Posted on: 30 August 2011 by Ross McSweeny
Boeing has unveiled the 737 MAX, the name of the new engine variant of the 737 family, which comprises the 737 MAX 7, 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9.
“The 737 MAX offers airlines the right solution and the best choice for creating the most successful future with improved profitability,” claimed Nicole Piasecki, vice-president of business development and strategic integration, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 737 MAX will deliver maximum efficiency, maximum reliability and the Sky Interior will continue to offer maximum passenger comfort. We call it the 737 MAX because it optimises everything we and our customers have learned about designing, building, maintaining and operating the world’s best single-aisle aeroplane.”
Boeing says the 737 MAX will deliver the “big fuel savings” which airlines will need to compete successfully, with the new CFM LEAP-1B engines, more efficient structural design and lower maintenance requirements helping to deliver “a 7% advantage in operating costs over future competing aeroplanes”.
The 737 MAX, declares the airframer, will build upon the 737NG’s reliability performance – 99.7% on-time departure rate.
Reacting to Boeing’s announcement, CFM president and CEO Jean-Paul Ebanga remarked, “Our relationship with Boeing goes back more than 30 years and even we could not have predicted the phenomenal success the CFM-powered Boeing 737 programme has enjoyed. This is the best-selling aircraft–engine combination in aviation history. I believe we have achieved that status because we have consistently worked together to refine and improve the airplane/engine combination. This new aeroplane will provide exceptional operating economics and provide customers with unprecedented levels of efficiency and environmental responsibility while maintaining the legacy of aviation’s most reliable product line.
“The CFM-powered 737 aircraft being delivered today represents three decades of leading-edge technical innovation and we look forward to taking that technology to a whole new level with the LEAP-powered 737,” Ebanga added.
The LEAP-1B will be the exclusive powerplant for the new 737 variant, with the engine being optimised for the aircraft. CFM has been collaborating with Boeing on various engine options for either a new or re-engined 737 aircraft since 2005. The two companies are now working to define the final LEAP-1B engine configuration.