Will Boeing Unveil a New 737 Variant at the Paris Air Show?
According to reports, Boeing is strongly considering building an even bigger version of the 737, which would be called the 737 MAX 10. Boeing needs a plane that will better compete with Airbus' A321, which has been the industry leader for narrow-body jets in the last 20 years. The 737 MAX 8 (shown in the image above) is scheduled to be flying this year with Southwest, and the MAX 9 is currently in production.
The longer 737 MAX 10, however, presents an interesting challenge for Boeing's engineers — it will need taller landing gear because it's possible that the tail would hit the runway upon takeoff. Boeing can't simply just install taller landing gear, though, because it has to fit in the existing space that is found on the smaller variants of the aircraft. It's testing a solution borrowed from the 737's larger cousins, the 777 and 787. It involves a "semi-levered" design, which would allow the landing gear to extend as the plane is taking off, but then it will retract and fit perfectly into the existing space.
Boeing will likely market the plane to airlines by playing up its projected 5% savings on operating costs compared to the competition from Airbus. The 737 MAX 10 will be longer than the MAX 9, and will feature 12 additional seats in the cabin. If Boeing decides to move forward with the aircraft, it could be unveiled as soon as June of this year at the Paris Air Show.