For its first test flight, the newest and smallest sibling in Boeing’s top-selling 737 family of jets, the 737 MAX 7, took a three-hour trip today from Renton, Wash., to Seattle’s Boeing Field, just eight miles away.
Getting from Point A to Point B wasn’t the point: Instead, the circuitous journey was designed to give test pilots a chance to put the plane through its paces for the first time in the air. The flight path ranged from the tip of Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula to Moses Lake in central Washington, with several photogenic circles around Mount Rainier added for good measure.
Test pilots Jim Webb and Keith Otsuka were greeted with applause as they emerged from the cockpit at Boeing Field, at the end of a trouble-free flight.
“Everything we saw during today’s flight shows that the MAX 7 is performing exactly as designed,” Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a news release. “I know our airline customers are going to enjoy the capabilities this airplane will bring to their fleets.”