Starting September 22, the 737 MAX enters a portion of flight testing that will really put the airplane through its paces.
It’s called SROV - which stands for Service Ready Operational Validation. With the help of launch customer Southwest Airlines, we’ll take the MAX to several of the airports in Southwest’s system to simulate the kind of real life things the airplane will encounter on any given day of revenue service.
The 4th 737 MAX flying near Mt. Rainier.
Using MAX test airplane #4 over a six day period, pilots from Southwest and Boeing will fly routes from Love Field in Dallas to cities including Albuquerque, Denver, Chicago, Austin and Phoenix. Southwest’s maintenance and ground crews at each airport will get hands-on experience, doing everything from towing and fueling the airplane, to conducting fit checks of ground support equipment and performing maintenance.
MAX #4 at the Farnborough Airshow.
You may remember that we performed SROV activities with the 787 a few years ago, taking the Dreamliner to Japan for similar exercises with ANA. You can get a better idea of exactly what goes on during SROV in this video from 2011.
As I said earlier, SROV is part of flight testing—which in itself is always dynamic. Flight plans filed each day may change for a variety of reasons— from weather, to the simple fact that we decide to run more simulations at a certain airport.
Our goal is to show the MAX is ready to enter service next year as we start delivering the airplane to our customers. And for that—we couldn’t be more excited.