This week at its Renton, Washington assembly plant, Boeing rolled out its new 737 MAX 9, the latest member of the company's lineup of single-aisle jets. With a body that's 138 feet long, it's longer than both the MAX 7 and MAX 8 that came before it and can support up to 220 passengers in its most high-density configuration. But with a range of 3,510 nautical miles, it has the shortest maximum distance of the MAX family, though not by much.
Like its other MAX brethren, the 737 MAX 9 is an updated version of a classic 737 variant—in this case the 737-900—with an updated airframe and new, more efficient CFM International LEAP-1B engines. These smallish but efficient jets open up the possibility of all sorts of new airline routes, specifically ones that are longer in distance, but lower in demand.
Earlier this year, Boeing also rolled out the longest version of its 787 Dreamliner so far, but while the new Dreamliner isn't due for delivery until next year, Boeing is planning to deliver its first 737 MAX 9 by this May. And this isn't where the MAX family ends; Boeing has also announced that a new, even larger MAX 10 is due out by the end of the year, though the two new MAX jets might wind up in relatively stiff competition with one another as well as with the alternative from Airbus, the A321neo. Whatever the case, the 737 continues to be back and better than ever.