Boeing’s issues with the certification process for its aircraft have turned out to be more extensive than imagined. In addition to struggling to develop the 777X and 737 MAX 10 models, the planemaker is also behind schedule for the 737 MAX 7.
According to an internal Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) document, Boeing is “currently undertaking amended” in three programs, including the smallest of the 737 MAX family members.
The irony is that the US manufacturer completed flight testing of the 737 MAX 7 prototypes a long time ago, in October 2021. Until recently, Boeing had planned to obtain the type certificate for the 737 MAX 7 in August of last year so that the aircraft could enter service in 2022.
As with the MAX 10, the smallest version of the 737 is also at risk of having to comply with the Aircraft Safety and Certification Reform Act, which will come into effect later this year.
The new law passed in the US Congress that deals with crew alert regulations, reflections of lessons learned from the failures of the 737 MAX 8.
Launched in 2016, the 737 MAX 7 is the least popular of Boeing’s new single-aisle jet series. Until recently, it had few orders until Southwest Airlines decided to strike a massive deal to revamp its unique fleet of 737s.
The MAX 7’s maiden flight took place in March 2018, seven months before the first fatal crash of a 737 MAX occurred. The aircraft can carry up to 138 passengers and its main competitor is the Airbus A220.