Boeing’s second prototype 737 MAX 10 has completed its first flight. The aircraft yesterday flew from Renton, where it was built, to Boeing Field. Having been used for certification work, the aircraft will eventually go on to be delivered to United Airlines.
It has been nearly a year since the Boeing 737 MAX was recertified by the federal aviation administration (FAA). However, while aircraft like the MAX 8 and 9 were cleared to take to the skies, three types weren’t. This was as the MAX 8-200, MAX 7, and the MAX 10 weren’t certified when the aircraft was grounded. While the 8-200 has now received the green light, the other two haven’t.
The first flight of the second aircraft
The Boeing 737 MAX 10 is still waiting on its initial certification. As part of this journey, many test flights will be required to ensure that the aircraft performs as it should. Given the MAX’s previous grounding, it wouldn’t be surprising if these checks are more rigorous than usual.
The first 737 MAX 10 has already been flying for several months now. However, yesterday the second aircraft joined the test fleet. With line number 7705, N27752 took to the skies. According to data from RadarBox.com, the jet took to the skies at 12:45 yesterday from Renton (RNT).
While the journey as the crow flies from Renton to Boeing field is just eight kilometers (five miles), the aircraft took a slightly more protracted route. After flying back and forth over the state of Washington, the jet touched down at Boeing Field (BFI) at 15:14, two and a half hours later.
Bound for United
While the words “experimental” are currently painted on the second prototype MAX 10, this shouldn’t always be the case. According to BOE Family, the aircraft first spotted in March 2020 will eventually end up carrying paying passengers in the United Airlines livery.
Once the entire Boeing 737 MAX fleet has been delivered to United Airlines, it will be unlikely a passenger will end up on this specific plane. According to data from ch-aviation.com, United Airlines has 255 MAX 10 aircraft on order. This is in addition to 92 MAX 8 jets and 66 MAX 9 jets, giving a current total order of 413 aircraft as the airline has no MAX 7s on order.
It is not unusual for a prototype aircraft to go to an airline. Looking at the passenger Boeing 747-8 program, Lufthansa was due to take delivery of a prototype aircraft. As the aircraft was heavier than the other jets, Lufthansa ultimately decided not to take the jet. However, after a decade sat in the Mojave desert, it seems that things are on the up for the plane, as it is now expected to be delivered to the Egyptian Government.
What do you make of the first flight of the second Boeing 737 MAX prototype? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!