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

Seattle Southside: Fun for Everyone

Seattle’s Backyard offers lots to see, do and experience

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

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

Miny Tafesse, founder and owner of Abyssinia Hair & Beauty Clinic in Renton.
Renton entrepreneur shares both the spirit and substance of her success

How do you build a successful business? It all begins with passion!

Top Komen Race for the Cure fundraisers Heidi May, left, and Laura Mendoza. Mendoza was the No. 1 overall fundraiser for 2017 and May was the No. 1 survivor fundraiser. Photo by Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures
‘Pink Sisterhood’ unites to Race for the Cure

Walk, run, volunteer or donate to create life-saving change in the fight against breast cancer

Connect2Classes Tested: 7 Steps to Better Photography

Take the fear out of using those digital camera functions with Hudson’s Photo Workshops

In addition to being a key employer, Boeing also works to protect the environment, educate students, support veterans and military families, and more.
Boeing releases Community and Economic Benefits Report

Company’s wide-ranging influence includes employment, education, environment and charitable giving

Connect2Classes Tested: Michael Duarte-Pedrosa checks out the School of Visual Concepts

How to Write a Brilliant Creative Brief workshop lives up to its name

Search Advertising Remains One of the Best Ways to Reach Customers

Every search can be considered a signal of intent, giving advertisers a massive opportunity.

Boeing’s six-week Fabrication internship has hosted about 120 high school interns over the last five years.
Fabrication internship emphasizes STEM education among Puget Sound high schoolers

‘One-of-a-kind opportunity’ lets students explore manufacturing and engineering techniques