Boeing is close to launching an enlarged variant of the 737 in two months after solving a problem with the design of the aircraft’s landing gear. Several sources quoted by Reuters have revealed that the solution would not increase the cost per unit and would not trigger delays.
As 737 MAX 10X will be longer than the 737 MAX 9 in order to accommodate several extra rows, the landing gear needs to be taller to prevent the plane’s tail from scraping the runway. According to industry sources, Boeing might have worked around the need to redesign the plane with a telescopic landing gear that could lengthen when needed. Such an innovation could potentially increase the number of airports able to take in the plane, as it would need a shorter runway to land and take off.
The new addition to the 737 family would help Boeing to compete with Airbus A321neo, which is the current champion of the top end market for narrow-bodies in terms of orders.
It seems that Boeing is likely to be launching the 737 MAX 10X at Le Bourget in June, however, no official confirmation of this claim has been received yet.
During the quarter, the 737 program rolled out the first 737 MAX 9 and received FAA certification for the 737 MAX 8. Demand continues to be strong for the 737 MAX with more than 3,700 orders since launch. Commercial Airplanes booked 198 net orders during the quarter. Backlog remains robust with more than 5,700 airplanes valued at $417 billion.