Boeing test pilot Ed Wilson brought this weekend to England the American plane maker’s brand new, next-generation Boeing 737 MAX passenger jet. He flew it here for the Farnborough International Air Show, which started on Monday, but we got an exclusive close look at the plane over the weekend.
Each 737 MAX will use a pair of LEAP-1B jet engines developed by CFM International, a joint venture between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines of France. The LEAP is the world’s first jet engine to include 3D-printed fuel nozzles, engine shrouds made from tough, lightweight materials called ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), which can operate at extremely high temperatures, and nickel-alloy compressor blades grown from a single crystal.
The technologies will help the LEAP achieve double-digit improvements in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to CFM’s best engines. The machine will also deliver “dramatic reductions” in engine noise, according to CFM.
Ed Wilson’s 737 MAX is still labeled “experimental” because it is powering through tough flight tests. But 737 MAX jets are scheduled to enter commercial service next year.