Boeing 737 MAX 10 Cleared To Begin Flight Testing

Boeing 737-10 Test Aircraft During Evaluation Flight Testing

Boeing’s 737-10, part of the MAX series, has been officially cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration to begin certification flight testing.

The approval from the governing regulator is a substantial moment in the largest MAX series member still awaiting certification.

New Aircraft Face More Inspections

New aircraft and variants such as the 737-10 have come under an increased microscope during their certification programs in recent years.

A fine microscope generally stems from the 737 MAX incidents in 2018 and 2019.

These incidents highlighted flaws in the process of certifying aircraft and corner cuts taken, which jeopardised the plane’s safety.

As a result, checks, certification programs and much more are taken with extra caution, potentially leading to delays. However, this ensures nothing like what happened on the 737-8 happens again.

Boeing has experienced substantial delays in obtaining certification with the 737-10 and 737-7. These two remaining variants in the MAX program are currently undelivered and awaiting approval.

Meanwhile, Boeing has also seen its new long-haul 777X’s EIS pushed back continuously. Current estimates see a 2025 EIS five years later than initially expected.

Boeing 737-10 Customers

Cirium data indicates that 849 737-10s remain on order with 77 on option. This is spread across 16 airlines and brings the total to 926 jets.

The leading analytical data publication highlights United Airlines as the largest customer for the 737-10, with 235 units on order.

This is followed by Ryanair with 150 on order alongside up to 130 from Delta—split between 100 on order and 30 additional options.

While yet to be approved, the 737-10 has undoubtedly made a mark on the industry with customers worldwide.

When Will Certification Arrive?

While the critical step has been approved to begin flight testing for the 737-10, the process to certification is still some time away.

Boeing would ideally want certification approved by the end of 2024. However, this could very easily slip. Even with a certification approval towards the backend of 2024, airlines would unlikely fly the jet before 2025 anyway.

Daniel Fowkes
23 Nov 2023
· Aircraft 

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