Boeing rolls out first 737 MAX 10 even as grounding persists
Boeing has rolled out the first 737 MAX 10, even as the family of jets remains grounded pending re-certification by global regulators.
The MAX 10 is the longest variant of the 737 family at 143 feet, 8 inches, and can seat between 188 and 204 passengers in a two-class configuration, according to Boeing's website.
For comparison, the original 737-100 that debuted in 1967 was only 94 feet long — or a little more than two-thirds the length of the MAX 10.
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The roll out comes despite the global grounding the 737 MAX family since March. Boeing hopes to receive sign-off from regulators on fixes to both the various systems upgrades and changes to the pilot training program in December so that commercial flights can resume in January.
Boeing has continued manufacturing MAX jets throughout the grounding. This includes assembly of the first MAX 10, as well as production of customer-bound aircraft — even as the number of stored planes has overflowed to every inch of the planemaker's facilities.
Boeing will proceed with system checks and engine runs with plans for a first flight in 2020, Boeing said.
Related: Boeing says it now expects a 2020 return for its 737 MAX
United Airlines is one of the largest customers of the aircraft, with orders for 100 MAX 10s. The carrier plans for two configurations of the jet, one in a premium layout with a lie-flat business-class product that would replace its Boeing 757-200s used on domestic transcontinental routes. The other would be in a standard domestic layout with around 189 seats.
Chicago-based United already had 14 737 MAX 9s in its fleet when the aircraft was grounded. United currently has removed its MAXes from its from schedules through March.
Elsewhere in the Americas, Copa Airlines and WestJet also have orders for the MAX 10.
The MAX 10 has more than 550 orders and commitments globally.