Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft took off on its first flight on Friday from a wet tarmac at an airfield south of Seattle, marking another step towards scheduled delivery to airlines in 2017.
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) January 29, 2016
Live video supplied by Boeing showed the jet, nicknamed “Spirit of Renton,” smoothly taking off on Friday at 9:46 a.m. local time .
USA Today reports that the 737 MAX is Boeing’s updated version of its popular 737 family of jetliners, used mostly for medium and short-haul flights by airlines across the globe. This latest “MAX” iteration marks the third major overhaul to the 737 since the program launched in 1967 and features new engines and other aerodynamic enhancements.
And according to Herald, the single-aisle airplane is carrying much of the company’s future on its wings. The 737 MAX series will fiercely compete with Airbus’ A320neo for sales in the huge narrow-body airplane market.
Boeing already has 3,072 orders for 737 MAX, making it the company’s all-time best seller.