Earlier this month, Boeing rolled out its new MAX 9 passenger jet—the latest member of its 737 MAX family. The extended size, single-aisle plane is set to begin flight tests next month. In addition to its boost in size, the newest MAX includes some notable features and enhancements over previous models.
Image Source USA Today
What’s New In The MAX Family?
The MAX 9 includes dual feather winglets, which improve fuel efficiency by up to 1.8%. Other efficiency improvements include new CFM LEAP-1B engines and a streamlined tail cone. The MAX’s wings, fuselage, and main landing gear have been strengthened, which allow the aircraft to carry heavier engines.
A flight aboard the MAX may also be a quieter experience compared to other single aisle planes, as this 737 has a 40% smaller noise footprint.
An Attempt To Narrow Airbus’ Lead
Like other 737s in the Boeing MAX family, the MAX 9 has a 117 foot, 10 inch wingspan.
It differs with an extended length of 138 feet and four inches, and seats a maximum of 220–31 more than the MAX 8, which rolled out in late 2015, and 48 more than the MAX 7, which is still in development stages as a more compact, longer range jet.
Boeing has already announced plans to launch an even larger MAX 10 before 2018. Both the 9 and 10 MAX plans are reported attempts to compete with Airbus’s A320neo family of jets that are dominating the market for single-aisle planes.
Image Source: The Seattle Times
Filling The 757 Gap
The new MAX jets are part of Boeing’s effort to close in on Airbus’s lead in orders for single-aisle jets designed for short- and long-haul fights, though many in the industry are skeptical of whether that can be achieved with this specific family of jets.
As today’s airlines have started to retire their dated 757s, there’s tough competition for hitting a new middle-of-the-market sweet-spot that Boeing once dominated.
Will Boeing’s 737 MAX family defy expectations and take the lead over Airbus? Tell us what you think of this new rollout from the U.S. aerospace giant.