16 APRIL 2012
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With “Next Generation” 737 number 4,000 delivered to China Southern Airlines last week Boeing also released more details of the MAX upgrade.
"The 737 MAX is on-track to deliver substantial fuel-savings to customers starting in 2017," said Beverly Wyse, Vice President and General Manager, 737 Program. "We've made several design decisions that support the performance targets for the MAX and evolve the Next-Generation 737's design within the scope of the 737 MAX program."
Of a whole series of innovations and improvements the most obvious is the engine installation. The CFM International LEAP-1B engines are integrated into the wing similar to the aerodynamic lines of the 787 Dreamliner. A new pylon and strut, along with an 8-inch nose gear extension, will maintain similar ground clearance to today's 737 while accommodating the larger engine fan.
Also distinguishing the aircraft will be a tail cone extension, the section above the elevator thickened to improve steadiness of air flow. This will eliminate the need for vortex generators on the tail resulting in less drag, giving the aircraft better performance. Not seen but active are fly-by-wire spoilers and an electronic cabin bleed air system both allowing for increased optimization. Total sales of the 737 are now 9,375. www.boeing.com/newairplane/737/737Max
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