On Thursday, September 22, Long Beach Airport (LGB) became the first airport to be visited by Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 during Southwest Airlines and Boeing's service ready operational validation (SROV) exercise. Southwest Airlines is the launch customer of the aircraft, which will begin flying in Southwest's fleet late next year. SROV was a five-day exercise where a test aircraft operated some of Southwest's routes and tested various real and simulated operational scenarios including ensuring it meets airports’ standards.
|All photos courtesy of Ron Reeves of Long Beach Airport (LGB).|
This aircraft uses Leading Edge Aviation Propulsion (LEAP) engines, which are among the most efficient, quiet, and clean engines available. The B737 Max is likely to be one of the last “tube and wing” designs because the need for greater efficiency, less noise, and lower emissions is driving the move to a blended wing design for commercial aircraft.
An important factor in integrating a new aircraft into a commercial fleet is ensuring that it can meet noise regulations, as people are living closer to airports than ever before. The 737 MAX was designed to be 40 percent quieter than Boeing’s Next-Generation 737. After conducting preliminary tests, Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program, remarked that “the MAX noise levels are right where we want them to be.”