FAA Clears Boeing 737-10 for Certification Flight Testing

The FAA has granted Boeing approval to begin flight tests of its 737-10 jet with FAA pilots on board.



November 22, 2023

DALLAS — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted Boeing approval to begin flight tests of its 737-10 jet with FAA pilots on board.

This is an important step in the certification process for the next-generation 737. Mike Fleming, the Boeing vice president leading its commercial aircraft development programs, expressed his excitement about this progress in an internal message to employees.

The time it takes for the FAA to certify a new aircraft model can vary significantly. The certification process typically involves extensive testing, including simulators, airframe structure, and flight tests.

The certification process for the final two models of the Boeing 737 MAX jet family, the 737-7 and the 737-10, has been delayed due to the implementation of more rigorous testing standards by the FAA following the two MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019.


The Significance of the Boeing 737-10

Gary Crichlow, AviaionValue's Head of Commercial Analysts, provided data insights on the Boeing 737 MAX series in his recent analysis. He believes that, along with the Boeing 737-8, the 737-10 will be the most significant for Boeing. The first order announced at the Dubai Air Show, where SunExpress ordered 45 MAXs, with 28 being MAX 8 and 17 being MAX 10, along with 45 additional options, gives credence to this claim.

The MAX 10 is thus considered crucial for the long-term success of the MAX family. Boeing promotes it as "the most profitable large single-aisle" for its customers, and it is expected to be the most profitable aircraft for Boeing as well. This assumes that the MAX 10 will have a higher purchase price compared to its smaller counterparts while benefiting from shared assembly and tooling.

The main competitor for the Boeing 737-10 is Airbus' A321neo, which has dominated the market for high-capacity single-aisle aircraft. The demand for A321neos has made them the largest portion of Airbus' single-aisle backlog. Boeing has some catching up to do in this segment, and according to Crichlow, the MAX 10 may help them close the gap. We agree.

The Boeing 737-7 is expected to be certified in the coming months, while the -10 is projected to be certified in late 2024 and may not enter service until 2025.

Featured image: N27751, Boeing Company Boeing 737-10 MAX (Prototype). Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways