Tag Archives: first flight

Roll Out and Takeoff of a New Max 8

I’ve seen a few 737s make their first flights at Renton.  This example occurred on weekend morning and it caught me out a bit.  They roll the jets across the bridge from the assembly flight line to the runway flight line.  The bridge crosses the river just south of the park.  Once across, they are ready to start up.  This takes longer than a normal start up since this is the first time the plane is going to fly.

The fast taxi with rejected takeoff is the next step.  This takes place on the runway and, in this case, was heading towards me up near the Lake Washington end of the Renton runway.  All being well with this, it is time to take off.  I had hoped that this would involve a back taxi and then departure over the lake but I was to be disappointed.  They turned at the lake and powered up for a departure to the south.  I had not anticipated this so was badly placed.  The moist morning air resulted in vapor in the inlets as they accelerated past me and then climbed off in the distance.

737 Max8 Heads Off For The First Time

I stopped off at Renton one Sunday morning to see what was on the flight line.  (This was prior to the groundings after the Ethiopian Max 8 crash.)  There was a first flight showing up on the flight plan so I kept an eye out for any sign of activity as I walked along the park trail.  Sure enough, the sound of an engine start reached me when I was down near the bridge between the factory and the flight line.  This is a bit far away from where I would want to be to photograph the take off but this is a first flight.  There is plenty to check before they go flying unlike a regular flight, so time was on my side.

I made my way back along the river in plenty of time for the jet to move.  Prior to flight they accelerate and brake to a stop.  They did this along the runway the opposite direction to that in which they planned to take off so they actually taxied up past me, turned and accelerated before turning again to make the actual take off.  This gave me plenty of views of the unpainted jet.  They climbed away and then redeployed the gear, possibly to cool off the brakes a bit.  They then turned off on their departure heading.  Moses Lake will have been part of the test plan but the flight will have ended at Boeing Field.

New FedEx 767 Struggles for First Flight

Aside from the USAF, FedEx is the main recipient of aircraft coming off the 767 line these days.  They have just placed another order too so they will continue to take new 767 freighters for years to come.  One of the jets was planning to have a first flight at Paine Field.  Prior to first flight, Boeing tends to run a high speed taxi and braking profile.  If this goes well, they will then take off for the first flight.  Judging by the radio traffic this time, things were not going well.  They did one run, braked and vacated.  They taxied down to my end and repeated in the opposite direction.  Then they called the tower to confirm that they were heading back to the ramp.  I imagine they fixed the issue before too long but no first flight on this occasion.