Posted on: 29 October 2013 by Mark Howells
Engineers on the Boeing 737 MAX programme have completed an assessment of the aeroplane’s performance, confirming an additional 1% fuel-efficiency improvement over the 13% already promised to customers.
“Programme and aeroplane performance just continues to improve,” declared Keith Leverkuhn, vice-president and general manager, 737 MAX program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We have been very disciplined in our approach and continue to realise more benefit for our customers as we retire risk on the programme and get further into development.”
Boeing stated that airlines operating the 737 MAX now will get a 14% fuel-efficiency improvement over today’s most fuel efficient single-aisle aircraft. At longer ranges, the improvement will be even greater, the company added.
The 737 MAX will feature several new systems that will improve the management of maintenance information. For example, some Built-In Test Equipment (BITE) information will be brought into the flight deck. Currently, maintenance technicians access this fault data in the forward electronic equipment bay of the aircraft. By bringing this data up to the flight deck, maintenance issues can be resolved faster.
The MAX also will include an enhanced onboard network system comprised of a digital flight data acquisition unit (eDFDAU) and network file server (NFS). These systems will provide a centralised data collection system with more storage capacity, doubling the maintenance data available during flight. The system will be capable of connecting the aeroplane in flight to aeroplane operations on the ground, enabling airlines to prepare better for potential dispatch issues.
Engineers continue to make progress on the detailed design of the aircraft family. Recently the team completed the Firm Systems Definition, which defines the hardware locations for the systems on the aeroplane.
“Throughout the design process we’ll continue to look for opportunities to improve operational performance, schedule and cost for our customers,” added Leverkuhn. “We are on track for first delivery of the 737 MAX in the third quarter of 2017.”