In anticipation of the upcoming certification flights, a Boeing 737 MAX 7 has been seen hopping on and off in several U.S. airports. The aircraft is a testbed for the MCAS software, reports the manufacturer.
A Boeing 737 MAX 7 taking off from Kansas City International Airport (KCI) on February 10, 2020, was recorded by the local TV channel KMBC. The plane, registered N7201S, was operating from King County International Airport (BFI), commonly known as the Boeing Field, near Seattle, Washington. It carried out touch and go landings in several airports, including Lincoln Airport (LNK), Nevada, Sioux Falls Airport (FSD) Dakota, and Klamath Falls Airport (LMT), Oregon.
“The Boeing 737 MAX 7 started flying to various airports on February 7, 2020, to conduct a series of engineering flights with the updated software,” a Boeing spokesperson told KMBC, adding “These non-commercial test flights with a small test team on board will exercise short- and long-haul flights, seeking out weather and altitude conditions that will help satisfy specific test conditions for the updated software.”
The manufacturer emphasized that these are not certification flights. That series of test flights is the first for the Boeing 737 MAX since February 2019.
The preliminary tests allowed identifying a flaw in an indicator light warning if there is an issue with the aircraft’s trim system, as reported on February 7, 2020. The manufacturer estimates that the issue will not have any influence on the beginning of the certification. Boeing set the 737 MAX commercial service return date to mid-2020.