Spirit AeroSystems and Boeing celebrated the first flight of the 737 MAX 8 — the first member of Boeing’s efficient 737 MAX family — when it took to the skies from Renton Field near Boeing’s 737 Final Assembly plant in Renton, Washington.
Spirit produces the 737 MAX fuselage, pylon, thrust reverser and engine nacelle at its Wichita, Kansas, facility and the wing leading edges at its Tulsa, Oklahoma, facility.
“We’re proud to celebrate this first flight milestone with Boeing,” said Spirit President and CEO Larry Lawson. “Spirit has delivered over 8,000 737s since they entered service and we look forward to continuing the 737 legacy through this newest variant 737 MAX.”
The 737 MAX, powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1B engines, will deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market with 20 percent lower fuel use than the first Next-Generation 737s and 8 percent per seat lower operating costs than its nearest competitor. Spirit is responsible for delivering about 70 percent of the 737 structure to Boeing.
The 737 MAX 8 is the first member in Boeing’s new family of single-aisle airplanes — the 737 MAX 7, MAX 8, MAX 200 and MAX 9 — to begin flight testing. The 737 MAX will extend the Next-Generation 737 range advantage with the capability to fly more than 3,500 nautical miles (6,510 kilometers), an increase of 340 to 570 nautical miles (629 to 1,055 kilometers). The 737 MAX family has 3,072 orders from 62 customers worldwide.
Delivery of the first 737 MAX is scheduled for the third quarter of 2017.