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Boeing Co’s largest 737 MAX aircraft takes off on maiden flight

NEW DELHI: Aerospace major Boeing Co‘s 737-10 (MAX) aircraft, the largest in the company’s 737 MAX airplane series, on Friday took off on its first flight ahead of its entry into service in 2023, the Chicago-headquartered company said in a statement.

The airplane took off from Renton Field in Renton, Washington, at 10:07 am (7.37 pm IST) on Friday and landed at 12:38 pm (10.08 pm IST) at Boeing Field in Seattle, the company said.

The airplane performed “beautifully”, said 737 chief pilot captain Jennifer Henderson. “The profile we flew allowed us to test the airplane’s systems, flight controls and handling qualities, all of which were exactly as we expected,” Henderson added.

Friday’s flight is the start of a comprehensive test program for the 737-10, which will involve Boeing working closely with regulators to certify the airplane, prior to its scheduled entry into service in 2023.

“The 737-10 is an important part of our customers’ fleet plans, giving them more capacity, greater fuel efficiency and the best per-seat economics in a single-aisle airplane,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

The 737-10 can carry up to 230 passengers. It also cuts carbon emissions by 14% and reduces noise by 50% compared to today’s Next-Generation 737s (737NGs).

The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, considered a more fuel-efficient plane than its predecessors, was grounded by the Indian aviation regulator The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on 13 March, 2019, after regulators worldwide did the same following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX near Addis Ababa on 10 March that killed 157 people, including four Indians.

US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had late in 2020 allowed Boeing Co.’s 737 MAX planes to resume flights after a prolonged grounding following extensive fixes carried out by the company on the aircraft.

However, the DGCA is yet…

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