Boeing updates 737 MAX configuration and customer numbers

Boeing says that the 737 MAX aircraft family will use a 68-inch diameter fan on its optimised CFM LEAP-X1B engine and that there has been “overwhelming acceptance from customers with more than 600 order commitments received to date from eight airlines”.

The airframer says the programme is on schedule with internal configuration milestones of the new jet, with a continued focus on engagement with customers and partners to optimise the engine core architecture. Firm configuration for the aeroplane is scheduled for 2013. The first flight for the 737 MAX is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017.

"The 737 is a more efficient, lighter design and requires less thrust than other aeroplanes in this class, which is important because weight and thrust have a significant effect on fuel efficiency and operating costs," claimed John Hamilton, 737 chief program engineer.

The 737 MAX family’s LEAP-1B engines will have 10%-12% lower fuel burn than current 737s and, says Boeing, a 7% operating cost advantage over the competition.

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