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Could a longer, more compact Boeing 737-10X be coming to the skies? A new, finalized design obtained by Aviation Week suggests a bigger 737 could be ready for commercial service by 2020.
According to the images seen by the publication, the Boeing 737-10X could be designed to be a direct competitor to the popular Airbus A321neo. The proposed aircraft would also be over five feet longer than the 737 MAX, with a total fuselage length of 143 feet. In a two-cabin configuration, the proposed 10X variant would accommodate 189 passengers — four passengers less than a two-cabin A321neo. If the aircraft were to be configured with just an economy class, it could potentially seat 230 passengers.
Because the plane will not be drastically extended, the design calls for the same wingspan and engine configuration as the 737-MAX. To accommodate the larger aircraft, Boeing might need to change the landing gear configuration.
Is there a market for an extended version of the 737-10X? In 2016, Boeing received 640 orders for 737-series aircraft, including 82 customers for the 737 MAX. Eastern Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Norwegian Air and VietJet all have the 737 MAX on order, with many more carriers opting to take delivery of the 737-800. In addition, both Ryanair and Southwest Airlines operate fleets consisting of all Boeing 737 aircraft. With a projected range of over 4,000 miles for the 737 MAX, a 737-10X could allow airlines to expand international operations while retaining their current fleet of all 737 aircraft.
While the first 737-10X is not expected to enter service this decade, the manufacturer has not been shy about showing off its new design. Aviation Week reports that Boeing has begun shopping the new aircraft around to airline partners, and if it’s a hit, you could be flying on this extended version as soon as 2020.
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