Boeing's newest airliner just flew for the first time

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Boeing 737MAX 8

Boeing

Boeing's newest airliner took the sky for the first time on Friday. The Boeing 737 Max took off from the company's Renton, Washington factory for a two-and-a-half hour maiden flight before landing at Boeing Field near Seattle.

The first completed 737 Max 8 airliner rolled out of the assembly facility in Renton last month and was presented at a ceremony in front of several thousand Boeing employees.

The prototype took off for its inaugural flight with Boeing's flight operations vice president and chief test pilot, Craig Bomben, and Captain Ed Wilson at the controls.

Over the years, the 737 family has become the best-selling airliner in the history of commercial aviation, with more than 13,000 aircraft sold since 1965. It is arguably Boeing's bread-and-butter model.

"We think we have a terrific product here," Boeing 737 Max program general manager Keith Leverkuhn said following the flight. "We think it's going to be the preferred aircraft in the market."

Here's a closer the at the history of the Boeing 737 and the 4th generation Max.

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