Boeing (NYSE: BA) announced today that the 737 MAX program has selected a 68-inch fan diameter for the optimized engine design that will provide the lowest fuel burn and operating costs in the single-aisle market.
The 737 MAX continues to receive overwhelming acceptance from customers with more than 600 order commitments received to date from eight airlines, up from 496 airplanes from five airlines when the program launched in August.
The program is on schedule with internal configuration milestones of the new jet, with a continued focus on engagement with customers and partners to optimize the engine core architecture. Firm configuration for the airplane is scheduled for 2013. First flight for the 737 MAX is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017.
"The 737 is a more efficient, lighter design and requires less thrust than other airplanes in this class, which is important because weight and thrust have a significant effect on fuel efficiency and operating costs," said John Hamilton, 737 Chief Program Engineer. "With airlines facing rising fuel costs and weight-based costs equating to nearly 30 percent of an airline's operating costs, this optimized 68-inch fan design will offer a smaller, lighter and more fuel-efficient engine to ensure we maintain the current advantage we have over the competition."
The new 737 family will be powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines. The new-engine variant will have 10-12 percent lower fuel burn than current 737s and a 7-percent operating cost advantage over the competition. The airplane will have the capacity for increased range while providing better fuel efficiency than today's already-efficient 737.
When compared to a fleet of 100 of today's most fuel-efficient airplanes, this new model will emit 277,000 fewer tons of CO2 and save nearly 175 million pounds of fuel per year, which translates into $85 million in cost savings. The airplane's fuel burn is expected to be 16 percent lower than our competitor's current offering and 4 percent lower than their future offering.
The Boeing 737 is the world's most popular and reliable commercial jet transport. The 737 family has won orders for more than 9,000 airplanes.
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