The American aerospace company Boeing’s biggest 737 Max model is poised to take its first flight, marking another milestone in the aircraft family’s recovery from tragedy and a lengthy grounding, according to sources.
The Max 10 will be the first 737 models to take its maiden flight since US authorities approved the jets to re-enter the market in November. The jetliner isn’t anticipated to enter commercial service until 2023, providing extra leeway as Boeing works with regulators to certify changes to how the aircraft measures airflow.
European officials demanded that Boeing add so-called synthetic sensors last year as an extra precaution after faulty signs were linked to two fatal 737 Max crashes. The technology will be tested on the Max 10 and eventually retrofitted on the rest of the fleet.
The jet was rolled out in late 2019 and remained in storage as the US-based planemaker worked with regulators to end the broader grounding.
The Max 10 is the final planned Max model, as well as the largest single-aisle jet. The plane can accommodate up to 230 passengers in a single cabin layout popular with budget carriers and fly 3,300 nautical miles (approximately 6,000 kilometers) if outfitted with an auxiliary fuel tank.
Boeing adopted its landing gear design from the wide-body 777 jetliner to accommodate a frame stretched to compete with Airbus SE’s hot-selling A321neo jets planes. It elevates the landing gear’s height during takeoff and landing, a design needed to compensate for the Max 10’s extra length and prevent the tail from scraping the runway on takeoff.
The company is also working to certify the smallest Max, the Max 7, and its first 777X jetliner.