Boeing announced that its 737 MAX engine program will enter the final phase of wind tunnel testing next week. This is a major milestone in airplane design development and it ensures that the 737 program is on track for its entry into service on 2017.
According to Michael Teal, chief project engineer and deputy program manager of 737 MAX program, ”Wind tunnel testing is on the critical design path of the program. Based on previous work in the wind tunnel, we are confident this final phase of testing will substantiate our predictions of the aerodynamic performance of the airplane.”
Testing will be conducted at Farnborough, England. Engineers at QinetiQ’s testing facility will prove the forecasted low-speed performance of the 737 MAX on takeoff and landing. QinetiQ is a FTSE250 company and it uses its domain knowledge to share technical know-how to customers in global aerospace, defense and security markets. Meanwhile, validating the forecast for high-speed airplane performance will be done at Boeing Transonic Wind Tunnel at Seattle.
Airplane models used for wind tunnel testing of Next Generation 737 will also be used for 737 MAX. However, modifications were made to the aft fuselage, struts and nacelles.
The 737 MAX is a new engine variant of Boeing airplane. It is an improvement of today’s Next Generation 737. The 737 MAX is equipped with the latest technology from CFM International LEAP-1B engines and is capable to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger appeal.
Airlines that will use the 737 MAX will see a 10 to 12 percent fuel burn improvement compared to today’s most fuel-saving single aisle aircraft. They can also have a seven percent operating cost-per-seat advantage over their competitors in the future.
As of now, 737 MAX has received more than 1,000 orders and commitments from 15 companies.