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Boeing 737 MAX achieves “Firm Concept” milestone

Boeing has achieved a major milestone in the 737 MAX program, the re-engined upgrade of its best-selling 737 narrow-body jetliner.

Boeing 737 MAX -8 Firm Concept
The Boeing 737 MAX -8 firm concept. Upgrade from the current 737-800

Explaining this milestone called ‘Firm Concept’, Beverly Wyse, vice president and general manager 737 program said

“The program has achieved this development milestone by defining the significant changes needed to deliver the performance we’ve committed to our customers,” “The team has a firm plan in place to incorporate all the changes necessary to realize a 13 percent fuel-use reduction within the scope and schedule of the program.”

Boeing 737 MAX-9 firm concept rendering with dual winglets
Boeing 737 MAX-9 Firm Concept. Upgrade from 737-900ER.

Fuel-use reduction changes include new LEAP-1B engines from CFM International, a redesigned tail cone and Advanced Technology dual winglets. The Boeing team has further refined the geometric shape of the 737 MAX, eliminating the small bump on the nose-gear door that appeared in earlier design iterations (see images).

System upgrades include an electronic bleed air system that will be supplied by Honeywell and large-format displays, supplied by Rockwell Collins, for the flight deck. The 737 MAX flight deck will have four new large displays with significant growth capability while maintaining a common look-and-feel with the existing 737 -700, -800, -900ER, Next-Generation (NG) aircraft

Along with Firm Concept, the factory plan for the 737 MAX also has been defined. A new 737 MAX transition line will be built for assembly of the initial 737 MAXs, in parallel with NGs. Later the MAX will be integrated back into existing 737 production lines in Renton, Washington state.

Michael Teal, chief project engineer, 737 MAX, said

“The 737 MAX remains on track for first delivery in 2017,” “Now we are focused on the finer details of the configuration and we are confident we’ll be ready to begin detailed design in mid-2013.”

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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