skip to main content
caption: A Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is shown on Thursday, March 14, 2019, at the Boeing Renton Factory in Renton.
Enlarge Icon
A Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is shown on Thursday, March 14, 2019, at the Boeing Renton Factory in Renton.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Boeing's best-selling 737 will end with the MAX: analyst

The 737 MAX will be the last of the 737s. That’s according to aerospace analyst Michel Merluzeau of AIR Insight Research.

Merluzeau said "the next two to three months will be very, very critical" for the 737 MAX. Boeing to reestablish trust in the plane and in any fixes it may need.

Merluzeau said Boeing will need a completely new plane by the 2030s to compete with Airbus and other manufacturers.

The 737 MAX is a high tech, fuel efficient version of the 737, which was originally conceived in 1964 as a manually-controlled single-aisle plane.

The MAX operates within the limitations of the 737 design at a time when new plane designs are reflecting major technological change, including automation.

Merluzeau says soon Boeing will have to start from scratch to take full advantage of the new technology.

“By 2031, 2032 there will be a new Boeing narrow body," he said. "The 737 MAX family will be the last iteration of the -73 design.”

Automation is suspected of having a role in the crashes of two 737 MAXs. Investigations continue, but attention is focused on an automated system that forces the nose of the plane down when it senses the plane is pointing sharply upward.

One concern is that a sensor on the MAX appears to guide that automated system and may not always work correctly. Flight data appears to show pilots in both crashes correcting the plane's course only to have the plane repeat the nose-down action.

The last plane Boeing started from scratch was the 787 Dreamliner.

That plane incorporated a big technological leap with a new production style, which involved flying in parts from around the planet. The plane was plagued with difficulties and launched years later than planned and at much greater cost.

During this period executives at Boeing decided to modernize the 737 instead of starting from the beginning with a whole new plane.