Boeing’s first 737 MAX—737-8 1A001—was rolled off the Renton, Washington, line and into the paint hangar on Nov, 30, the exact day set on the schedule when the program was launched in 2011.
The wing set of the third test-airframe, 1A003, is already "loaded" onto the central assembly line and awaits mating with the fuselage, which is being finalized in the new systems-integration tool.
Aside from the larger engines, the key distinguishing feature of the MAX is the reshaped, low-drag tail cone, seen here on the second test-aircraft, 1A002.
Designed to accommodate the larger 69.4-in.-diameter fan of the CFM Leap-1B engine (which is more than 8 in. larger than the current CFM56-7B on today’s production 737), the engine support strut is cantilevered farther forward and higher than on the 737NG.
The MAX nose gear is lengthened by 8 in. compared with the 737NG to ensure the same ground clearance with the larger engine. Minimum ground clearance beneath the engine at maximum weight will be 1 ft., 11 in.
While the MAX will roll down a new "central" line dedicated to the new model, existing 737NGs continue to be produced at the rate of 42 per month on adjacent "east" and "west" lines. The aircraft seen beyond the cockpit windows of 1A002 is a 737-800 on the "east" line.
The flight deck and large format Rockwell Collins displays come to life in 1A002. The box like structures above the glareshield are for flight-test instrumentation.
Close up of the advanced bifurcated winglet, which is 9 ft. 6 in. high. The low drag device is designed to improve the performance of the MAX without requiring any addition to the current 737’s existing wing span of 117 ft., 10 in.
Ready to roll! Number two test aircraft 1A002 awaits installation of Leap-1B engines. The wingset of 1A003 is visible at the initial line position behind. Boeing selected the "1A" nomenclature for the MAX, having reached the end of the alphabet with the last new aircraft, the 787, which are dubbed "ZA" (787-8), "ZB" (787-9) and "ZC" (787-10).
Read more on the 737 Max unveiling and listen to Aviation Week editors discuss what the reengined airliner means to Boeing and whether Airbus can hold on to the NEO’s 60/40 advantage in orders.
Boeing over-reached with the 787 then under-reached with the 737. There was so much engineering talent tied up with the 787 that the 737 max was less innovative than the A320.
The 787 team should be put to work on a revolutionary project. Use it or lose it.
Keep in mind that the top objective of the A320neo was to make almost no changes except for the new engines. No innovation allowed.
Boeing chose to use the new engines as the moment to introduce a new wingtip treatment, a reshaped tailcone, and much larger LCD displays in the cockpit. All focused but welcome innovations.
I agree with KM. The MAX shows much more innovation than the Airbus Neo which Airbus acknowledges was a simple re-engine project with minimal other changes from the current A320.
Boeing can devote their real innovation to the MOM project.
The overhead panel is a huge disappointment. Boeing did not change a thing as it is one of the biggest complaints of not having a modern, integrated systems management panel like the Airbus. Boeing had the opportunity to make the systems like the 757, 767, 777, 787, but chose not to. The Max is nothing more than putting lipstick on a pig.
Some commenters in a recent article suggested that the CFM LEAP engines were behind specs on fuel burn, short by 5% or something like that.
But the latest news I can find suggests that the engine is meeting expectations. Does anyone have a link to news on the latest LEAP fuel burn in testing?
If you search this site, there was an article saying that both 737max and A320neo engines will need 1 or 2 PIPs before meeting expectations.
On the CFM side maybe, but all indications are that the P&W is beating guarantees and Pratt are talking about a further 2% PIP pre 2019.
Big yawn! Boieng yet choosing the easy way to prolong the life of a product that should have been retired a longtime ago. The shell of this aircraft was designed 50 years ago. It s cramped from cockpit to cabin and galley. It still has a manual arming door. Everyone hates it. The sky interior, big deal! No wonder Airbus is way ahead. They burnt themselves by promising too much and under-delivering with dreamliner and now, they re being ultra conservative with the MoM aircraft.....and falling way behind. Definitely not the Boeing that made history.
What is a manual arming door?
While I expect a lot of cancellations, the published order numbers suggest Boeing losing a lot of market share to the A320. That could means profit share in that segment declining. With th world economy slowing due to debt and demographics, Airbus traditional customers are in worse shape than Boeing's. Let's see what the marketplace decides.
EADS market share in twin aisle's has taken the lead. 247wallst.com/aerospace-defense/2015/12/08/airbus-wide-body-orders-surpass-boeing-total/
In single aisle EADS market share is about 60%.
Boeing should of responded to the A320 with a clean sheet narrow body in the 90s instead of doing the NG, with two clean sheet widebodies in the last decade there's no way airbus would of had the resources to respond.
Even with the 737NG Boeing should of stopped at the -800 and NGed the 757, its unlikely the A321/neo/LR could of competed with a 757NG effectively.
Boeing dropped the ball on narrow bodies, the MAX is just damage limitation.
Tim, you knocked out!
I agree with some of your comments fellow Aviation Fans, my biggest disappointment is that Boeing did not ' Bite the Bullet ' and design a all New 737 ? this Airframe is now almost Half a Century old in design, and if They ,( Boeing ) wish to have any chance of overtaking Airbus and its A-320 Model a brand new Aircraft must surely be the way forward ! It is often worth taking a look at what Henry Ford does in the Motor Industry, Bring out a New Model not when you have to but when it is sensible because you have a good Market ! But a New Model would Cement that position, Be Bold !
I work at Spirit Aero integrated by the sections of the 737 fuselage. The 737 is a very well engineered and competitive single aisle. There is quite a bit different in the fuselage. It is not just a simple upgrade.
they were forced to cancel the new aircraft (as leahy predicted, when united threatened to drop them if they didnt do a 737 reengine)
rock and a hard place type stuff
Aviation Fans , I also think that Boeing were unwise to take the 757 out of production as Airlines that still have this Aircraft the 200 & the Stretched 300 Love It and would be in the Market for a N.E.O. updated Aircraft , an example of Lost opportunity if ever I saw it . A 250 seat Aircraft is very much wanted by the Airlines and the 737 will never be a 757 !
Another McNerney failure. Instead of being ahead of the curve, Boeing simply REACTED to Airbus' announced 320neo, losing 2 years in the race for customers. They lost 1,000 orders prior to the MAX announcement. McNerney was a mess and as with the 3-4 years late on the 787, the 2 years late on the 747-8, the vast over budget status of the KC-46, etc, etc. Did this fool do anything actually good for the company? Imagine what heights the stock would be if all these programs and others not mentioned had been managed well? Like the "old" Boeing, when the 777 was rolled out on time and delivered to United the exact same day it was promised?
Boeing's board completely blew it when they brought in this board member instead of promoting from within, namely the father of the 777, Mulally.
Ford got it right!
One can't help but notice that there has been a rash of Airbus products that have crashed due to the pilots not understanding what the instruments in the cockpit were telling them.
Needs to be parked next to a 737-100 or 707-120 for perspective.
When will the last one roll off the line, 2035?
The original 737 had the 737 title outlined on the tail, which was cool. I'm voting for a lime green outline on the MAX9. Looks like they are using darker blues than on the 787?
COP21 may change the fate of the Boeing 737 gluteus MAXimus and the A320 NEOlithic.
The C Series, if they can every get it certified out the door soon in spite of their certifiable management, is a superior craft not just on fuel economy (a factor that may be of low relevance with WTC @ $37) but on the all important greenhouse gas emissions.
That is especially the case in emissions per occupied seat mile --- compared with the competition.
Why did Boeing and Airbus not see the Paris accord coming?
Remf, Your comments are interesting, As far as the Bombardier 'C' Series go,s , I like you feel it is a very good ' New Design ' Aircraft . BUT its Sales have been very slow , there may be a string of reasons for this, including Huge Discounting to keep this Airplane out of the Market ? but I feel Bombardier may have something here and just one more Model , a 150 / 170 seat might just change things for them ? once it is in service with the 100 & 300 time may prove me right ?
Canadians are quick to blame Americans and foreigners for their self inflicted wounds.
Decades after the Avro Arrow was cancelled, they are still blaming USA for the failure. That was an incredibly ambitious program by any standard, where the Canadians tried to do everything from Airframe, Engines, Avionics, etc. that was far beyond Canada's ability to simultaneously fund, let alone manage.
Likewise, de Havilland was sold to Boeing in 1985 for a pitiful CAD $155m ($90m cash and $65m deferred), after the Canadian Federal Government lost their shirt (and shorts, and jock strap) on the company, there was a hue and cry about Canada losing control to US multinationals.
Common to both stories is that Canadians never faced up to their failures and did an honest autopsy thereafter, and from which, applied the lessons to future ventures.
What Boeing found when they got a hold of de Havilland in 1985 was a company that was abysmally managed, with few of the cost control measures that is standard at Boeing --- and even after those flaws are corrected --- Boeing found they couldn't make money with the company and ended up selling it to Bombardier.
Boeing, is not a company that I would respect for their cost control / efficiency relative to their peers back in those days. That was the Boeing before lean production became known and popularized.
Because no credible and public autopsy was done, no lessons were learned (except to cut and run), and the same mistake was made decades later by Bombardier. Contrast this with the rather public review and exposition of the failings of key US defense programs, like FIA, where sure,it was a failure, but at least, an attempt was made to learn from it --- and one see the difference between the capabilities of the US and Canada.
Fast forward to Bombardier's present woes, which included management spreading themselves over a range of programs from Learjet, 7000, C Series, and having their train business go off the rails, abysmal customer support, unwillingness to recognize they need and do what it takes to tap world-class talent, and it is a replay.
There is something quintessentially Canadian in aircraft manufacturing where their management's ambitions way exceed their capacity to execute programs successfully, let alone on time.
Meanwhile, smaller countries like Sweden is demonstrably more capable...
Bombardier may just be on to a ' Winner ' as the only Airframe builder with a ' New ' Narrow Body ' and one of the few Companies to offer one to the Airlines for many Years.
By all accounts, the plane is a beauty of performance and economy. Discounts by Boeing and Airbus certainly can be painful, but this plane has so many merit points --- especially if they wake up to the GHG issue in marketing it --- that it should sell.
I am not here to give free marketing advice, but the example that comes to mind is the Dassault Falcon 20.... couldn't sell it when it was a Dassault-Breguet Mystère 20 until they got the marketing right, including renaming it the Falcon. Notably.. Dassault realized their problem and found a solution that is not from France or French.
I do not believe it is a cost / competitor price cutting issue. But Marketing is a major issue. It is also a credibility issue now with Bombardier management. Would you buy a plane from a manufacturer whose home country can't be counted on to back their own company? Compare this to the backing that EADS received from their government owners despite the A400M crash.
The marketing and management issues can be worked around if Canada is seen to be firmly backing the company and product. And not blind backing (i.e. writing checks) --- but backing the company to up the game in all respects.
The management (and voting shareholders) need to be appropriately fleeced for their failures in exchange for a Canadian Federal bail out.
So far the Quebec Provincial government have poured money into Bombardier with not much more than a slap on the wrist to the management that got them into trouble when funds need to be given with "tough love".
The dithering by the Canadian Federal government in Ottawa on Bombardier's request for assistance is puzzling. The newly minted Prime Minister is insisting on aid "must be based on a strong business case and not on "emotion, politics or symbols". Then he dumped the file on his Ministers.... who are spinning their wheels.
Curiously, the same standard is not applied to the new government's high priority projects such as bringing 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada (initially by Christmas, now February).
This got the PM a great photo-opp this past week. But how many new jobs are these refugees creating for the approx. CAD $1 billion cost of bring them to Canada in a hurry? What is the business case for that? (If any?)
Or the business case for Canada advocating for the 1.5C climate change goal and committing to CAD $2.5 billion in aid to developing countries?
Wonder if the Canadian Federal government priced out this goal for each individual province and saw the business case for wiping out growth in Alberta... admittedly Albertans didn't vote right, but they were formerly the largest net contributor to transfer payments to other provinces.
FYI, I do hope Ottawa comes through for Bombardier (and extract steep concessions from Bombardier including control of the Corporation). And then, do whatever it takes to fix both the management and marketing problems of Bombardier. Even if it means importing foreign management talent.
It is a fine plane... that just need to get certificated. It will sell once customers see there is some substance backing the company beyond the credibility of the existing management. And oh yes... some slick sales job once the pieces are credibly in place.
Until that happens, I wouldn't even be dreaming of additional versions.. especially ones that are potentially threatening to Boeing / Airbus.
I do hope Bombardier does not become another Canadian tragedy like the Arrow...
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