Boeing flies 737 MAX

The Boeing (NYSE: BA) 737 MAX 8 took to the skies for the first time last week, the company said.

The 737 MAX program achieved the milestone on schedule which begins a comprehensive flight-test program leading to certification and delivery.

With the latest technology LEAP-1B engines from CFM International and Boeing-designed Advanced Technology winglets, the first member of the efficient 737 MAX family completed a two-hour, 47-minute flight, taking off from Renton Field in Renton, Wash., at 9:46 a.m. local time and landing at 12:33 p.m. at Seattle´s Boeing Field.

During the flight, 737 MAX Chief Pilot Ed Wilson and Boeing Chief Test Pilot and Vice President of Flight Operations Craig Bomben departed to the north, reaching a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet (7,620 meters) and an airspeed of 250 knots, or about 288 miles (463 kilometers) per hour typical of a first flight sequence. While Capts. Wilson and Bomben tested the airplane´s systems and structures, onboard equipment transmitted real-time data to a flight-test team on the ground in Seattle.

With the other three members of the 737 MAX 8 flight-test fleet currently in different stages of final assembly, the 737 MAX remains on track for first delivery to Southwest Airlines in the third quarter of 2017.