Boeing's new 737 MAX 7 airplane completes first test flight

The next version of Boeing's popular 737 aircraft has the longest range of any MAX plane.

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Boeing's 737 MAX 7, the newest, smallest version of its 50-year-old 737 passenger aircraft, completed its first successful test flight on Friday, putting it on track for a 2019 delivery.

The 737 Max 7 is the shortest of Boeing's MAX jetliners, at just less than 118 feet (36 meters) long, but it has a range of 3,850 nautical miles, the longest of any MAX plane. It boasts a more efficient engine and has split-tip winglets, which help improve the wing's efficiency. 

The plane jetted into blue skies from Renton Field in Renton, Washington, at 10:17 a.m. PT, and landed three hours and five minutes later at Seattle's Boeing Field. 

"Everything we saw during today's flight shows that the MAX 7 is performing exactly as designed," Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement.

The original version of the 737 made its first flight in 1967. The new 737 MAX 7 is designed for customers flying out of airports at high altitudes and in hot climates and will now undergo several months of additional trials. Another plane in the 737 MAX series, the MAX 9, made its first public appearance at the Paris Auto Show in 2017. CNET took a tour, which you can see in the gallery below. 

Climb on board Boeing's new 737 Max 9

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Correction, 5:19 p.m. PT: This story originally misstated the age of the 737 series. It is 50 years old.