Lufthansa earlier this January, with the Boeing 737 MAX expected to be delivered to customers in 2017, starting with Southwest Airlines.