The 1st Boeing 737 MAX 10 destined for an airline joined the thousands of Boeing aircraft in the air for over 1 hour on November 18th, 2022.
United Airlines’ first MAX 10
On Friday, November 18th, Boeing’s 1st non-prototype 737 MAX 10 took flight sporting United Airlines’ iconic blue & white livery.
The short test flight marks a significant milestone for United Airlines’ 1st MAX 10 project. Boeing expects to get the MAX 10 certified as quickly as possible. However, federal regulations may need that the aircraft get various changes before certification if the process is not finished by end of December 2022.
United Airlines’ 1st MAX 10 has been sitting idle on the apron at Washington’s Renton Municipal Airport (RNT) since it exited production earlier this year. Since then, the aircraft has patiently awaited its turn to join 1000 of Boeing aircraft in the sky.
This week, it was finally given a chance when it took its 1st test flight. The next-generation airliner departed Renton Municipal Airport (RNT) around Seattle and traveled to Central Washington’s Grant County International Airport (MWH) before returning to the Seattle area, landing at King County International Airport (BFI), otherwise known as Boeing Field.
The aircraft registered N27753 has become the third MAX 10 to take flight. This airplane is the 1st of over 700 MAX 10s that have been ordered by 15 different airlines.
United Airlines alone has placed orders for more than 200 MAX. The airline already operates one of the world’s biggest fleets of 737 MAX aircraft and is 1 of the program’s biggest supporters. The carrier has been eagerly awaiting the delivery of the MAX 10 for many years, making the latest test flight a welcomed sight for both Boeing and United Airlines.
Federal Aviation Administration
Boeing is currently in a race against time as it looks to have the Boeing MAX 7 & 10 models certified by end of December. However, with each passing day, the possibility of this arriving to fruition increases increasingly slim. The manufacturer recently predicted that the aircraft would be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the Summer of the next year 2023. This race against time started this year when new aircraft certification regulations were implemented.
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In late 2020, the Aircraft Safety and Certification Reform Act was put into effect. This would need that a more advanced safety system to be installed on all recently certified aircraft.
Aircraft models that had already gotten approval would be exempt from this regulation. However, aircraft under development at the time, such as the MAX 7 and 10, would require many upgrades to the airplane’s safety systems. Boeing negotiated a two-year postponement on the regulation, providing it time to certify its 2 remaining MAX models.
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly stalled the development and production of both models making obtaining the certification in time far more difficult. Despite Boeing’s best efforts, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been slow to move forward with the certification process leading many to suspect that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plans to postpone the certification until the next year 2023.
- This idea is further validated as the new safety regulations implemented in 2020 were largely prompted by the 2 tragic Boeing 737 MAX accidents in 2018 and 2019.
Suppose the 2 MAX variants are required to be fitted with the latest safety systems. In that case, the project will likely be postponed for many days as the aircraft will need to be redesigned and all existing models retrofitted with the new equipment. This will further postpone airplane deliveries while proving expensive to Boeing.
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