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New aircraft will (hopefully) be delivered in 2017

Boeing has announced that its 737 MAX aircraft has reached the firm concept stage. The program is now set to transition to finalizing configuration details by the middle of 2013. The aircraft is on track to deliver the first model in 2017 to carriers around the world. 

The 737 MAX will be a single-aisle aircraft and will use new LEAP-1B engines from CFM International. The aircraft also has a redesigned tail cone and Advanced Technology winglets. Those changes and others will allow for up to a 13 percent reduction in fuel use.
In addition, Honeywell will supply the electronic bleed air system for the aircraft, while Rockwell Collins will supply four large-format displays for the flight deck.

The Boeing design team has also defined the high-speed aerodynamic lines for the 737 MAX using analysis and testing conducted in both high and low speed wind tunnels. A further refined shape for the aircraft eliminated the need for small bump on the nose gear door that was seen in early designs.

Source: Boeing

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RE: the future!
By Bad-Karma on 11/22/2012 3:38:40 PM , Rating: 2
Many of those birds have mission equipment that demand a considerable bit of electrical power. It is one of the reasons that the current special mission fleet hasn't jumped already to a new airframe.

The advantage to the 135 airframe is that all all 4 engines can provide enough electrical capacity with some to spare.

You may have just enough juice with 2-3 engines but if you had an engine running at reduced capacities (or failure) then you risk the entire mission. The Air force is looking at adding additional Aux power turbines engines, but then you also start eating into your fuel capacity. Also, a tail mounted 3rd engine configuration similar to the KC-10 is being considered. Although 3 engines on the smaller airframe would again have fuel considerations.

Another aspect is that most of the special mission birds are far heavier than what the 135 platform was ever certified to lift. A lot of work has to be done before they can make the jump.

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