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Boeing MAX test flight for China's regulator a success - exec

  • Boeing held flight for China's aviation regulator in August
  • China's regulator working through data, finalising reports
  • Planemaker hopeful flight ban will be lifted by year end

ZHUHAI, China, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Boeing Co's (BA.N) MAX test flight for China's aviation regulator last month was successful and the planemaker hopes a two-year grounding will be lifted this year, the head of Boeing's China business said on Wednesday.

"It went off without a hitch," Boeing China President Sherry Carbary said of the test flight, speaking on the sidelines of Airshow China, the country's biggest air show. read more

Boeing working with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) as it sifts through data and finalises reports before deciding whether the plane can be returned to service, Carbary said.

The ban, which has been lifted in the West and several Asian countries, could be eased in China around November, people close to the matter have told Reuters. read more

"We are hopeful it will happen by the end of the year," Carbary said, declining to be more specific. "It is up to CAAC. But I can tell you we are doing all we can to support them and we're encouraged about how closely they are working with us."

Before the MAX was grounded in March after two fatal crashes, Boeing was selling one quarter of the planes it built annually to Chinese buyers.

The company's China sales have also been hobbled by U.S.-China trade tensions.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Tuesday the Chinese government was preventing its domestic airlines from buying "tens of billions of dollars" of Boeing planes. read more

Carbary declined to comment directly on the remarks but she said free and fair trade was important to enable Boeing to deliver its planes around the world.

"I think right now our two governments are having some competitive issues on some sensitive issues that are legitimate and the two countries need to work through those," she said.

Reporting by Stella Qiu and David Kirton in Zhuhai; writing by Jamie Freed. Editing by Gerry Doyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Sours: https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/boeingmax-test-flight-chinas-regulator-success-exec/

Boeing Max test plane takes flight in China after 2 years of grounding

About 30 airlines and countries have allowed the Max to return to service following a nearly two-year safety ban after crashes five months apart killed people, plunging Boeing into a financial crisis since compounded by the coronavirus pandemic.

Boeing's Max remains grounded in China, where trade tensions between Washington and Beijing have cut off sales for years, although Chief Executive Dave Calhoun said last month he still expected the Max to win approval before year-end.

China's aviation regulator previously issued three requirements for the Max's return to service: certified design changes, sufficient pilot training, and definitive findings from the crash investigations.

Before the Max was grounded in March , Boeing was selling one quarter of the planes it built annually to Chinese buyers. For years, simmering tensions between Washington and Beijing have caused uncertainty.

Sours: https://www.cnbc.com//08/11/boeingmax-test-plane-takes-flight-in-china-after-grounding.html
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Boeing MAX

Airliner family by Boeing

The Boeing MAX is the fourth generation of the Boeing , a narrow-body airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA). It succeeds the Boeing Next Generation (NG) and competes with the Airbus Aneo family. The MAX is based on earlier designs, with more efficient CFM International LEAP-1B engines, aerodynamic changes, including its distinctive split-tip winglets, and airframe modifications. The new series was announced on August 30, It took its maiden flight on January 29, and was certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in March The first delivery was a MAX&#;8 in May to Malindo Air, with whom it commenced service on May 22,

The MAX series has been offered in four variants, offering to seats in typical two-class configuration[6] and a 3, to 3,&#;nmi (5, to 7,&#;km) range. The MAX&#;7, MAX&#;8 (including the denser, –seat MAX ), and MAX&#;9 are intended to replace the , , and respectively, and a further-stretched MAX&#;10 is available. As of November , the Boeing MAX had a backlog of 3, units.[7]

The MAX suffered a recurring failure in the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) causing two fatal accidents, Lion Air Flight and Ethiopian Airlines Flight , in which people died.[8] It was subsequently grounded worldwide from March to November Investigations faulted a cover-up of a known defect by Boeing, and lapses in the certification by the FAA.[9][10] After being charged with fraud, Boeing settled to pay over $ billion in penalties and compensation. On November 18, , the FAA cleared the MAX to resume service, subject to a list of mandated design and training changes. Transport Canada and EASA both cleared the MAX in late January , subject to additional requirements. In China, where the MAX was first grounded, the MAX has yet to resume service.[11] Boeing produced over MAX aircraft awaiting delivery by January , about half of which are expected to be delivered in , and the majority of the remainder in

Development[edit]

Background[edit]

In , Boeing started considering the replacement of the with a "clean-sheet" design that could follow the Boeing Dreamliner.[12] In June , a decision on this replacement was postponed into [13]

On December 1, , Boeing's competitor, Airbus, launched the Airbus Aneo family to improve fuel burn and operating efficiency with new engines: the CFM InternationalLEAP and the Pratt & WhitneyPWG.[14] In February , Boeing's CEO Jim McNerney maintained "We're going to do a new airplane."[15] In March , BCA President James Albaugh told participants of a trade meeting the company was not sure about a re-engine, like Boeing CFO James A. Bell stated at an investor conference the same month.[16] The Airbus Aneo gathered commitments at the June, Paris Air Show for a backlog of 1, units since its launch, setting an order record for a new commercial airliner.[17]

On July 20, , American Airlines announced an order for narrowbody jets including Aceos (Current Engine Option), Aneos, NG and intended to order re-engined s with CFM LEAPs, pending Boeing confirmation.[18] The order broke Boeing's monopoly with the airline and forced Boeing into a re-engined [19] As this sale included a Most-Favoured-Customer Clause, Airbus has to refund any difference to American if it sells to another airline at a lower price, so the European manufacturer was unable to offer it at a price which United Airlines deems "competitive" leaving it with a Boeing-skewed fleet.[20]

Program launch[edit]

The MAX 9 mockup at the ILA Berlin

On August 30, , Boeing's board of directors approved the launch of the re-engined , expecting a 4% lower fuel burn than the Airbus Aneo.[21] Studies for additional drag reduction were performed during , including revised tail cone, natural laminar flow nacelle, and hybrid laminar flow vertical stabilizer.[22] Boeing abandoned the development of a new design.[23] Boeing expected the MAX to meet or exceed the range of the Airbus Aneo.[24] Firm configuration for the MAX was scheduled for [25]

In March , the estimated cost to re-engine the , according to Mike Bair, Boeing Commercial Airplanes' vice president of business strategy and marketing, would be US$2–3&#;billion, including the CFM engine development. During Boeing's Q2 earnings call, former CFO James Bell said the development cost for the airframe only would be 10–15% of the cost of a new program estimated at US$10–12&#;billion at the time. Bernstein Research predicted in January , that this cost would be twice that of the Aneo.[26] The MAX development cost could have been well over the internal target of US$2&#;bn, and closer to US$4&#;bn.[27] Fuel consumption is reduced by 14% from the NG.[28]Southwest Airlines was signed up as the launch customer in [29]

In November , McNerney said the would be replaced by a new airplane by —probably using composite materials—that would be slightly bigger and have new engines, but would retain the 's general configuration.[30]

Production[edit]

Roll-out of the first Boeing MAX in December

On August 13, , the first MAX fuselage completed assembly at Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita, Kansas, for a test aircraft that would eventually be delivered to launch customer Southwest Airlines.[31] On December 8, , the first MAX—a MAX&#;8 named Spirit of Renton—was rolled out at the Boeing Renton Factory.[32][33][34]

Because GKN could not produce the titaniumhoneycomb inner walls for the thrust reversers quickly enough, Boeing switched to a composite part produced by Spirit to deliver 47 MAXs per month in Spirit supplies 69% of the airframe, including the fuselage, thrust reverser, engine pylons, nacelles, and wing leading edges.[35]

A new spar-assembly line with robotic drilling machines should increase throughput by 33%. The Electroimpact automated panel assembly line sped up the wing lower-skin assembly by 35%.[36] Boeing planned to increase its MAX monthly production rate from 42 planes in , to 57 planes by [37] The new spar-assembly line is designed by Electroimpact.[38] Electroimpact has also installed fully automated riveting machines and tooling to fasten stringers to the wing skin.[39]

The rate increase strained the production and by August , over 40 unfinished jets were parked in Renton, awaiting parts or engine installation, as CFM engines and Spirit fuselages were delivered late.[40] After parked airplanes peaked at 53 at the beginning of September, Boeing reduced this by nine the following month, as deliveries rose to 61 from 29 in July and 48 in August.[41]

On September 23, , Boeing announced a collaboration with Comac to build a completion and delivery facility for the ,[42] in Zhoushan, China,[43] the first outside the United States.[44] This facility initially handles interior finishing only, but will subsequently be expanded to include paintwork. The first aircraft was delivered from the facility to Air China on December 15, [45]

The largest part of the suppliers cost are the aerostructures with US$10–12M (% of the US$ M total), followed by the engines with US$7–9M (%), systems and interiors with US$5–6M each (%), then avionics with US$–2M (%).[46]

Flight testing and certification[edit]

Main article: Boeing MAX certification

The first flight took place on January 29, , at Renton Municipal Airport,[47] nearly 49 years after the maiden flight of the original , on April 9, [1] The first MAX 8, 1A, was used for aerodynamic trials: flutter testing, stability and control, and takeoff performance-data verification, before it was modified for an operator and delivered. 1A was used for performance and engine testing: climb and landing performance, crosswind, noise, cold weather, high altitude, fuel burn and water-ingestion. Aircraft systems including autoland were tested with 1A 1A, with an airliner layout, flew function-and-reliability certification for h with a light flight-test instrumentation.[48]

The MAX gained Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification on March 8, [49][50] It was approved by EASA on March 27, [51] After completing 2, test flight hours and minute ETOPS testing requiring 3, simulated flight cycles in April , CFM International notified Boeing of a possible manufacturing quality issue with low pressure turbine (LPT) discs in LEAP-1B engines.[52] Boeing suspended MAX flights on May 4,[53] and resumed flights on May [54]

During the certification process, the FAA delegated many evaluations to Boeing, allowing the manufacturer to review their own product.[47][55] It was widely reported that Boeing pushed to expedite approval of the MAX to compete with the Airbus Aneo, which hit the market nine months ahead of Boeing's model.[56]

Introduction[edit]

The Boeing MAX 8 entered service with Lion Air's subsidiary Malindo Air(wearing Batik Air Malaysia livery)

The first delivery was a MAX&#;8, handed over to Malindo Air (a subsidiary of Lion Air) on May 16, ; it entered service on May [2]Norwegian Air International was the second airline to put a MAX into service, when it performed its first transatlantic flight with a MAX&#;8 named Sir Freddie Laker on July 15, , between Edinburgh Airport in Scotland and Bradley International Airport in the U.S. state of Connecticut.[57]

Boeing aimed to match the % dispatch reliability of the Next Generation (NG).[58] Southwest Airlines, the launch customer, took delivery of its first MAX on August 29, [59] Boeing planned to deliver at least 50 to 75 aircraft in , 10–15% of the more than five hundred s to be delivered in the year.[53]

After one year of service, MAXs had been delivered to 28 customers, logging over 41,&#;flights in ,&#;hours and flying over &#;million passengers. flydubai observed 15% more efficiency than the NG, more than the 14% promised, and dependability reached %. Long routes include 24 over 2,&#;nmi (4,&#;km), including a daily Aerolineas Argentinas service from Buenos Aires to Punta Cana over 3,&#;nmi (6,&#;km).[60]

In , Moody's had estimated Boeing's operating margin to be US$12–15 million for each Max 8 at its list price of $ million, although the list price is usually discounted % in practice. This high margin was made possible by the efficiencies of production volume and the amortization of development costs and capital investment over the decades of the program run. However, costs have since risen significantly and the margin reduced following the second crash, the FAA grounding, and the severe disruption to production.[61][62] Boeing estimated it would cost an additional $ billion to produce the remaining MAX program, $4 billion for "future abnormal costs" as production restarted, plus an estimated $ billion for concessions and compensation to customers.[63][64][65] The rising costs also led Moody's to downgrade Boeing's credit rating.[66]

Grounding and recertification[edit]

Main article: Boeing MAX groundings

In , the Boeing MAX was grounded worldwide, after a malfunctioning flight control system caused two new aircraft to crash in Indonesia and Ethiopia, killing all people on board. In the twenty months during the grounding, Boeing redesigned the computer architecture that supported the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), while investigations faulted aircraft design and certification lapses. Boeing faces legal and financial consequences, as no deliveries of the MAX could be made while the aircraft was grounded, and airlines canceled more orders than Boeing produced during this period; a portion of those aircraft have lost their original buyers. Boeing found foreign object debris in the fuel tanks of 35 of 50 grounded MAX aircraft that were inspected, and is to check the remainder of the undelivered planes.[67] Boeing had similar issues with s produced in South Carolina.[68] The FAA curtailed Boeing's delegated authority, and invited global aviation stakeholders to comment on pending changes to the aircraft and to pilot training. The FAA grounding order was lifted in ;[69] all aircraft must be repaired to comply with various airworthiness directives.[70]

After being charged with fraud in connection of both crashes of the MAX, Boeing settled to pay over $ billion: a criminal monetary penalty of $ million (10%), $ billion of damages to airline customers (70%), and a $ million crash-victim beneficiaries fund (20%).[71][72]

Production slowdown and suspension[edit]

From mid-April , the company announced that it was temporarily cutting production of the aircraft from 52 per month to 42 amid the MAX groundings.[73]

Production of the LEAP-1B engine continued at an unchanged rate, enabling CFM to catch up its backlog within a few weeks.[74]

As the MAX re-certification moved into , Boeing suspended production from January to conserve cash and prioritize stored aircraft delivery.[75][76] The MAX program was Boeing's largest source of profit.[77] Around 80% of the production costs involve payments to parts suppliers, which may be as low as US$10 million per plane.[78]

After the announcement, Moody's cut Boeing's debt ratings in December , citing the rising costs due to the grounding and the production halt including financial support to suppliers and compensation to airlines and lessors which could lower the program's margins and cash generation for years.[66] Moody's also warned that the production halt would have wide and harmful impact to the whole aerospace and defense supply chain and, if and when production resumes, the ramp-up would be slower than previously anticipated, as suppliers have to make adjustments to cost structures built for planned record output on the program.[79]

CFM International reduced production of the LEAP-1B for the MAX, in favor of the LEAP-1A for the Airbus Aneo, but is prepared to meet demand for both aircraft.[80]

Boeing did not publicly say how long the suspension would last. The last pre-suspension fuselages entered final assembly in early January Boeing was reported to internally expect production to be halted for at least 60 days.[81] Industry observers began to question if Boeing's projection of record production rate of 57 per month would ever be reached.[82] In early January , an issue was discovered in the software update, further delaying the return to service.[83]

In late January, production was expected to restart in April and take a year and a half to clear the inventory of airplanes, ramping up slowly and building over time: Boeing might have delivered stored jets by year-end and produce an equal number.[84] Boeing did not disclose any possible effect on deliveries caused by the FAA's withdrawal of Boeing's delegated authority to certify the airworthiness of each aircraft.[85] MAX supplier Spirit AeroSystems said it does not expect to return production rate to 52 per month until late [86] By early April, the COVID pandemic led Boeing to shut down its other airliner production lines[87] and further delayed recertification of the MAX.[88] By late April , Boeing signaled that it hoped to win regulatory approval by August [89] On May 27, , Boeing resumed MAX production at a low production rate, with the rate planned to increase towards 31 per month in [4]

Recertification and delivery plan[edit]

Between June 29 and July 1, , the FAA and Boeing conducted a series of recertification test flights.[90]Transport Canada and EASA each concluded their own independent recertification flights in late August and early September [91]

On August 19, , Boeing announced that it had received new orders for the MAX for the first time in Per a statement from the company, Poland's Enter Air SA entered into an agreement to buy up to four s. The Guardian reported that Boeing referred to the airplane as a Boeing in a move away from the Boeing MAX branding.[92]

On October 28, , Boeing indicated that it expected to deliver about half of the stockpiled aircraft in , and the majority of the remainder in , noting that some of these aircraft will need to be re-marketed and potentially reconfigured. The delivery rate will also condition the production rate for new aircraft, to avoid compounding the problem.[93]

On November 18, , the FAA announced that the MAX had been cleared to return to service. Before the aircraft can resume service, repairs must be implemented per a forthcoming airworthiness directive from the FAA. Airline training programs will also require approval. Boeing saw more than 1, order cancelations since the grounding in March [94] Some of these already-built aircraft have seen their order canceled and Boeing is working to find new customers to take delivery.[95]

On December 3, , American Airlines made a demonstration flight for journalists to explain the FAA-required modifications, to regain public trust.[96] The first airline to resume regular passenger service was Brazilian low-cost Gol, on December 9, [97] The first in the United States was American Airlines on December [98]

Transport Canada and EASA both cleared the MAX in late January , subject to additional requirements.[99][] Several more regulators worldwide have ungrounded the aircraft since then, including those in the UAE, Australia, Kenya, and Brazil.[]

Replacement airliner[edit]

In November , Boeing talked about developing a clean sheet aircraft to replace the The conceived aircraft was to have a slightly larger but similar fuselage to and would make use of the advanced composite technology developed for the Dreamliner.[] Boeing also considered a parallel development along with the replacement, similar to the development of the and in the s.[]

Design[edit]

In mid, one design objective was matching fuel burn of the MAX to that of the Airbus Aneo's 15% fuel-burn advantage. The initial Max reduction was 10–12%; it was later enhanced to %. The fan was widened from 61&#;in (&#;cm) to &#;in (&#;cm) by raising the nose gear and placing the engine higher and forward. The split tip winglet added 1–% fuel burn reduction and a re-lofted tail cone another 1%. Electronically controlling the bleed air system improved efficiency. The new engine nacelle included chevrons, similar to those of the Boeing , which also helped to reduce engine noise.[]

Aerodynamic changes[edit]

Boeing's new "split tip" wingleton the MAX

The split tip wingtip device is designed to maximize lift while staying in the same ICAO Aerodrome reference code letter C gates as current Boeing s. It traces its design to the McDonnell Douglas MD s twin-deck concept, proposed for similar gate restrictions before the Boeing merger.[] A MAX&#;8 with passengers on a 3,&#;nmi (5,&#;km) flight is projected to have a % better fuel burn than a blended-winglet-equipped aircraft and 1% over &#;nmi (&#;km) at Mach [] The new winglet is 9&#;ft 6&#;in (&#;m) in total height.[]

Aviation Partners offers a similar "Split-Tip Scimitar" winglet for previous NGs.[] It resembles a three-way hybrid between a blended winglet, wingtip fence, and raked wingtip.

Other improvements include a re-contoured tail cone, revised auxiliary power unit inlet and exhaust, aft-body vortex generators removal, and other small aerodynamic improvements.[28]

Structural and other changes[edit]

The 8&#;in (20&#;cm) taller nose-gear strut maintains the same inch (43&#;cm) ground clearance of previous engine nacelles.[28] New struts and nacelles for the heavier engines add bulk, the main landing gear and supporting structure have been reinforced, and fuselage skins are thicker in some places—thus adding 6,&#;lb (2,&#;kg) to the MAX 8's empty aircraft weight.[28] To preserve fuel and payload capacity, its maximum takeoff weight is 7,&#;lb (3,&#;kg) heavier.[28]

Rockwell Collins was selected to supply four inch (&#;mm) landscape liquid crystal displays (LCD), as used on the , to improve pilots' situation awareness and efficiency.[] Boeing plans no major modifications for the MAX flight deck, as it wants to maintain commonality with the Next Generation family. Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh said in , that adding more fly-by-wire control systems would be "very minimal".[] However, the MAX extended spoilers are fly-by-wire controlled.[] Most of the systems are carried from the NG to allow for a short differences-training course to upgrade flight crews.[28]

In addition to the Speed Trim System (STS), the automatic stabilizer control system has been enhanced to include MCAS. Compared to STS, MCAS has greater authority and cannot be disengaged with the aft and forward column cutout switches. The center console stabilizer-trim cutout switches have been re-wired. Unlike previous versions of the , the automatic stabilizer trim control functions cannot be turned off while retaining electric trim switches functionality.[]

The MCAS system was deemed necessary by Boeing to meet its internal objective of minimizing training requirements for pilots already qualified on the NG. MCAS was to automatically mitigate the pitch-up tendency of the new flight geometry due to the engines being located further forward and higher than on previous models.[] During a reassessment of the aircraft in February , both FAA and EASA determined that the stability and stall characteristics of the plane would have been acceptable with or without MCAS.[]

As a production standard, the MAX features the Boeing Sky Interior with overhead bins and LED lighting based on the Boeing 's interior.[]

Engines[edit]

Main article: CFM International LEAP

Nacelle with chevrons for noise reduction

In , the Leap-1B was initially 10–12% more efficient than the previous &#;cm (61&#;in) CFMB of the NG.[] The blade, woven carbon-fiber fan enables a bypass ratio (up from with the previous blade titanium fan) for a 40% smaller noise footprint.[28] The CFM56 bypass ranges from to [] The two-spool design has a low-pressure section comprising the fan and three booster stages driven by five axial turbine stages and a high-pressure section with a stage axial compressor driven by a two-stage turbine.[28] The overall pressure ratio increased from , and advanced hot-section materials enabling higher operating temperatures permit a 15% reduction in thrust-specific fuel consumption (TSFC), along with 20% lower carbon emissions, 50% lower nitrogen-oxide emissions, though each engine weighs &#;lb (&#;kg) more at 6,&#;lb (2,&#;kg).[28]

In August , Boeing had to choose between 66&#;in (&#;cm) or 68&#;in (&#;cm) fan diameters necessitating landing gear changes to maintain a inch (43&#;cm) ground clearance beneath the new engines; Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive officer Jim Albaugh stated "with a bigger fan you get more efficiency because of the bypass ratio [but also] more weight and more drag", with more airframe changes.[]

In November , Boeing selected the larger fan diameter, necessitating a 6–8&#;in (–&#;mm) longer nose landing gear.[][] In May , Boeing further enlarged the fan to &#;in (&#;cm), paired with a smaller engine core within minor design changes before the mid final configuration.[][]

The nacelle features chevrons for noise reduction like the [] A new bleed air digital regulator will improve its reliability.[] The new nacelles being larger and more forward possess aerodynamic properties which act to further increase the pitch rate. The larger engine is cantilevered ahead of and slightly above the wing, and the laminar flow engine nacelle lipskin is a GKN Aerospace one-piece, spun-formed aluminum sheet inspired by the []

Variants[edit]

The , and ER, the most widespread versions of the previous NG,[] are succeeded by the MAX 7, MAX 8 and MAX 9, respectively[] (FAA type certificate: , -8, and -9[49]). The MAX 8 entered service in May ,[2] and the MAX&#;9 entered service in March [] Deliveries for MAX&#;7 and MAX&#; (a higher-density version of the MAX&#;8) were expected to begin in , and the MAX 10 in []

In February , Boeing forecast that 60–65% of demand for the airliner would be for the MAX 8 variant, 20–25% for the MAX&#;9 and MAX&#;10, and 10% for the MAX&#;7.[]

MAX 7[edit]

Originally based on the , Boeing announced the redesign of the MAX&#;7, derived from the MAX&#;8, at the July Farnborough Air Show, accommodating two more seat rows than the for seats, up by 12 seats.[][] The redesign uses the wing and landing gear; a pair of over-wing exits rather than the single-door configuration; a inch longer aft fuselage and a inch longer forward fuselage; structural re-gauging and strengthening; and systems and interior modifications to accommodate the longer length.[] It is to fly 1,&#;nmi (1,&#;km) farther than the with 18% lower fuel costs per seat. Boeing predicts the MAX&#;7 to carry 12 more passengers &#;nmi (&#;km) farther than Aneo with 7% lower operating costs per seat.[] In , Boeing planned to improve its range from 3,&#;nmi (4,&#;mi; 7,&#;km) to 3,&#;nmi (4,&#;mi; 7,&#;km) after []

Production on the first foot-long (20&#;m) wing spar for the began in October [] Assembly of the first flight-test aircraft began on November 22, [] and was rolled out of the factory on February 5, [] The MAX&#;7 took off for its first flight on March 16, , from the factory in Renton, Washington, and flew for three hours over Washington state.[] It reached &#;kn (&#;km/h) and 25,&#;ft (7,&#;m), performed a low approach, systems checks and an inflight engine restart, and landed at Boeing's flight test center in Moses Lake, Washington.[]

Entry into service with launch operator Southwest Airlines was expected in January ,[] but deliveries are planned to start in []WestJet also converted its order for MAX 7s, originally due for delivery in , into MAX 8s and is not expected to take any MAX 7s until at least [] However, Southwest placed an order for MAX 7s on March 29, ,[] and exercised options for 34 on June 8, [] bringing their total orders to Customers for the aircraft include Southwest Airlines () and WestJet (22). As of August , the MAX 7 has orders of over 3, order backlog for the [citation needed][] The MAX 7 has been proven to be unpopular with airlines due to it being less efficient than the larger MAX variants with the only major exception being Southwest. As of August , Boeing believes that the MAX 7 will be certified in time for deliveries to begin in []

MAX 8[edit]

The first variant developed in the MAX series, the MAX&#;8 replaces the with a longer fuselage than the MAX&#;7. In , Boeing planned to improve its range from 3,&#;nmi (4,&#;mi; 6,&#;km) to 3,&#;nmi (4,&#;mi; 6,&#;km) after [] On July 23, , Boeing completed the firm configuration for the MAX 8.[] The MAX&#;8 has a lower empty weight and higher maximum takeoff weight than the Aneo. During a test flight conducted for Aviation Week, while cruising at a true airspeed of &#;kn (&#;km/h) and a weight of ,&#;lb (63,&#;kg), at a lower than optimal altitude (FL vs. the preferred FL) and with an "unusually far forward" center of gravity, the test aircraft consumed 4,&#;lb (2,&#;kg) of fuel per hour.[28]

The Boeing MAX 8 completed its first flight test in La Paz, Bolivia. The 13,foot altitude at El Alto International Airport tested the MAX's capability to take off and land at high altitudes.[] Its first commercial flight was operated by Malindo Air on May 22, , between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore as Flight OD[2] In early , a new -8 was valued at $&#;million, rising to below $&#;million by mid&#;[]

MAX [edit]

In September , Boeing launched a high-density version of the MAX 8, the MAX , named for seating for up to passengers in a single-class high-density configuration with slimline seats; an extra pair of exit doors is required because of the higher passenger capacity. Boeing states that this version would be 20% more cost-efficient per seat than current models, and would be the most efficient narrow-body on the market when delivered, including 5% lower operating costs than the MAX 8.[][] Three of eight galley trolleys are removed to accommodate more passenger space.[] An order with Ryanair for aircraft was finalized in December [] The variant is designated .[]

In mid-November , the first of the ordered by Ryanair rolled out, in a seat configuration.[] It was first flown from Renton on January 13, ,[] and was due to enter service in April , with another four MAX s expected later in ,[] though these deliveries were deferred while the MAX was grounded; Ryanair has stated that it intends to place more orders once flights resume.[] In November , Ryanair informed its pilots that, due to an unspecified design issue with the additional over-wing exit doors, it did not expect to receive any MAX s until late April or early May , with "at best" ten aircraft in service for the peak summer season.[]

Besides Ryanair, VietJet Air is also one of the few customers of the MAX variant with an order of airplanes placed in May [] Similar to Ryanair, VietJet is designating its aircraft .[]

On December 3, , Ryanair ordered 75 MAX s, increasing its order book to aircraft, the first large order since the grounding, for a list value of $7&#;bn, while the true value is estimated at $3&#;bn or less.[] The high-density variant was certified by the FAA on March 31, []

Proposed ERX[edit]

Airlines have been shown a ERX concept based on the MAX 8 with a higher ,&#;lb (&#;t) maximum take-off weight using wings, landing gear, and central section from the MAX&#;9 to provide a longer range of 4, nautical miles (4,&#;mi; 7,&#;km) with seating for , closer to the Airbus ALR.[]

MAX 9[edit]

MAX 9 first flight on April 13,

The MAX 9 will replace the and has a longer fuselage than the MAX&#;8. In , Boeing planned to improve its range from 3,&#;nmi (4,&#;mi; 6,&#;km) to 3,&#;nmi (4,&#;mi; 6,&#;km) after [] Lion Air was the launch customer with an order for in February [36] It made its roll-out on March 7, , and first flight on April 13, ;[] it took off from Renton Municipal Airport and landed at Boeing Field after a 2 hr 42 min flight.[] It was presented at the Paris Air Show.[]

Boeing flight tests were scheduled to run through , with 30% of the -8 tests repeated; aircraft 1D was used for auto-land, avionics, flutter, and mostly stability-and-control trials, while 1D was used for environment control system testing.[48] It was certified by February [] Asian low-cost carrier Lion Air Group took delivery of the first on March 21, , before entering service with Thai Lion Air.[] As the competing Aneo attracts more orders, the sale value of a is the same as a at $53&#;million.[]

MAX 10[edit]

To compete with the Airbus Aneo, loyal customers, such as Korean Air and United Airlines, pressed Boeing to develop a variant larger than the MAX&#;9, of which Boeing revealed studies in early [] As the Airbus Aneo had outsold the MAX&#;9 five-to-one, the proposed MAX&#;10 included a larger engine, stronger wings, and telescoping landing gear in mid[] In September , it was reported that the variant would be simpler and lower-risk with a modest stretch of 6–7&#;ft (–&#;m) for a length of –&#;ft (–&#;m), seating 12–18 more passengers for – in a dual-class layout or for a single class, needing an uprated 31,&#;lbf (&#;kN) LEAP-1B that could be available by , or , and would likely require a landing-gear modification to move the rotation point slightly aft.[]

In October , Boeing's board of directors granted authority to offer the stretched variant with two extra fuselage sections forward and aft with a 3, nautical miles (3,&#;mi; 5,&#;km) range reduced from 3, nautical miles (3,&#;mi; 6,&#;km) of the MAX&#;9.[] In early , Boeing showed a 66&#;in (&#;m) stretch to feet (44&#;m), enabling seating for in a single class or in two-class capacity, compared to in two-class seating for the Aneo. The modest stretch of the MAX&#;10 enables the aircraft to retain the existing wing, and the Leap 1B engine from the MAX&#;9 with a trailing-link main landing gear as the only major change.[] Boeing MAX Vice President and General Manager Keith Leverkuhn said the design had to be frozen in , for a introduction.[]

Boeing hopes that operators and MAX 9 customers like United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, Air Canada, Lion Air, and Chinese airlines will be interested in the new variant.[] Boeing predicts a 5% lower trip cost and seat cost compared to the Aneo.[]Air Lease Corporation wants it a year sooner; its CEO John Pleuger stated "It would have been better to get the first airplane in March , but I don't think that's possible".[]AerCap CEO Aengus Kelly is cautious and said the -9 and "will cannibalize each other".[]

The MAX 10 was launched on June 19, , with orders and commitments from more than ten customers.[][] United Airlines will be the largest MAX 10 customer, converting of their orders for the MAX&#;9 into orders for the MAX&#;[] Boeing ended the Paris Air Show with orders and commitments, including conversions, from 16 customers,[] including 50 orders from Lion Air.[]

The variant configuration was firmed up by February ,[] and by mid, the critical design review was completed. As of August [update], assembly was underway with a first flight planned for late The semi-levered landing gear design has a telescoping oleo-pneumatic strut with a down-swinging lever to permit a inches (24&#;cm) taller gear. Driven by the existing retraction system, a shrink-link mechanical linkage mechanism at the top of the leg, inspired by carrier aircraft designs, allows the gear to be drawn in and shortened while being retracted into the existing wheel well.[][] Entry into service is slated for July []

On November 22, , Boeing unveiled the first MAX 10 to employees in its Renton factory, Washington, scheduled for the first flight in [] At the time, MAX 10s were on order, compared to 3, Airbus Aneos sold, capable of carrying passengers or to fly up to 4,&#;nmi (8,&#;km) in its heaviest AXLR variant.[] The MAX&#;10 has similar capacity as the AXLR, but shorter range and much poorer field performance, greatly hindering its potential to service smaller airports as compared to the AXLR.[]

By early , Boeing expected MAX 10 deliveries to start in [] The variant made its maiden flight on June 18, , initiating its flight test and certification program.[]

On June 29, , United Airlines placed an order for another of the Boeing MAX These MAX 10s will replace a large number of United's older Boeing s.[]

In September , Ryanair failed to reach an agreement with Boeing over an order of MAX 10s, citing cost as a primary concern.[]

Boeing Business Jet[edit]

The BBJ MAX 8 and BBJ MAX 9 are proposed business jet variants of the MAX 8 and 9, with new CFM LEAP-1B engines and advanced winglets providing 13% better fuel burn than the Boeing Business Jet; the BBJ MAX 8 will have a 6,&#;nmi (11,&#;km) range, and the BBJ MAX 9 a 6,&#;nmi (11,&#;km) range.[] The BBJ MAX 7 was unveiled in October , with a 7,&#;nmi (12,&#;km) range and 10% lower operating costs than the original BBJ, while being larger.[] The BBJ MAX 8 first flew on April 16, , before delivery later the same year, and will have a range of 6,&#;nmi (12,&#;km) with an auxiliary fuel tank.[]

Orders and deliveries[edit]

Main article: List of Boeing MAX orders and deliveries

American Airlines was the first disclosed customer. By November 17, , there were commitments from nine customers, including Lion Air and SMBC Aviation Capital.[][] By December , the MAX had commitments and firm orders from thirteen customers.[] On September 8, , Ryanair agreed to firm orders with options.[] In January , aircraft leasing company GECAS ordered [] By January the MAX had 5, firm orders from 78 identified customers,[] with the top three being Southwest Airlines with , flydubai with , and Lion Air with [] The first MAX 8 was delivered to Malindo Air on May 16, [53]

Following the groundings in March , Boeing suspended all deliveries of MAX aircraft,[] reduced production from 52 to 42 aircraft per month,[73] and on December 16, , announced that production would be suspended from January to conserve cash and prioritize delivery of the aircraft in storage once recertified.[75] At the time of the grounding, the MAX had 4, unfilled orders[] valued at an estimated $&#;billion.[][] By November 30, , at the time of the ungrounding, the unfilled orders stood at 4, aircraft.[] As of September&#;[update], the MAX has 4, unfilled orders and deliveries.[5]

Total
Orders[b][c]59[d]4,
Deliveries&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;745727
  1. ^Production halted between January and late May ,[4] and currently in low-rate production
  2. ^In , there were 47 orders, but cancellations of MAX.[]
  3. ^In , there were orders, but cancellations of MAX.[]
  4. ^As of September&#;[update], there were orders, but cancellations of MAX.[5]


Cumulative Boeing MAX orders and deliveries

&#;Orders

&#;Deliveries

As of September&#;[update][5]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

See also: Boeing MAX groundings

Between March and March , the global fleet of aircraft operated , flights and experienced two fatal accidents, having an accident rate of four accidents per million flights before it was grounded. The previous Boeing generations averaged accidents per one million flights.[]

Lion Air Flight [edit]

Main article: Lion Air Flight

Lion Air's MAX 8, reg. PK-LQP, the airframe involved in the JT accident

On October 29, , Lion Air Flight , MAX 8 registration PK-LQP, plunged into the Java Sea 13 minutes after takeoff from Soekarno–Hatta International Airport, Jakarta, Indonesia. The flight was a scheduled domestic flight to Depati Amir Airport, Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia. All people on board died. This was the first fatal aviation accident and first hull loss of a MAX. The aircraft had been delivered to Lion Air two months earlier.[][] People familiar with the investigation reported that during a flight piloted by a different crew on the day before the crash, the same aircraft experienced a similar malfunction but an extra pilot sitting in the cockpit jumpseat correctly diagnosed the problem and told the crew how to disable the malfunctioning MCAS flight-control system.[] Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee released its final report into the accident on October 25, ,[] attributing the crash to the MCAS pushing the aircraft into a dive due to data from a faulty angle-of-attack sensor. Following the Lion Air crash, Boeing issued an operational manual guidance, advising airlines on how to address erroneous cockpit readings.[]

Ethiopian Airlines Flight [edit]

Main article: Ethiopian Airlines Flight

On March 10, , Ethiopian Airlines Flight , MAX 8 registration ET-AVJ, crashed approximately six minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,[] on a scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya,[] killing all passengers and 8 crew members on board. The aircraft was four months old at the time.[] The cause of the crash was initially unclear, though the aircraft's vertical speed after takeoff was reported to be unstable.[] Evidence retrieved on the crash site suggests, that at the time of the crash, the aircraft was configured to dive, similar to Lion Air Flight [] On April 4, Ethiopian transport minister Dagmawit Moges stated, that the crew "performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft."[]

The subsequent findings in the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Lion Air crash led to the global MAX groundings. On August 19, , Forbes estimated that the MAX would not resume service before []

Specifications[edit]

Variant MAX 7 MAX 8 / MAX MAX 9 MAX 10
Seating (8J + Y) to max (12J + Y) to max[] (16J + Y) to max (16J + Y) to max
Seat pitch28–29&#;in (71–74&#;cm) in high density, 29–30&#;in (74–76&#;cm) in economy, 36&#;in (91&#;cm) in business
Cargo capacity 1, cu.ft / m31, cu.ft / m31, cu.ft / m31, cu.ft / m3
Length &#;ft 8 in / m &#;ft 6 in / m &#;ft 4 in / m &#;ft 8 in / m
Wing &#;ft 10 in / m span, 1,&#;sq&#;ft (&#;m2) area[49]
Overall height[]40&#;ft 4 in / m
MTOW,&#;lb / 80,&#;kg ,&#;lb / 82,&#;kg ,&#;lb / 88,&#;kg ,&#;lb / 89,&#;kg
Maximum Payload46, lb / 20, kg
OEW[]99,&#;lb / 45,&#;kg
Fuel capacity 6, USgal / 25, L&#;&#; 45,&#;lb / 20,&#;kg (no ACT)[a]
Engine (× 2) CFM International LEAP-1B, &#;in (&#;cm) Fan diameter,[] 26,–29,&#;lbf (–&#;kN)[49]
Cruising speed Mach&#; (&#;kn; &#;km/h)[]
Range[]3, nmi / 7,&#;km 3, nmi / 6,&#;km[b]3, nmi / 6,&#;km[c]3, nmi / 6,&#;km[c]
Ceiling 41,&#;ft (12,&#;m)[49]
Takeoff (ISA, SL, MTOW) 7,&#;ft (2,&#;m)8,&#;ft (2,&#;m)8,&#;ft (2,&#;m)
Landing (SL, MLW, dry) 5,&#;ft (1,&#;m)5,&#;ft (1,&#;m)5,&#;ft (1,&#;m)
ICAO Type[]B37MB38MB39MB3XM
  1. ^with 7 ACT: 10, USgal / 39, L&#;&#; 69,&#;lb / 31,&#;kg
  2. ^MAX 2,&#;nmi (5,&#;km)[]
  3. ^ abWith one ACT[]

See also[edit]

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

References[edit]

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Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing__MAX
Boeing 737 Max Returns To Skies In Test Flight - TODAY

Back to home page MAX Flight Test News

29 Jan - The Maiden Flight of the MAX

The first flight of the MAX took place at am ( GMT) on 29th Jan from Runway 34 at Renton Municipal Airport. At the controls were Capt Ed Wilson, chief pilot Program, and Craig Bomben, vice president of flight testing. Bomben said that "other then deteriorating weather at Renton, we had no butterflies or jitters in our stomachs. We did get out of Renton in the nick of time."

The departure time was brought forward slightly due to worsening weather conditions. Probably much to the relief of the 4, Boeing employees, media members and invitees who attended the event.

The aircraft, registration NQ (MSN , /LN ), named Spirit of Renton, flew for 2 hrs 47 mins mostly to the East of Seattle using callsign BOE1, It landed at Boeing Field runway 13 at pm. The aircraft stayed below knots for the whole flight, which is normal on first flights. It initially climbed to 15, feet, and later climbed to 25, feet. Unusually for a first flight, the landing gear was retracted. This was achievable because of the maturity of the basic platform.

Plot of the first flight from Flight Radar 24

Ed Wilson said after the flight. "We were amazed at how quiet the cabin was, I took a walk mid-flight through the cabin and was impressed.". He went on to say “It flew beautifully, we had no issues.”

Test pilots

(Photo Guy Norris)

Test pilots Craig Bomben (left) and Ed Wilson (right) emerge from IA to be greeted by Boeing Commercial Airplanes president Ray Conner.

The second MAX aircraft built will be incorporated into the test program within a month. The third and fourth MAX's are in varying stages of completion on Renton's "Go Slow" Surge Final Assembly Line. According to Boeing's chief project engineer Michael Teal, the aircraft's test fleet will wrap up the campaign by the end of the year. After type certification, the aircraft will go to launch customer Southwest Airlines.

Boeing’s test pilots said they plan nine months of aerial tests for the Max, but have given themselves 20 months, the same as the , despite that plane’s bigger technological leap. “I don’t want to cut [the allotted testing time to the bone and have to add days on to the end, and unfortunately we have done that in the past,” said Keith Leverkuhn, Boeing’s program manager for the Max.

The flight test fleet is as follows:

1A, FF 29 Jan 16, Boeing livery, NQ, MSN , LN , MAX-8

It performing stability and control test amongst other things, which finished in July

The aircraft, which returned to Seattle on June 28 from California, where it underwent runway performance work at Edwards AFB, Its flight tests had finished by Autumn

The interior of the first MAX test aircraft 1A, Photo Boeing

 

1A, FF 4 Mar , “light” livery, NL, MSN , LN , MAX-8

This aircraft was mostly used for propulsion tests associated with the MAX’s CFM Leap 1B engine

This aircrafts program started with nautical air fuel mileage tests.

It then went onto high and low altitude testing. The low-altitude tests on the begin on 17 April The tests required a minimum degree F temperature and were flown at at 1, feet between Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport and the Gulf,with the landing gear down throughout the test flights. From 2 May high altitude testing began at La Paz, Bolivia. The airport’s 13,ft. (4,m) altitude tested the MAX’s capability to take off and land at high altitudes, which can affect overall airplane performance.

The aircraft was also used to complete the flight-loads survey. Only the outboard wing was surveyed for flight-loads because of the winglet change, “Results were as expected. In fact, there’s been no drama, and testing went very well.”

In June the engine instrumentation for thrust-versus-drag calculations and schedules was removed.

The aircraft’s next exercise was community noise testing at Glasgow, Montana.

Water spray testing at Glasgow, Montana to test the resilience of the engines and APU to withstand water ingestion sprayed up from the landing gear or reverse thrust. A great video of this test in progress is available here: https://youtu.be/hEx7Glp8Kk0

 MAX Water spray testing

Photo Boeing

 

1A, FF 14 Apr , “light” livery, NJ, MSN , LN , MAX-8

Was used for:

  • systems and propulsion certification tests
  • validation of the ’s new fly-by-wire spoilers
  • evaluation of the Leap 1B integrated drive generator
  • the autoland and head-up display systems
  • engine drainage tests

 

1A FF 7 May , Boeing livery, NQ, MSN , LN , MAX-8

This aircraft was configured with a virtually complete passenger interior in the style of Southwest. However, some instruments remain in the aft of the cabin for environmental tests, such as smoke-penetration and including smoke and Halon detection.

The Cabin of 1A has a passenger interior with some flight test equipment at the rear Photo: Chris Sloan

Program Manager Mike Teal said: “In our Right at First Flight initiative, we’re working on what we call ‘fly like the airlines.’ In two days, we did eight simulated flights. We’d fly for an hour and a half, we’d land, and then we’d pretend we taxied in and then we would do all the ground checks, we’d turn the engines off, we’d fuel it, we’d do any maintenance an airline would typically do on the ground during a thirty minute turn, then we’d start the engines and take back off.”. Boeing intended to effectively de-bug the airplane with the exercise, explained Teal, thereby ensuring the airplane is customer-ready upon delivery. “That testing was very successful,” he said. “We did find a couple of, I’ll call them squawks, but that’s what you want to find and it turned out that the two that we found we already had on our list of things we had to fix.” Most of the testing is for certification, but this is aimed at making the aircraft customer-ready.

ETOPS testing and Farnborough airshow appearance.

SROV (Service Ready Operational Validation) route proving trails commenced 19 September This was done with launch customer Southwest Airlines, using the fourth prototype over a six day period. SROV uses several airports in Southwest’s route network to simulate the kind of real life things the airplane will encounter on any given day of revenue service. Southwest and Boeing pilots will fly routes from Love Field in Dallas to cities including Albuquerque, Denver, Chicago, Austin and Phoenix. Southwest’s maintenance and ground crews at each airport will get hands-on experience, doing everything from towing and fuelling the airplane, to conducting fit checks of ground support equipment and performing maintenance.

After customer testing the last tests are the functionality and reliability testing in autumn.

Environmental testing:

  • Cold weather testing in Yakutsk, Russia from 13 Jan for 3 days.
  • Hot weather testing in Darwin Australia from 26 Jan

Boeing spokesman Ken Morton said it was part of its certification process. The aircraft has to be subjected to a hot soak and a cold soak,” he said. “This involves going to a very cold place and a very hot place. The aircraft is left sitting on the ground for a certain period of time, and then the crew go back on board and make sure everything runs as it should do.”

Endurance testing. Including, on 11 Feb , skywriting! For eight of its 9h 11mins aloft, the MAX worked on its aerial penmanship writing a km ( mi) long, km ( mi) high ‘MAX’ over the states of Washington and Montana.

Graphic from Flightradar

 

1D FF 13 Apr , Boeing livery, NE, MSN , LN , MAX-9

The first of two MAX-9 flight test aircraft due to participate in an 8 month flight test program. About 30% of the test points completed by the Max 8 must be revisited during the campaign for the Max 9, said chief project engineer Michael Teal. All of the testing is focused on how the larger size of the Max 9 affects the aerodynamic characteristics and the environmental control system.

The take-off of the first flight was delayed by 90min at Renton due to a loss of telemetry communications between the aircraft on the ground with Boeing's control centre. A radio dedicated to flight test communications also failed to work properly after take-off. Despite the difficulties, Boeing Test & Evaluation engineering test pilot Christine Walsh (in command) and Chief model pilot test Ed Wilson (RHS) managed to complete a full test card,

The aircraft initially climbed to 10, ft. where the crew cycled the landing gear before slowly climbing to 12,ft. Following initial handling and flying qualities tests at these lower altitudes the crew headed to Eastern Washington, reaching a maximum altitude of 24,ft. and top speed of kt. before descending to 15,ft. and slowing for most of the remainder of the sortie. The crew also shut down and relit both Leap-1B engines which are rated at 28, lb. thrust for the larger A higher thrust "bump rating" is also in development by CFM, though the final thrust level option for the -9 is still to-be-determined.

The flight, concluded with a landing in a gusty 20kt crosswind at Boeing Field, Seattle, at pm PT. “It was quite a work out,” says Walsh who adds that the aircraft flew through moderate turbulence on its final approach to Seattle. The flight also evaluated several new systems on the MAX, including the fly-by-wire spoilers. “We were able to see the operation of the landing attitude modifier (LAM) system with the flaps at 40 deg.“ says Walsh, referring to the operation of the spoilers at 30 or 40 deg. At these flap setting the spoilers partially activate to reduce lift which requires angle-of-attack to be increased. This raises the nose to increase nose gear contact margin.

Walsh said. The crew also shutdown and re-lit each of the 28,lb-thrust CFM International Leap-1B engines in sequence. The Max 9 landed around pm with only one uncompleted task: a publicity photo by the chase aircraft, which was called off because of a thick blanket of clouds around Mount Rainier.

First flight of the MAX-9

First flight of the MAX-9, am PT, 13 Apr Boeing Test & Evaluation engineering test pilot Christine Walsh (in command) and Chief model pilot test Ed Wilson (RHS) from Renton to Boeing Field. The flight lasted 2 hours 42 minutes.

Following the initial handling tests, Boeing continued opening up the MAX-9 flight envelope later in April as it moved into initial airworthiness and flutter testing.  Stability and control work were conducted along with runway tests, the latter involving a deployment to Southern California.

Flight tests with 1D, the most significantly instrumented of the two MAX-9 aircraft, replicated those of the -8 with additional emphasis on potential differences in the stability and control of the stretch version.

Testing through the second half of focused on areas such as "performance, stability control and autoland – those things associated with the longer body of the Max 9", said Keith Leverkuhn. Flight-testing finished at the end of , with certification on 16 Feb and the first delivery on 21 March

 

1D FF May , Lion Air livery, NEX, MSN , LN , MAX-9

The second test aircraft first flight was in May Painted in the colors of Lion Air, the Indonesia-based LCC that launched the model with an order for in February , the second aircraft had a light instrumentation suite similar to that installed on 1A, the fourth certification aircraft which was used primarily for functionality and reliability testing. 1D was assigned to environment control system testing.

 

1E FF 16 Mar , Boeing livery, NS, MSN , LN , MAX-7

The first flight of the MAX 7 was on 16 March It was flown by Boeing Test and Evaluation captains Jim Webb and Keith Otsuka from Renton to Boeing Field. The aircraft departed at am PST and climbed to 25,ft at kts. east to pass over the Olympic Peninsula before flying back over Seattle on its way to eastern Washington. The crew continued to conduct handling tests while descending to 15, ft. before flying a missed approach to Boeing’s Moses Lake test site. The aircraft was then flown to the Mount Rainier area, where Boeing took the opportunity to capture some air-to-air photographs before landing at Boeing Field. The flight lasted 3 hours and 10 mins.

This aircraft was used for the FAA post-MCAS modifications, recertification flight test program from 29 June -1st July (see below).

 

1? FF 18 Jun , Boeing livery, N, MSN , LN , MAX

The first flight was 18 Jun at am PDT ( GMT) from Renton to Boeing Field via a touch and go at Moses Lake. The airframe was N (/) which was conducting taxy trials on 16 Jun.

In command was Chief Pilot Jennifer Henderson and Boeing Test and Evaluation Chief Pilot Jim Webb as co-pilot. The aircraft used callsign Boeing (Ten one). After departure it turned East climbing up to 23,ft for basic handling checks. It then turned South and descended to 15, ft for low speed handling tests. There was then a touch and go at Moses Lake before returning to Boeing Field at p.m. local time.

Boeing chief pilot Captain Jennifer Henderson said, “The airplane performed beautifully. The profile we flew allowed us to test the airplane’s systems, flight controls and handling qualities, all of which checked out exactly as we expected.”

MAX First Flight

 

Other tests:

Now flying with CFM Leap-1B compliance engines, airplanes two, three and four will eventually get fitted with final delivery engines that have new low-pressure compressors (LPC). Those engines, which Teal said would start arriving around August , will require what he characterized as some minor additional testing. Last year CFM discovered the need to modify the LPC to improve stall margin. With the original engines, Boeing has to use suboptimum bleed schedules, leaving the bleeds open more than desired for the best possible fuel efficiency. “We want the bleeds closed for better fuel mileage,” explained Teal. “We could have certified and delivered these engines, but we wanted the best engines. So in the ones we’re flying now the bleeds are opened a little bit more than we desire, but when the final Block 2s come in and we get the final bleed schedules, and that will determine the final configuration.”

Further evaluations will be conducted late in the program on the delivery-standard Leap 1B engine with an improved low-pressure (LP) compressor configuration. The current fleet is powered by compliance versions of the -1B engine, and Boeing expects to receive the upgraded powerplants, “in the August time frame,” says Teal. “We plan on putting them on Aircraft Two, Three and Four. We won’t put them on Aircraft One because that airplane essentially [will be] done with its [test] life.” Testing will include natural icing and other minor evaluations, he adds. Improvements were made to the LP compressor after testing indicated it was necessary for bleed valves to remain open for longer than expected to maintain adequate stall margin. “They didn’t have to be open all the time. The bleed schedules open and close the valves, so to improve stall margin, we want the bleeds closed for better fuel mileage,” Teal explains. “CFM could have certified the existing engines, and they did, but we wanted the best engines. The bleeds are open a little more than desired on the engines that are flying now, but when the final Block 2s come in, we will get the final bleed schedules that will determine the final configuration.”

MCAS Flight Testing

14 March the MAX was grounded following two accidents in which the MCAS system was implicated. As part of the recertification a flight test program was undertaken with the redesigned MCAS system. The program would comprise test flights.

16 Apr the MCAS flight test program concluded after flights / hours flight test time. The Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg flew on a Max demonstration flight, where he “saw first-hand this software in its final form, operating as designed across a range of flight conditions”.

15 May Boeing completed development of the software update, simulator testing and engineering test flights for the MAX. In a statement, the company said that it has flown the updated software on the MAX for more than hours on flights. “We are now providing additional information to address the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requests that include additional detail on how pilots interact with the airplane controls and displays in different flight scenarios,” the statement said. “Once the requests are addressed, we will work with the FAA to schedule their certification test flight and submit final certification documentation.”

5 Aug the Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg said that the MAX has conducted almost test flights with the new FCC software. Muilenburg said that he has personally flown on two of the test flights, and that Boeing employees are “eager to do the same.”

A MAX MCAS flight test. Note the airspeed and offshore location, clearly indicating low speed flight testing

The above graphic shows a MAX 7 that took off from King County International Airport-Boeing Field near Seattle. It climbed to 24, feet as it headed west to the Pacific Ocean, then due south. The aircraft then descended to 13, feet and kts, about 50 miles off the Oregon coast. The aircraft then operated for almost two hours in the block between 10, to 14,ft at speeds of between and kts before climbing to recover back to Boeing Field.

The pilots of the test flights, Boeing revealed, are Jennifer Henderson and Jim Webb. Henderson, a former engineer and U.S. Air Force pilot, is the chief pilot for s at Boeing, who has also served Boeing as the flight test director for the Dreamliner and the chief test pilot for the MAX-7 during her 14 years with the company. Webb, Boeing's chief pilot for commercial airplanes, is a former U.S. Navy test pilot who as recently as last year held Henderson's role as chief pilot. “Of course the expectation is we know how to fly the airplanes and are experts in the systems. We also have to have an awareness of how the manufacturing system works, how the testing goes from beginning to end, the business aspects and the direct link between our customers and our products," said Webb. Both Henderson and Webb were required to sign off on the MAX's new system before it was allowed to take to the air.

 

29 Jun at GMT MAX 7 NS flew from Boeing Field to Moses Lake, landed for about 15 minutes and returned back to BFI at Z. The flight tests were part of a 3-day certification flight test program with pilots from the FAA focused on MCAS activation. Traces from Plane Finder show the aircraft manouvering to the East of Moses Lake the aircraft maintains 14,ft and decellerates from Kts to Kts during which time it descends to 12,ft before recovering back to 14,ft. Such manouvres suggest stalling.

1 July - The FAA and Boeing today completed the certification flight tests on the Boeing MAX. During three days of testing this week, FAA pilots and engineers evaluated Boeing’s proposed changes in connection with the automated flight control system on the aircraft. While completion of the flights is an important milestone, a number of key tasks remain, including evaluating the data gathered during these flights. The agency is following a deliberate process and will take the time it needs to thoroughly review Boeing’s work. We will lift the grounding order only after FAA safety experts are satisfied that the aircraft meets certification standards.

The Flightdeck during one of the MAX certification test flights with the FAA (Photo FAA)

6 April - Start of Operational Readiness Review, This is a series of test flights over the next several weeks featuring FAA pilots along with airline crews from around the world, all intended to vet changes to the fleet's flight-control system.

26 Aug - Transport Canada has successfully completed a series of flight test activities of the updated aircraft as part of the validation process. From August 23 to 25, , Transport Canada’s flight test crew were flown to Seattle, Washington, to conduct evaluations on the engineering simulator at the Boeing facility and then at the end of the each test day, were flown back to Vancouver.

The flight test evaluations took place on August 26 and 27 in U.S. airspace using the Boeing test aircraft. Mitigation measures due to the COVID pandemic were established for the validation activities, including the flight tests, to ensure the health and safety of Transport Canada employees.

Canada is the first international regulator to complete validation testing activities of the aircraft. Transport Canada is now analyzing the results of these tests. Transport Canada will determine, through its own independent review, whether to validate the proposed changes. This fall, once our analysis is completed, Transport Canada will participate in a Joint Operational Evaluation Board, which is made up of representatives from global certification authorities. The results of the Board will be used to establish the minimum training requirements for the return to service of the MAX 8 aircraft.

10 Sep - European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) conducted a single flight test in Vancouver, Canada using aircraft 1E The flight lasted 2hr 27min. EASA said “While Boeing still has some final actions to close off, EASA judges the overall maturity of the re-design process is now sufficient to proceed to flight tests,”. Simulator tests were conducted in advance of the flights at a facility at London Gatwick from 1st September

16 Sep - Boeing stated that: “The revised design of the MAX has received intensive internal and regulatory review, including more than , engineering and test hours and 1, test flights,”

30 Sep - FAA Chief Steve Dickson and Deputy Administrator Dan Elwell personally conducted a 2 hour evaluation flight at the controls of a Boeing MAX on 30 Sep Dickson has repeatedly said he would not sign off the MAX until he flew it himself and was “satisfied that I would put my own family on it without a second thought.”. The flight by Dickson will fulfill “his promise to fly the aircraft before the FAA approves its return to service.”

After the flight Dickson said “I like what I saw on the flight. We are not to the point yet where we have completed the process,”

Sours: http://www.borg.uk/maxflttestprog.htm

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