The Boeing 737 MAX is the fourth generation of the Boeing 737, a narrow-body airliner produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA), an American firm. It replaces the Boeing 737 Next Generation (NG) and goes up against the Airbus A320neo family. The 737 MAX is based on previous 737 designs, but with more fuel-efficient CFM International LEAP-1B engines, aerodynamic alterations such as the 737's signature split-tip winglets, and airframe upgrades. On August 30, 2011, the new series was revealed. It made its first flight on January 29, 2016, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States certified it in March 2017. The first MAX 8 was delivered to Malindo Air in May 2017, and it began service on May 22, 2017.
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The 737NG's Leap-1B CFM56-7B was initially 10-12% more efficient than its predecessor. The 18-blade woven carbon-fiber fan has a bypass ratio of 9:1 (up from 5.1:1 with the preceding 24-blade titanium fan), resulting in a 40% reduction in noise. The overall pressure ratio of the two-spool configuration is 41:1, up from 28:1. A low-pressure segment with a fan and three booster stages driven by five axial turbine stages and a high-pressure section with a 10-stage axial compressor driven by a two-stage turbine comprise the two-spool design. With greater airframe alterations, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaughts says, "With a bigger fan, you get higher efficiency because of the bypass ratio [but] also more weight and more drag." The overall pressure ratio increased to 41:1 from 28:1, and upgraded hot-section materials permitted a 15% decrease in thrust-specific fuel consumption (TSFC), as well as a 20% reduction in carbon emissions and a 50% reduction in nitrogen-oxide emissions. The larger engine is cantilevered ahead of and somewhat above the wing, while the laminar flow engine lipskin is a one-piece aluminium sheet from GKN Aerospace, inspired by the 787. Boeing increased the fan size to 69.4 in (176 cm) in May 2012, along with a reduced engine core, as part of minor design revisions before to the final configuration in mid-2013. Because the new nacelles are larger and farther forward, they have aerodynamic qualities that help to raise the pitch rate even more. Because this sale included a Most-Favoured-Customer Clause, if Airbus sells to another airline for a lower price, it must refund any difference to American, so the European manufacturer was unable to offer it at a price that United Airlines considers "competitive," leaving the airline with a Boeing-skewed fleet.
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Boeing began investigating replacing the 737 in 2006 with a "clean-sheet" design that would be similar to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The decision on this replacement had been pushed back until 2011. The Airbus A320neo family was introduced on December 1, 2010, with two new engines: the CFM International LEAP and the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G. The Airbus A320neo family was unveiled on December 1, 2010, by Boeing's competitor Airbus, to enhance fuel burn and operating economy using new engines: the CFM International LEAP and the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G. Since its launch in June 2011, the Airbus A320neo has received 667 promises for a backlog of 1,029 units, marking a new order record for a new commercial airliner. In July 2011, American Airlines placed an order for 460 narrowbody planes, including 130 A320ceos (Current Engine Option). The order ended Boeing's exclusivity with the airline, forcing the company to redesign the 737. American Airlines announced an order for 460 narrowbody planes on July 20, 2011, including 130 A320ceos (Current Engine Option), 130 A320neos, 100 737NGs, and the intention to order 100 re-engined 737s with CFM LEAPs, pending Boeing certification.
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The 737 MAX 7, MAX 8, and MAX 9 are the successors to the 737-700, -800, and -900ER. The 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 entered service in May 2017 and March 2018, respectively. MAX 7 and MAX 200 (a higher-density version of the MAX 8) deliveries were scheduled to commence in 2021.
At the Farnborough Air Show in July 2016, Boeing announced the redesign of the MAX 7, which is based on the MAX 8. The wing and landing gear from the 737-8 are used, as well as a pair of over-wing exits rather than a single door and a 46-inch longer aft fuselage. It entails flying 1,000 nautical miles (1,900 kilometres) further than the -700. On March 16, 2018, the Boeing 737-7 MAX 7 took off for the first time from the Renton, Washington, plant and flew for three hours over Washington state. It landed at Boeing's flight test centre in Moses Lake, Washington, at 250 knots (460 km/h) and 25,000 feet (7,600 metres). Boeing expects the MAX 7 to be certified by August 2021, in time for deliveries to begin in 2022. Because it is less efficient than the larger MAX models, the MAX 7 has proven to be unpopular with airlines. Southwest Airlines (234) and WestJet are among the aircraft's customers (22). The MAX 7 has a backlog of 256 orders out of a total of 3,325 for the 737 as of August 2021.
Compared to the A320neo, the MAX 8 has a lower empty weight and a higher maximum takeoff weight. During a test flight for Aviation Week, the test aircraft consumed 4,460 lb of fuel per hour while flying at a true airspeed of 449 kn (832 km/h) at a weight of 140,500 lb (63,700 kg). Compared to the A320neo, the MAX 8 has a lower empty weight and a higher maximum takeoff weight. The Boeing 737 MAX 8 completed its first flight test in La Paz, Bolivia. The 13,300-foot altitude at El Alto International Airport tested the MAX's capability to take off and land. Its first commercial flight was operated by Malindo Air on May 22, 2017, between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore as Flight OD803. In early 2017, a new -8 was valued at $52.85 million.
Boeing introduced the 737 MAX 200, a high-density version of the 737 MAX 8, in September 2014, with seating for up to 200 passengers in a single-class high-density configuration with slimline seats; due to the increased passenger capacity, an extra pair of exit doors is required. The 737 MAX 8-200 is designated for accommodating up to 200 passengers in a single-class high-density layout with slimline seats; due to the increased passenger capacity, an additional pair of exit doors is required. When delivered, Boeing claims that this variant will be 20% more cost-effective per seat than existing 737 models, making it the most efficient narrow-body on the market. Ryanair has stated that whenever flights resume, it plans to place additional orders. Ryanair warned its pilots in November 2019 that it did not anticipate to receive any MAX 200s until late April or early May 2020, with "at best" ten being delivered. During the peak summer season, planes will be in operation. With a 100-plane order placed in May 2016, VietJet Air is one of the few clients of the MAX 200 version. The FAA cleared the high density variant on March 31, 2021. It has a list price of $7 billion, but its genuine worth is considered to be $3 billion or less. Ryanair placed its first significant order since the grounding on December 3, 2020, for 75 MAX 8-200s, bringing its total order book to 210 aircraft. The deal has a list value of $7 billion, although the true worth is expected to be $3 billion or less. 737-8200 is the number assigned to this version.
The 737 MAX 9 will replace the 737-900, and its fuselage is longer than the MAX 8. After 2021, Boeing planned to increase its range from 3,510 nautical miles to 3,605 nautical miles (4,149 miles; 6,676 kilometres). The aircraft was delivered to Asian low-cost carrier Lion Air Group on March 21, 2018, before being put into service with Thai Lion Air. On March 7, 2017, it was unveiled, and on April 13, 2017, it flew for the first time, departing from Renton Municipal Airport and landing at Boeing Field after a 2 hour 42 minute journey. The sale value of a 737-9 is the same as a 2018 737-8 at $53 million, as the competitive A321neo draws more orders.
The Airbus A321neo had outsold the Boeing 737 MAX 9 by a factor of five. Customers including as Air Canada, Lion Air, and Chinese airlines are expected to be interested in the new model, according to Boeing. In a dual-class configuration, the aircraft could seat 12–18 more passengers, or 226-232 in a single-class configuration. United Airlines will be the 737 MAX 10's biggest customer. Boeing received 361 orders and commitments from 16 customers at the 2017 Paris Air Show, including 50 from Lion Air. A telescoping oleo-pneumatic strut with a down-swinging lever is used in the semi-levered landing gear design to allow for a 9.5 inch (24 cm) higher gear. There were 531 MAX 10s on order at the time, compared to 3,142 Airbus A321neos sold, each capable of transporting 244 passengers and flying up to 4,700 nautical miles (8,700 kilometres) in its largest A321XLR form. A considerable number of United's older Boeing 757-200s will be replaced by these MAX 10s.
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The global fleet of 387 aircraft flew 500,000 flights between March 2017 and March 2019, with two tragic accidents. Before it was grounded, it had a four-accident-per-million-flights accident rate. Previous generations of Boeing 737s had an average of 0.2 accidents per million flights.
On October 29, 2018, 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea. The whole 189-person crew perished. On October 25, 2019, Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee released the accident's final report. Boeing published operations manual guidelines, instructing airlines on how to deal with inaccurate cockpit readings. The flight was a planned domestic trip to Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia's Depati Amir Airport. This was the first deadly aviation disaster and the first 737 MAX hull loss. According to people familiar with the investigation, the same aircraft experienced a similar malfunction on a flight piloted by a different crew the day before the crash, but an extra pilot sitting in the cockpit jumpseat correctly diagnosed the problem and told the crew how to disable the malfunctioning MCAS flight-control system.
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 MAX 8 with the registration ET-AVJ, crashed six minutes after takeoff on a scheduled flight from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Nairobi, Kenya, killing all 149 passengers and eight staff members on board. Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which took out from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on March 10, 2019, crashed six minutes after takeoff, killing all 149 passengers and eight crew members. Although the aircraft's vertical speed after takeoff was noted to be unstable, the cause of the disaster was first unknown. Following the findings in the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes, the 737 MAX was grounded around the world.
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A revolutionary "split tip winglet" mechanism reduces vortex drag, improves fuel efficiency, and increases lift. Its design is based on the McDonnell Douglas MD-12 twin-deck idea from the 1990s, which was proposed for comparable gate constraints prior to the merger with Boeing. On a 3,000-nmi (5,600-km) flight, a MAX 8 with 162 people is expected to burn 1.8 percent less fuel than a blended-winglet-equipped aircraft. The MAX Display System, or MDS, has replaced most of the remaining analogue instruments from the NG series, but the flight deck is essentially identical to that of a 737NG in other ways. Because Boeing wants to maintain compatibility with the 737 Next Generation family, no major changes to the 737 MAX flight deck are planned. To allow for a quick difference-training course to upgrade flight crews, the majority of the systems are carried over from the 737NG. The automated stabiliser control system, sometimes known as the automatic stabiliser control system (ASCS), has had the MCAS been added to the mix. MCAS has more authority than STS and can't be turned off with the aft and forward column cutout switches.
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American Airlines was the first disclosed customer. The first 737 MAX 8 was delivered to Malindo Air on May 16, 2017. By January 2019 the 737 MAX had 5,011 firm orders from 78 identified customers, with the top three being Southwest Airlines, flydubai and Lion Air. At the time of the ungrounding, the unfilled orders stood at 4,039 aircraft. In January 2017, aircraft leasing company GECAS ordered 75.