Boeing's Max 737 is about to fly out of the Renton barn over Lake Washington and beyond. Its tentative schedule is down to weather interruption or an incomplete checking it twice check mark. The Max is ready to fly today but the next four days preps the aircraft into a flawless sequence of aerobatic antics.
Airways News Photo Credit
Why should you watch? A good question for everybody. It's Boeing's first "Post 787 commercial initial test flight". Even the 777X has not seen a production floor. The KC-46 was watched by aviation nerds with streaming, making a military flight tests of a 767 frame. The Max is a reconfigured 737 NG with Boeings off-the-shelf technology employed in its construction. It is a make or break first test flight of the MAX, Boeing’s answer to single aisle travel, and worthy for all to view.
Just like mad scientists, Boeing has taken pieces of corporate accomplishment and made the MAX out of whole Boeing cloth. The new engine with a 68" opening is considerably more efficient than the NG CFM power plant. Even though with the A321, the NEO has about 10" larger engine inlet. Airbus CFM efficiency comes more from the advantages of a larger diameter than what Boeing has done with the Max. Little nuances for the Max had to make up ground having a 68" diameter CFM engine. The main contributors are internal engine parts configurations, Max body design, and wing placement of the engine.
The wing placement suggest moving the engine forward or back on the wing a few inches for finding optimal efficiency. The Boeing body sculpting and aero design enhancement such as engine cowling and/or air spoilers contribute for making the smaller diameter engine work better. CFM has gone to extended lengths bringing forward new ceramic technology, not found in the NEO's CFM configured engine. Adding all things considered makes this test flight much more important than what current press attention has provided. This first flight is the seminal moment in the competition for single aisle supremacy!
- Did Boeing get it right?
- Can they catch Airbus in the order book with the Max?
- Are Airbus customers’ suckers for not waiting for the Boeing Answer?
· These questions could be answered at the below Boeing Link:
· Watch for Boeing.com test time changes.
"Boeing had said it planned to make the flight in the first quarter of 2016. Like all first flights, the 737 MAX takeoff could be delayed by weather or other conditions, Boeing said."
All are important and valid questions, where Friday First Flight (FFF) starts answering these questions in public. Boeing has the answers in its development program notes, but the public has not seen the proof of concept brought to Life. If FFF "Max" has a streaming web link I'll be there on the link.
Otherwise, I’ll have to wait for the underwhelmed press giving its blah, blah second hand. I would like to see first flight! The mystery is why is Boeing so low key on this test flight? Is the risk factor raised higher than the 787? More questions that will be answered on Friday, January 29, 2016.