Hexcel and Boeing celebrated the first flight of the 737 MAX 8 – the first member of Boeing’s efficient 737 MAX family – which took to the skies from Renton Field near Boeing’s 737 Final Assembly plant in Renton, Washington, US.
Hexcel says its composite materials are used on the 737 MAX airframe and engines to deliver superior strength, stiffness, weight-savings and fuel-efficiency.
According to Boeing, the 737 MAX, powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1B engines, will deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market with 20 percent lower fuel use than the first Next-Generation 737s. Hexcel’s HexTow IM7 carbon fibre is used to manufacture all the CFM International LEAP-1 engine fan blades and containment cases, including the LEAP-1B that powers the Boeing 737 MAX.
Hexcel explains that the engine nacelles have an acoustic inner barrel that is manufactured from its engineered core and benefits from its Acousti-Cap technology in which a permeable cap material is individually embedded into each honeycomb cell to create an acoustic septum. This technology is a leading contributor to the reduction of the area of acceptable noise contour of the 737 MAX engine by 40% over the legacy 737 NG, without any weight penalty.
The 737 MAX 8 is the first member in Boeing’s new family of single-aisle airplanes – the 737 MAX 7, MAX 8, MAX 200 and MAX 9 – to begin flight testing. The 737 MAX will extend the Next-Generation 737 range advantage with the capability to fly more than 3,500 nautical miles (6,510 kilometers), an increase of 340 to 570 nautical miles (629 to 1,055 kilometers). The 737 MAX family has 3,072 orders from 62 customers worldwide.
Delivery of the first 737 MAX is scheduled for the third quarter of 2017.
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