The Boeing 737 MAX 8 is the first variant in the 737 MAX family and was designed to replace the former 737-800 aircraft. The 737 MAX features the greatest flexibility, reliability, and efficiency in the single-aisle market, incorporating modern technologies such as the Boeing Sky Interior and an advanced flight deck.
On July 23, 2013, Boeing completed the firm configuration of the 737 MAX 8. This achievement marked the completion of the primary trade studies that describe the capabilities of the 737 MAX series. The 737 MAX is thirteen percent more fuel-efficient compared with today’s most efficient single-aisle aircraft and eight percent more fuel-efficient per seat compared with future’s competition. In 2017, during a test flight held for Aviation Week, the aircraft cruised at a true airspeed of 449 knots with a weight of 63,700 kg, at a lower than optimal altitude of FL 350 and with an unusually far forward center of gravity, while consuming 2,020 kg of fuel per hour.
On May 2, 2016, the MAX 8 completed its first international flight-test trip in La Paz, Bolivia. The airport’s 13,300-foot altitude tested the aircraft’s capability to take off and land at high altitudes which can affect its performance. On May 22, 2017, it conducted its first commercial flight operated by Malindo Air from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore as Flight OD803.
The MAX 8 has an exterior length of 39.52 meters, a height of 12.3 meters, and a wheelbase of 15.60 meters. The cabin length is 39.12 meters, the cabin height is 4.01 meters, and the cabin width is 3.53 meters.
The aircraft is powered by two CFM International LEAP-1B turbofan engines. Each engine produces a maximum power of 29,317 lbf. It has a maximum cruise speed of 453 knots and a travel range of 3,550 nautical miles. It also features a redesigned tail cone and the new Advanced Technology Winglet to reduce fuel use. Other modifications included flight deck display upgrades, Boeing Sky Interior, an electronic bleed air system, and fly-by-wire spoiler flight controls.
The MAX 8 has a maximum takeoff weight of 82,191 kg, a maximum landing weight of 69,309 kg, and a maximum payload of 20,882 kg.
In March 2019, the Boeing 737 MAX was grounded worldwide after 346 people were killed in two MAX 8 crashes from Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, 2018, and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019.