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Boeing 737 MAX completes first test flight

By Ann Marie Awad   |   Jan. 30, 2016 at 9:02 PM

SEATTLE, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The Boeing 737 MAX jet completed its first nearly three-hour flight, bringing the plane one step closer to certification with the Federal Aviation Administration.

"Today's first flight of the 737 MAX carries us across the threshold of a new century of innovation – one driven by the same passion and ingenuity that have made this company great for 100 years," said Boeing President and CEO Ray Conner in a statement Friday.

CNN reported roughly 4,000 people gathered at Renton Field in Renton, Wash., to witness the maiden voyage.

The jet is designed to be quieter and more fuel efficient, thanks to the new CFM LEAP-1B engine that cuts down on fuel burn by 15 percent.

"We were amazed at how quiet the cabin was," said Captain Ed Wilson told CNN after the flight. "I took a walk mid-flight through the cabin and was impressed."

The company already has 2,827 orders for the new jet from more than 40 customers. Among the biggest buyers are Indonesia's Lion Air, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle and Ireland's Ryanair.

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