Thousands of Boeing employees in Renton, Washington, gathered late Friday morning to watch the rollout of the commercial jet maker’s newest 737, the Max 10. In what some on social media described as a muted ceremony compared with past Boeing airplane debuts, official speeches focused largely on employees assigned to the narrowbody jet program, Max variants of which remain grounded worldwide since last spring following two deadly crashes five months apart.
“Today is not just about a new airplane; it’s about the people who design, build, and support it,” said 737 program v-p and general manager Mark Jenks. “This team’s relentless focus on safety and quality shows the commitment we have to our airline customers and every person who flies on a Boeing airplane.”
Designed to carry up to 230 passengers, the 737 Max 10 is the largest of the Max family of jets. The first aircraft will undergo system checks and engine runs before its first flight, scheduled for early next year.
“I’m honored to take this airplane on its first flight and show the world what you’ve put your heart and soul into,” 737 chief pilot Jennifer Henderson told employees at the rollout.
More than 20 global customers have placed orders and commitments for more than 550 Max 10s, Boeing said.