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PARIS: Boeing launches BBJ Max 9

Boeing officially launched its BBJ Max 9 at the show, following an order for the 737 Max 9-based VIP airliner from an unnamed European customer.

BBJ president David Longridge says the first aircraft is scheduled for delivery to the “customer’s completion centre of choice" in 2020.

The sale comes a little over a year after the BBJ Max 8 programme was launched with a single order. Boeing has since notched up four sales for the 737 Max 8-based aircraft, the first of which will be delivered “green” in 2018.

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Boeing and General Electric teamed up in 1996 to develop the BBJ version of the 737. The baseline family – consisting of the BBJ, BBJ2 and BBJ3 – will be replaced by the new generation models.

The 737 Max-based BBJs will have CFM International Leap-1B turbofans and split-tip winglets, giving the aircraft 14% better fuel efficiency than the standard BBJ range, says Longridge.

The BBJ Max 9 – which will replace the BBJ3 - has a range of 6,325nm (11,700km) – some 800nm more than its outgoing stablemate – a maximum take-off weight of 88,314kg (195,000lb) and a 1,120ft2 (104m2) cabin.

First flight of the 737 Max is scheduled for 2016 and deliveries to commercial customers are pegged to begin in 2017, Boeing says.

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