Following an announcement yesterday from Boeing that revealed more details about the 737 Max airliner series, Boeing Business Jets confirmed in response to AIN questions that the BBJ1, BBJ2 and BBJ3 bizliners will be transitioning to the upgraded Max platform. For airline use, Boeing plans to develop the 737-8 Max first, then the -9 and finally the -7.
“Because of this, Boeing Business Jets will first market a 737-8 Max–the BBJ2 Max–with initial availability green in the 2018 time frame,” Boeing Business Jets president Steve Taylor told AIN. “The 737-9 [BBJ3 Max] will follow a year or so later and a 737-7 [BBJ Max] will come after that. We’re still studying the possibilities for the BBJ Max airframe, with several options still available at this point.”
According to Taylor, the BBJ2 Max will likely have slightly better range than the current model while also offering a 19-foot-longer cabin and more baggage space. Thus, “We anticipate that the BBJ2 Max will be a very strong seller as a VIP aircraft and will likely capture a larger part of the market than the BBJ2 historically has,” he said.
Boeing said the 737 Max will see about 12-percent fuel-burn improvement thanks to aft-body aerodynamic improvements, new fuel-efficient CFM International Leap-1B engines and flight control and system updates. Last month at Abace in Shanghai, Boeing Business Jets said it plans to deliver 12 bizliners this year.