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Boeing 737 MAX

Posted on July 08 2022

Boeing 737 MAX user+1@localho… Fri, 07/08/2022 - 21:17

The 737 MAX series is the fourth generation of Boeing’s narrowbody 737 airliner, one that includes new engines and other improvements in comparison to the company’s Next-Generation 737 series, which is also known as the 737NG. Marketed as the 737 MAX 7, MAX 8, MAX 9 and MAX 10—as well as the MAX 200—all MAX-series airframes are equipped with variants of CFM International's LEAP-1B engine. The series was launched in December 2011 with an order from Southwest Airlines, with the first flight of a MAX-series airplane—performed by a 737-8, Serial No. 42554 and registered as N8701Q—taking place on Jan. 29, 2016, from Renton Field in Washington state. Following a nearly 14-month-long flight-test program, the FAA certified the 737-8 on March 8, 2017. The first delivery of a MAX airframe took place on May 16, 2017, when a 737-8 registered as 9M-LRC—Serial No. 42985—was delivered to Lion Air and leased to Malaysian carrier Malindo Air, a subsidiary of the Lion Air Group. Following the delivery of that airframe, the first deliveries to a European customer—a pair of 737-8 for Norwegian registered as EI-FYA and EI-FYB—were made on June 29, 2017.

The next MAX variant to be certified was the 737-9—marketed as the 737 MAX 9—which made its first flight from Renton on April 13, 2017, and received an amended type certificate from the FAA on Feb. 15, 2018. The first flight of a 737-9 was performed by an airplane registered as N7379E—Serial No. 42987—and subsequent to the receipt of that amended type certificate, the first -9 was delivered on March 21, 2018 to the Lion Air Group. That 737-9 airframe—Serial No. 42991 and registered as HS-LSH—was leased to and placed into service by its Thai Lion Air subsidiary.

Following the 737-8 and -9, the next MAX variants to be certified and enter service are the 737 MAX 7 (737-7) and 737 MAX 200 (737-8-200 or -8200), with the first flights of those airframes taking place on March 16, 2018, and Jan. 13, 2019, respectively. The first 737-7 flight was made by an airframe registered as N7201S (Serial No. 42561), while the first -8200 flight was performed by N1786B (Serial No. 65076). In addition to launching the overall MAX series, it was Southwest that also launched the 737-7 on May 15, 2013, when it converted existing orders for 30 Next-Generation 737 to the -7. While a little more than a year later, on Sept. 8, 2014, Boing announced the launch of the increased-capacity 737-8-200 with a 100-airplane order from Irish carrier Ryanair. Although that latter 737 variant—which is also marketed by Boeing as the 737-8-200 and designated as the 737-8200 in the FAA type certificate data sheet (TCDS)—was launched and made its first flight after the 737-7, it was the first to receive FAA approval, which took place March 31, 2021. EASA approval of the 737-8200 was received on April 6, 2021, ahead of the first delivery to Ryanair—of an airframe registered as EI-HEN, Serial No. 62301—on June 15, 2021. Serial No. 65076, the -8200 that performed the variant’s first flight, was delivered to Ryanair on Sept. 13, 2021, and registered as EI-HAT.

Boeing announced the fifth variant of the MAX series, the 737 MAX 10 (737-10), at the 2017 Paris Air Show, a variant that is designed to directly compete with Airbus’s A321neo (new engine option). When it was launched in June 2017, the 737-10 had orders for 240 airplanes from operators and leasing companies that included AerCap, Aviation Capital Group (ACG), Copa Airlines, Donghai Airlines, GE Capital Aviation Services, Lion Air, Malaysian Airlines, TUI Group, United Airlines and Xiamen Airlines. Boeing subsequently rolled out the first 737-10 airframe—Serial No. 66122, registered as N27751—at Renton in November 2019, with the first flight occurring on June 18, 2021. At the time of the variant’s first flight, Boeing stated that it expected this 737 MAX airframe to enter into service in 2023.  

The type certificate for all variants of the 737 series—from the -100 to the -9—is held by The Boeing Company of Renton, Washington.

737 MAX Variant

FAA Certification Date

737-8

March 8, 2017

737-9

Feb. 15, 2018

737-8200 (737-8-200)

March 31, 2021

737 MAX vs. 737NG Seating Comparison

MAX Variant

Maximum Certified Passenger Capacity

NG Variant

Maximum Certified Passenger Capacity

737-7 (737 MAX 7)

172

737-700

149

737-8 (737 MAX 8)

189

737-800

189

737 8200 (737-8-200)

212

737-900ER

220

737-9 (737 MAX 9)

220

737-10 (737 MAX 10)

230

Cabin Configurations and Outfitting

On the low end of the MAX series capacity range is the 737-7, which is planned to have a maximum seating capacity of 172, a capacity possible in a single-class cabin that features seats that have a 28-in. or 29-in. pitch. The dual-class capacity of the -7 is reduced to between 138-153 passengers, with the higher end of that range possible in a configuration that includes eight business-class seats with a 36-in. pitch and 145 economy-class seats that have either a 29-in. or 30-in. pitch.

According to Boeing, the 189-passenger maximum capacity of the 737-8 is possible in a single-class cabin that features seats with a 29-in. or 30-in. pitch. In a two-class configuration, the -8 can have 162-178 seats, a range that is increased to between 178-193 seats on the -9. A possible configuration for a 178-passenger dual-class -8 accommodates 12 of those passengers in business-class seats that have a 36-in pitch, with the remaining 166 seats located in an economy cabin that incorporates seats with a pitch of either 29 in. or 30 in. As its commercial designation implies, the higher-capacity variant of the 737-8—the 737-8200, 737-8-200 or 737 MAX 200—can have a single-class configuration that is fitted with 200 seats that have a 28-in. pitch.

The highest capacity variants of the 737 MAX series are the -9 and -10, with the maximum passenger capacities of those variants being 220 and 230, respectively. As is the case with the -7 and -8, those maximum capacities are possible in a single-class configuration, with the seats in such a configuration on the -9 having a pitch of 28 in. The -9 is capable of accommodating the high end of the previously mentioned dual-class seating range in a cabin that has 16 business-class seats with a 36-in. pitch and 177 economy-class seats with a 29-in. or 30-in. pitch. In addition to the 737-10’s aforementioned maximum capacity—which is accommodated in a single-class configuration that has seats with a 28-in. or 29-in. pitch—the number of seats in a two-class layout is promoted as varying between 188 and 204. In order to reach the high-end of that capacity range, the cabin can be equipped with 16 business class that have the same seat pitch as the -9, as well as an economy class that has 188 seats that have a 29-in. or 30-in. pitch.

Other features of the 737 MAX’s cabin include Boeing’s Sky Interior, which is promoted by the company as increasing “the sense of spaciousness” and overhead storage space, while also incorporating light-emitting diode (LED) lighting into the cabin.

Cargo Capacity

Supplementing the space available in the cabin, additional room is also available in two cargo compartments, designated forward and aft. On the 737-7, the respective bulk volumes of those compartments are 433 ft.3 and 706 ft.3, for a total bulk cargo volume of 1,139 ft.3. The 737-8 and -8-200 see the total volume grow to 1,540 ft.3, divided between 657 ft.3 in the forward compartment and 883 ft.3 in the aft compartment. Those volumes once again increase on the -9, with the total volume of that variant noted in Boeing’s airport planning document as being 1,811 ft.3, a volume that is divided between 815 ft.3 in the forward compartment and 996 ft.3 in the aft compartment. As would be expected, the 737-10 will have the highest combined bulk cargo volume between its two compartments—1,961 ft.3—with 911 ft.3 of that volume contained in the forward compartment and the remaining 1,050 ft.3 located in the aft compartment.   

Avionics

Another area that was upgraded is avionics, with flight crews operating variants of the MAX series—which shares a common type rating with the variants of the 737NG series—from a flight deck that features displays provided by Collins Aerospace. Replacing the 737NG’s six 8 X 8-in. Honeywell displays—which are laid out in a “T” configuration—are "four large-format” displays that measure 15 in.  

Mission and Performance

Boeing promotes the 737 MAX series as “building” on the reliability of the 737NG variants, while also providing significant improvements in emissions, operating costs and performance. Beyond comparisons to the prior-generation 737 airframes, the primary competition for the 737 MAX series is Airbus’ A320neo series, with the specific comparisons listed below.

Comparison: A320neo and 737 MAX Specifications

A319neo

A320neo

A321XLR

737-7

737-8/

737-8200

737-9

737-10

Maximum Certified Passenger Capacity

160

195

244

172

189/212

220

230

Maximum Range (nm)

3,700

3,400

4,700

3,850

3,550

3,300

Engine

CFM International LEAP-1A

CFM International LEAP-1B

Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM

Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

166,449

174,165

222,667

177,000

182,200/

181,200

194,700

197,900

Wingspan

117 ft. 5 in.

117 ft. 10 in.

Length

111 ft.

123 ft. 3 in.

146 ft.

116 ft. 8 in.

129 ft. 8 in.

138 ft. 2 in.

143 ft. 8 in.

Height

38 ft. 7 in.

40 ft. 4 in.

                 

Additional commonalities between the 737-8 and -9 and the 737NG series—the -600, -700, -700C, -800, -900 and -900ER—include a maximum operating limit speed (MMO) of 0.82 Mach and maximum operating altitude of 41,000 ft. With reference to the MAX’s range figures listed above and below, the figures for the -9 and -10 assume an airframe that is equipped with one auxiliary fuel tank. Furthermore, although the -8 and -9 are both marketed as having the same 3,550-nm range, the former variant does not require an auxiliary fuel tank to achieve that range. Specific to the 737-7, the “technology improvements” included on that airframe will give it 1,000 nm more range than the 737-700, while also allowing it to carry more passengers. Using the same fuel quantity, the larger -8 is noted by Boeing as having a range that is 14% greater than “the latest 737-800.” Although the LEAP-1B engines enable “most of the range gain,” the “dual-surface, laminar-flow winglets contribute 2% over the blended winglets fitted to” 737NG airframes.

Variants

Comparison: 737NG and 737 MAX Specifications

Type

737-700

737-800

737-900ER

737-7

737-8/

737-8200

737-9

737-10

Commercial Designation

737 MAX 7

737 MAX 8/

737 MAX 200

737 MAX 9

737 MAX 10

Maximum Certified Passenger Capacity

149

189

220

172

189/212

220

230

Maximum Range (nm)

3,010

2,935

2,950

3,850

3,550

3,300

Engine

CFM International CFM56-7B

CFM International LEAP-1B

Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

154,500

174,200

187,700

177,000

182,200/

181,200

194,700

197,900

171,000 (IGW)

Maximum Landing Weight (lb.)

129,200

146,300

157,300

145,600

152,800

163,900

167,400

134,000 (IGW)

Usable Fuel Capacity (gal.)

6,820

Wingspan

117 ft. 5 in.

117 ft. 10 in.

Length

110 ft. 4 in.

129 ft. 6 in.

138 ft. 2 in.

116 ft. 8 in.

129 ft. 8 in.

138 ft. 2 in.

143 ft. 8 in.

Height

41 ft. 3 in.

40 ft. 4 in.

                 

737 MAX Series Engine Variants

737 MAX Variant

Engine Variant

737 MAX Variant

Engine Variant

737-8/-8200

CFM LEAP-1B25G05

737-9

CFM LEAP-1B27G05

CFM LEAP-1B25G06

CFM LEAP-1B27G06

CFM LEAP-1B27G05

CFM LEAP-1B28G05

CFM LEAP-1B27G06

CFM LEAP-1B28G06

CFM LEAP-1B28G05

CFM LEAP-1B28B1G05

CFM LEAP-1B28G06

CFM LEAP-1B28B1G06

CFM LEAP-1B28B1G05

CFM LEAP-1B28B1G06

LEAP-1B Engines

Changes that are shared by all four 737 MAX variants include an increased wingspan—to 117 ft. 10 in.—as well as the replacement of the CFM56 engines with CFM’s LEAP-1B engines. The improvements provided by the LEAP engines include a reduction in fuel consumption—which, according to CFM, is 15% better when compared to “today’s best CFM56 engines”—and emissions, while retaining the “life-cycle maintenance costs” and reliability of the CFM56. Specific emissions reductions made possible by the LEAP include a 50% reduction in nitrogen-oxide (NOX) emissions in comparison to the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection’s CAEP/6 standards. CFM states that reduction is made possible through the inclusion of a “second-generation” Twin-Annular, Pre-Mixing Swirler Combustor (TAPS II), a type of combustor that “pre-mixes” fuel and air prior to combustion. Because of that pre-mixing of the fuel and air—in comparison to “traditional combustors” that mix those elements “inside the combustion chamber”—the LEAP is promoted as achieving “lean-burn combustion.” The engine’s FAA TCDS notes that, in addition to the TAPS II combustors, the variants of the LEAP-1B—which are high-bypass turbofan engines—have a multi-stage low-pressure turbine and compressor, as well as a two-stage high-pressure turbine. Driving the coaxial front fan/booster of the LEAP-1B is the multi-stage low-pressure turbine, while the engine itself incorporates a full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system.

Other technologies incorporated into the LEAP engine series include fan blades that are “manufactured from 3D-woven RTM (resin transfer molding) carbon-fiber composite,” a technology that decreases weight and increases durability. The use of additive manufacturing has allowed the CFM to “grow” engines that are “complex [and] fully dense,” while also being lighter. For instance, when compared to conventionally manufactured parts, the LEAP’s fuel nozzles are “five times more durable,” while also being “25% lighter than previous models.” Despite incorporating those advanced materials, the increase in the size of the LEAP-1B in comparison to the CFM56—the LEAP-1B’s 18-blade carbon-fiber fan has a 69.4-in. diameter in comparison to the 61-in. diameter of the CFM56-7’s 24-blade titanium fan—means the total weight of the engine also increased to 6,128 lb.

The takeoff static thrust ratings of the LEAP-1B variants currently certified for the 737-8 and -9—which can be maintained for up to 5 min. and are based on sea-level altitude—vary between 26,786 lb. and 29,317 lb., with those limitations applying to the LEAP-1B25 and -1B28/-1B28B1, respectively. In between those thrust ratings is the LEAP-1B27, which has a takeoff static thrust rating of 28,037 lb., according to the FAA TCDS. In contrast to those slightly higher takeoff static thrust ratings, the maximum continuous static thrust ratings fall between 25,958 lb. (LEAP-1B25) and 28,690 lb. (LEAP-1B28 and -1B28B1). Once again, the middle-of-the-range thrust rating is found on the LEAP-1B27, which has a maximum continuous thrust rating of 27,272 lb.

737-7 (737 MAX 7)

Rolled out of Boeing’s Renton manufacturing facility on Feb. 5 2018, the smallest variant of the 737 MAX series, the 737-7, is also the variant the offers the greatest range. Based on feedback from -7 customers Southwest Airlines and WestJet Airlines, the fuselage of the -7 was extended by 76 in. to accommodate two additional rows of seats, with those rows allowing for the addition of 12 more seats in comparison to the 737-700. Along with a lengthened fuselage, the updated -7 design gives the variant improved performance in high-altitude and hot-temperature conditions—as well as increasing the range—while also increasing the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) by 6,000 lb. in comparison to the increased-gross-weight (IGW) variant of the 737-700. Another improvement made to the -7 in comparison to the prior-generation -700 involves fuel costs, which, on a per-seat basis, are 18% lower. Furthermore, according to Boeing, when compared to the A319neo, the -7 is able to carry “12 more passengers 400 nm further,” with operating costs that are 7% less on a per-seat basis.

737-8 and -8200 (737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 200)

Similarly, the MTOW of the 737-8 is increased by 7,000 lb., while retaining a fuselage length that is nearly identical to the -800 variant. In comparison to its direct competition, the A320neo, Boeing touts the fact that the -8’s fuselage is 6 ft. 5 in. longer as providing operators more space and flexibility in the cabin. The increased capacity of the 737-8-200 (737 MAX 200), an airframe that is described as being based on the 737-8, is made possible through the addition of the mid-exit door of the -9 which “increase[es] the exit limit.” Overall, the possible configurations of the -8 airframe are promoted as allowing it to serve the “heart of the single-aisle market (160 seats),” as well as at the maximum capacities needed by low-cost carriers like Ryanair. Indeed, Boeing noted that the -8-200 was developed “in response to the needs of the fast-growing low-cost sector,” with that variant able to provide such carriers with operating costs that are “up to 5% lower” than the standard -8. Additionally, the MAX 200 is promoted as having, on a per-seat basis, 20% better fuel efficiency when compared to “today’s most efficient single-aisle airplanes.”

737-9 and -10 (737 MAX 9 and 737 MAX 10)

In comparison to the 737-8, the greater fuselage length of the -9 allows for three additional rows of seats to be installed. However, as is noted above, the -9 does require an auxiliary fuel tank to achieve its published range. With reference to the changes that will be incorporated into the 737-10, Boeing describes it as having a “stretched fuselage that is 66 in. longer than the -9,” while also incorporating levered main landing gear that “moves the rotation point aft.” Of that increased fuselage length, “40 in. of stretch” is located forward of the wing, with the remaining 26 in. located aft of the wing. Supplementing the 8-in. extension of the MAX’s nose gear that was required to allow proper ground clearance for the LEAP engines, the -10’s main landing gear is extended by 9.5 in. in order to provide “adequate clearance of the longer body for rotation” during takeoff and landing, as well as “to ensure the aircraft remains stall—rather than pitch—limited.” Indeed, it is that increase in the height of the main landing gear that allows for the stretch of the fuselage, with the design also allowing the larger landing gear to fit “into the existing wheelwell space.” Beyond the increased fuselage length and the modifications to the main landing gear to accommodate it, other changes to the -10 include a “lighter flat aft pressure bulkhead,” variable exit-limit rating mid-exit door and a wing that was modified for “low-speed drag reduction.”

737 MAX Environmental Performance

In terms of reduced fuel consumption, emissions and overall sustainability, the 737 MAX series is promoted as reducing carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions and fuel consumption by 14% in comparison to the “newest” 737NG airframes, and 20% when compared to the “first Next-Generation 737s.” As was noted above, the MAX’s NOx emissions are 50% below the CAEP/6 standards, while the community noise footprint is 40% smaller than that of the 737NG. In comparison to Airbus’s reengined A320neo, Boeing touts the 737-8 as using 8% less fuel on a per-seat basis. Additionally, when the 737-10 is compared to the A321neo, Boeing markets it as having 5% lower trip and operating costs. These improved efficiencies are driven not only by the decreased fuel consumption of the LEAP engines, but also by the Advanced Technology winglets that MAX airframes are equipped with.

Boeing and MAX customer Alaska Airlines announced on June 3, 2021, that an Alaska 737-9 would be utilized to “flight test about 20 technologies” as part of the airframe manufacturer’s ecoDemonstrator program, with the goal of improving both the sustainability and safety of operations. Those tests, which the companies said would last five months, include evaluating the use of recycled carbon composite material in the cabin sidewall panels, with that material being sourced from the production of the 777X’s wings. According to Boeing, the benefits of using of that material—which is described as being durable and light—include the fact that it lowers carbon emissions and fuel burn, while also furthering the company’s sustainable manufacturing objectives. The -9-based ecoDemonstrator will also test a fire-extinguishing agent that is meant to replace Halon 1301—the production of which “was banned in 1994”—with the goal of lowering the impact of the agent on the ozone layer substantially. Beyond testing a replacement for Halon 1301, another test involving the airframe’s engines includes “acoustic lining concepts” found in the engine nacelle that have the potential to decrease the noise produced by “current engines,” while also “inform[ing] [the] design” of future engines. Boeing also noted that th ecoDemonstrator test flights will utilize “a blend of petroleum-based [fuel] and sustainable aviation fuel [SAF],” the latter of which lowers “life-cycle CO2 emissions by up to 80%.” The SAF “will be a 30% blend with conventional jet fuel” and sourced from Boston-based World Energy.

Program Status/Operators

All 737 MAX variants are produced at Boeing’s facilities in Renton, Washington. With reference to their flight-test programs, four test airframes were used for the 737-8’s flight-test program, with two each used for the -7 and -9’s programs.

Following the entry into service of the 737-8 and -9, three variants of the MAX series remain to be certified—the -7, -8-200 (MAX 200) and -10—with the two former variants flying for the first time in 2018 and early 2019, respectively. While it originally was expected that the -7 and -8-200 would enter service in 2019—and United Airlines would accept the first example of the -10 in late 2020—accidents involving two -8 airframes made the certification and delivery plans for those variants uncertain. The first of those accidents, which occurred on Oct. 29, 2018, involved a Lion Air 737-8 registered as PK-LQP that was lost roughly 13 min. after departure from Jakarta, Indonesia. The second accident took place less than five months later on March 10, 2019, when an Ethiopian Airlines -8 registered as ET-AVJ crashed 6 min. after departure from Addis Ababa. Subsequent to the loss of the second MAX airframe, and with preliminary information that suggested similarities with the Lion Air accident, the MAX fleet was progressively grounded by global aviation authorities. The focus of the accident investigations and the reason for the worldwide grounding of 737 MAX airframes was a flight-control law that Boeing calls the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). The MCAS was “introduced on the 737 MAX to help it handle like a 737[NG], particularly at slow speeds and high angles of attack.”

Subsequent to the March 2019 accident involving an Ethiopian Airlines 737-8, all MAX airframes were progressively grounded by aviation authorities, starting with the Civil Aviation Administration of China, which decided to ground MAX variants on March 11. On the same day, Indonesian regulators grounded airframes operated by Lion Air and Garuda Indonesia “for inspections,” while operations were banned by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore the following day (March 12). Also on March 12, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an airworthiness directive that suspended MAX operations in Europe, with that decision made in response to the Ethiopian Airlines accident. Finally, on March 13, MAX operations were suspended by Canada and the U.S., with those decisions affecting carriers including Air Canada, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and WestJet. Furthermore, as a result of the grounding, all MAX deliveries were halted.

Despite the uncertainty at the time regarding of when Boeing would complete the changes and upgrades that would enable the 737 MAX series to return to service, the flight-test program for the 737-7 resumed on May 15, 2019, following use of the first -7 flight-test airframe—1E001—to conduct evaluations related to upgraded MCAS software. Furthermore, despite the continued grounding at the time, Boeing announced at the 2019 Paris Air Show that International Airlines Group (IAG)—which comprises Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, LEVEL and Vueling—intends to purchase 200 MAX airframes. According to Boeing, that order will include both the 737-8 and -10, with those airframes expected to be operated by “a number of the group’s airlines including Vueling and LEVEL.”

Boeing announced on Dec. 16, 2019, the suspension of 737 MAX production, with that suspension beginning in January 2020. At the time of that announcement, the company stated that they had “approximately 400 airplanes in storage.” After a suspension of production that lasted five months, Boeing announced on May 27, 2020, that production had resumed in Renton, with that production occurring at a “low rate.”

Following additional testing that covered more than 4,400 hr. and 1,350 flights, on Nov. 18, 2020, Boeing announced that the FAA had lifted its order that halted “commercial operations” of the 737 MAX variants that were certified at the time that order was issued, the -8 and -9. According to the company’s press release announcing that event, it allowed “airlines that are under the FAA’s jurisdiction, including those in the U.S., to take the steps necessary to resume service,” as well as allowing Boeing to resume deliveries of those 737 variants. However, prior to the resumption of scheduled service with 737 MAX variants by airlines under FAA jurisdiction, a number of requirements must be met including “de-preservation activities” for stored airframes, modifications to separate wiring, pilot training and the installation of software updates for the flight computer. The updated software, as well as the training requirements mandated by the FAA, involve the airframe’s MCAS, with the software changes including a “revised logic.” A week later, on Nov. 25, 2020, the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency [Agencia Nacional de Aviacao Civil (ANAC)] took the same action as the FAA, lifting an order that prevented the commercial operations of -8 airframes in that country. Contingent upon many of the same conditions as the FAA—such as changes to the airframe’s wiring and maintenance, as well as training, and software upgrades—EASA announced on Jan. 27, 2021, that it had approved the 737 MAX series’ return to service, while the suspension of operations by Transport Canada and Australia’s CASA were lifted on Jan 18, 2021, and Feb. 26, 2021, respectively.

As the orders which prevented operations were gradually lifted in late 2020 and early 2021, the first operator to place the 737 MAX back into service was Brazilian low-cost carrier Gol Airlines, which operated a flight between Sao Paulo to Porto Alegre using a 737-8. Subsequently, American Airlines began operations with a -8 flight between Miami and New York LaGuardia on Dec. 29, 2020, while low-cost carrier Westjet became the first Canadian carrier to reintroduce the series on Jan. 21, 2021, when it operated a -8 between Calgary and Vancouver. Nearly a month after EASA announced that it had approved the series’ return to service, Czech charter airline Smartwings became the first European carrier to operate a flight with a 737 MAX airframe when, on Feb. 25, 2021, it operated a -8 between Prague and Malaga, Spain. As of early 2021, Boeing anticipates that the first deliveries of the -10 will occur in 2023, following the first deliveries of the MAX 200 and -7 in 2021.

Following the MAX’s return to service, an issue related to production line changes made in “early 2019” resulted in “electrical bonding and grounding issues” that impacted over 100 airframes which had already been delivered to operators. In addition to the changes which had be made to airplanes that were already delivered, modifications were also required on 350 “undelivered aircraft [that Boeing] ha[d] in its inventory,” with the company also making changes to the 737 MAX production line.  

References

  • AWIN Article Archives
  • EASA TCDS (A320) and FAA TCDS (737 and CFM LEAP-1B)
  • Airbus, Boeing and CFM International Commercial Materials
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