737 MAX in the wind tunnel


Is Boeing’s 737 MAX turning into a ‘chinless wonder’? Boeing released a video earlier today of the baseline MAX configuration in the company’s transonic wind tunnel (TWT), and although it is a bit hard to see with certainty, there seem to be a few areas where the configuration departs from the currently released images. 

Of course, it is early days and the precise vintage of the video clip is uncertain, but the finely crafted dual-winglet seems primitive, there are no fan or primary duct chevrons and no sign (it seems) of the much-discussed nose gear blister. 

Naturally there are scaling factors to consider, though with the fidelity discussed in the video, it would seem that fine detailing should also be represented. 

The TWT configuration is also likely to be the baseline from which such details are derived, so watch this space. However, Boeing has made no secret of its desire to get away with a nose gear extension that does not require a blister, or fairing. 

The lack of chevrons, however, and the basic shaping of the winglet versus the published shape, seems to indicate that it is still very early days for the ‘final’ design.

winglet/chevron concept art

winglet/chevron (or lack of) in the TWT

nose section concept art

nose section in the TWT

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