In 1964, Boeing began the design of what would become the best-selling jet commercial airliner in the world. The Boeing 737 came out in 1967. From then to November 2015, 8,807 of these airplanes have been delivered and there are still 4,231 orders to be fulfilled. Due to its popularity, the 737 has undergone numerous changes and renovations, some remarkable ones have been 737 Classic and the 737 Next Generation. The latest is the Boeing 737 Max which was revealed to great fanfare on December 8 at Renton, Washington. At this point the plane is preparing to make its first flight in early 2016 and the plane will be delivered to customers on the third quarter of 2017.
But what is so remarkable about this new model? First of all, the Boeing 737 Max will use 20% less fuel than the airplane it means to replace, the Boeing 737 Next Generation. The plane incorporates the CFM International LEAP-1B engine, a high-bypass turbofan engine which will improve fuel efficiency and performance. This engine, alongside the airplane’s reduced weight and improved aerodynamics, promises to lower operation costs 8% per seat below its main competition, the Airbus A320neo. It also incorporates the new 737 Max AT winglets, which are specially designed to reduce fuel consumption by up to 1.8%. In fact, Boeing promises that the 737 Max will have the lowest operating costs of all single-aisle airplanes. Furthermore, the plane was designed to reduce maintenance spending and its expected to have 6% lower maintenance costs that the 737 Next Generation. The 737 Max will also offer reduced emissions in the shape of an approximate 50% lower nitrogen oxide emissions than those set by the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection. Additionally, the airplane promises a 40% operational noise reduction. Other improvements include a fly-by-wire spoiler system, which will improve reliability and reduce weight, and an electronic bleed air system which is meant to optimize cabin pressurization and air protection systems. Currently, there are three versions of Boeing’s new airplane: the 737 Max 7, the737 Max 8, and the 737 Max 9, which differ only in size and passenger capacity.
The Boeing 737 Max builds up on the 737 Next Generation but shares several commonalities with it, which will allow airlines to integrate the new version easily into 737 fleets. By November 2015 there were 2,955 orders for a Boeing 737 Max from 60 different customers across the world, including an order for 60 units from Aeromexico. All in all, the 737 Max is a highly interesting addition to the market and, due to the popularity of the other 737s, will probably be incorporated to fleets worldwide.