The Boeing 737 MAX 9 had retained a significant degree of similarity with its antecedents and is designed to replace the 737-900. The 737 MAX 9 features several improvements including a longer fuselage and a greater range. It is the second member of the new CFM LEAP 1-B powered MAX family.
In February 2012, the launch customer of the aircraft, Lion Air, placed an order for 201 aircraft and on March 7, 2017, the MAX 9 made its roll-out. On April 13, 2017, the aircraft conducted its two hours and forty-two minutes of maiden flight from Renton Municipal Airport to Boeing Field, where it would be based for the flight-test program. Piloted by Captain Christine Walsh, the MAX 9 covered more than 800 miles and reached a top altitude of about 23,500 feet and a top speed of 328 knots. Flight tests were planned to run through 2017, certification flying having started with the maiden flight of the first flight example dubbed as 1D001 in April. While thirty percent of the 737 MAX 8 tests repeated, model-specific tests were conducted on the MAX 9. 1D001 was used for auto-land, avionics, flutter, and mainly stability-and-control trials, while the aircraft 1D002 was used for environmental control system testing.
In February 2018, the 737 MAX 9 received its amended type certification. On March 21, 2018, the first aircraft was delivered to Lion Air Group and will enter into service with Thai Lion Air.
The 737 MAX 9 will replace the 737-900 and is almost 3 meters longer compared with the MAX 8. It carries up to a maximum of 220 passengers in flight. The aircraft has an exterior length of 42.16 meters, a height of 12.3 meters, and a wheelbase of 17.17 meters. The wingspan is 35.92 meters and the wing area is 127 square meters. It has a cabin length of 41.76 meters, a cabin height of 2.50 meters, and a cabin width of 3.53 meters.
The aircraft is powered by two CFM International LEAP-1B turbofan engines which produce a maximum thrust of 29,317 lbf each. It currently holds a 3,550 nautical mile range but intends to improve it after 2021 to 3,605 nautical miles. The aircraft has a maximum cruise speed of 453 knots and can fly up to 41,000 feet. It has a takeoff distance of 2600 meters and a landing distance of 1700 meters.