RENTON, Wash. -- Boeing rolled out its newest jetliner, the 737 MAX 9, early Tuesday at its assembly line here. The Chicago-based airplane-maker anticipates a first flight for the aircraft in May of this year.
The plane is the second, and currently largest, installment in the company's 737 MAX family of aircraft. It bests its older sibling, the smaller MAX 8 that was rolled out in December 2015, by almost nine feet in length. The new MAX 9 version of the jet will carry up to 220 passengers in a single-cabin layout.
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The MAX 9 is capable of flying up to 3,515 miles non-stop, enabling it to fly such routes as New York to London, the company says.
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The MAX family is Boeing's latest update to its popular 737 line of jetliners, used mostly for medium- and short-haul flights by airlines across the globe. This latest iteration marks the third major overhaul to the 737 since the program launched in 1967 and features new engines and other aerodynamic enhancements.
The first jet, a MAX 8, is expected to deliver to launch customer Norwegian in May. A smaller, longer-range MAX 7 is still on the drawing table, though it ultimately is expected to be built. A MAX 8 sub-variety with capacity for up to 200 passengers, dubbed the MAX-200, completes Boeing's present 737 MAX product line.
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