Employees at Boeing Renton watch as the 737 MAX 9 takes to the skies above Lake Washington for its first flight.

Boeing in Puget Sound

Puget Sound-made 737 MAX 9 completes successful first flight

The newest member of the 737 MAX family — the 737 MAX 9 — completed its inaugural flight this month, landing at Boeing Field south of Seattle after lifting off 2 hours, 42 minutes earlier from nearby Renton Field into partly cloudy skies.

“I’ve been on the program since the very beginning,” said Tracy Russell, a procurement agent for 737 MAX fuselages, “and watching the suppliers and us all come together to get the MAX out flying is just amazing.”

Tom Duval-Wilkinson, a Lean practitioner who works to streamline the MAX build process, said, “It came together well, it is designed well, and the whole team came together and got it flying.”

Piloted by Capt. Christine Walsh and Capt. Ed Wilson, the airplane took off at 10:52 a.m. Pacific time from Renton, near the factory where employees assembled the airplane. It landed at Boeing Field at 1:34 p.m.

First flight is the latest step in the airplane’s thorough flight-test program, which will be followed by first delivery in 2018.

On first flight, teams performed tests on flight controls, systems and handling qualities. The 737 MAX 9 will now undergo comprehensive flight testing before customer deliveries start in 2018.

Veronica Wipp of 737 MAX business operations, who was on hand for the takeoff, said, “This airplane is fuel-efficient, beautiful inside and out, and customers are going to love it.”

More in Marketplace

Are Seattle Eastside Home Prices Headed Down?

What’s happening in the market, where are prices headed

Are Seattle & Eastside Home Prices Headed Down?

What’s happening in the market, where are prices headed

Domestic violence IS preventable: July 21’s Refuse To Abuse 5k is a unique run/walk through every level of Safeco Field, from the players’ tunnel to the final lap around the field.
LifeWire provides a lifeline for woman fleeing abuse

Refuse to Abuse 5K at Safeco Field raises funds and awareness to fight domestic violence

Join the July 21 Refuse To Abuse 5k, a joint event from the Seattle Mariners and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Survivor shares message of strength: Domestic violence is preventable

Lace up for the Refuse to Abuse 5k, July 21 at Safeco Stadium

“I just love this work,” says Jeffrey Buetow, from Jeffrey’s Jewelry Design Studio in Federal Way.
Timeless traditions + modern technology bring jewelry to wear and love today.

Fine design, repairs and retail all viewed with same quality eye

The Refuse to Abuse 5k, at Safeco Field July 21, supports the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Ben VanHouten photo
Step out – and onto Safeco Field! – to help put an end to domestic violence

Start the discussion and register today for the Refuse to Abuse 5K

4 Reasons Why Summer Is a Great Time to Buy a Home

June is National Home Ownership Month and while there are always many… Continue reading

Dr. Rick Ludwig, Pacific Medical Centers’ Medical Director of U.S. Family Health Plan.
When is the emergency room NOT your best solution?

24/7 PacMed reduces ER loads and improves patient care

Low inventory and high buyer demand continue to push the local real estate market, says realtor Mary Lee.
Seattle Housing Market Forecast

What’s happening in the market and where are prices and interest rates headed?

Dr. Rick Ludwig, Pacific Medical Centers’ Medical Director of U.S. Family Health Plan.
When is the emergency room NOT your best solution?

24/7 PacMed reduces ER loads and improves patient care

Dr. Rick Ludwig, Pacific Medical Centers’ Medical Director of U.S. Family Health Plan.
When is the emergency room NOT your best solution?

24/7 PacMed reduces ER loads and improves patient care

From retaining walls to patios and landscapes, Seattle Rockeries will help you create a beautiful, useable space.
Building quality from the ground up

Retaining walls and hardscaping to make the most of your property