The MAX writes ‘MAX’

Yesterday, Boeing took one of its 737 MAX test frames for a nine-hour endurance test. Instead of flying around in circles for nine hours, they decided to do something a little different.

For eight of its nine hours aloft, the 737 MAX worked on its aerial penmanship writing a 997 km (619 mi) long, 277 km (172 mi) high ‘MAX’ over the states of Washington and Montana. The ‘MAX’ portion of the flight covered approximately 5,534 km (3,439 miles).

The altitude and speed graph from the ‘MAX’ flight

737 MAX N8704Q has been busy over the past month with flight tests. In mid-January, the airplane visited Yakutsk, Russia, for cold-weather testing. When the MAX began its first test flight in Yakutsk, the temperature at the airport was -37℃. 10 days later the airplane flew to Darwin, Australia, where the temperature was +32℃.

737 MAX 8 N8704Q

All of these flights are part of the new aircraft’s certification process, which also includes tests on the ground, like the wet runway water spray test Boeing conducted with 737 MAX N8702L. Norwegian and Southwest will be the first two airlines to take delivery of the 737 MAX in the middle of 2017.