Southwest “Unmanned Aerial System” carries commercial passengers on a B-737 MAX’s initial flight!!!

The Southwest B-7373 MAX8The Southwest B-7373 MAX8
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Southwest flies B-737 MAX8 with special crew
 The B-7373 MAX 8 is spectacular

Southwest Airlines celebrates first 'unmanned' flight on new Boeing model



GOTCHA, as did the clever Southwest tweet did, the title got your attention:


Two female pilots and all-female flight attendants were the cockpit and cabin crew flew this on its maiden (is it PC to say that?) from Saint Louis to San Francisco on October 15, 2017. The company also posted that this was neither the 1st or last unmanned flight on Southwest.

One of the people who responded to the post commented that the use of women to promote the airline was “sexist”. Southwest that it was the 1st major carrier to have a first female president  and that it had company has also donated $33,500 to five female students through the Women in Aviation program so they can pursue their dreams in aviation.

In this case, the interesting headline drew attention to the truly ground breaking nature of the B-737 MAX 8. From some other sources, here are some compelling attributes of this innovative iteration from the 1965 original:

  • “The aircraft’s engines burn an estimated 14 percent less fuel than the previous generation of 737s, helping Southwest save on its second largest operating expense while cutting down emissions.”
  • “The brand new aircraft also promise to be more reliable and easier to maintain, especially compared with the aging fleet of 737 Classics that is being retired.”
  • The MAX 8 provides “an additional 500 nautical miles of range” Southwest says.
  • The Max8 operates at lower cost per available seat mile; so, it produces a strategic tool in the fleet– new destinations are financially and operationally viable (above four observations from this article)


Touch graphic to see info:

Data on Southwest's B-737 MAX8

Data on Southwest’s B-737 MAX8


A First Look Inside Southwest’s Boeing 737 MAX 8


cabin with blue hue lighting

cabin with blue hue lighting

The mood lighting is also a big change for the MAX. When boarding WN1, the inaugural flight, the mood lighting was set to a fluorescent blue and

cabin with red AND hue green exits

cabin with red AND hue green exits

pink combination. While taxiing and upon arrival, flight attendants showed off a few other color combinations… There was the red/pink color with green around the emergency exits…





LEFT Each of the seats has an adjustable (UP OR DOWN) headrest and flaps on the headrest which can be fitted for extra support.


RIGHT Each seat has an extendable tray table when fully extended it is not too intrusive.





Pilots will notice a more consolidated and cleaner cockpit compared to older 737 variants. Whereas there once were several smaller screens, the functions have been implemented into four large displays. In addition, the landing gear lever (between the two inner screens) is now smaller, much like what’s featured on the 777 and 787.

WN B737 cockpit

Southwest expects to have 14 of the 737 MAX 8 aircraft in its fleet by the end of 2017. As of July 25, 2017, the airline has 200 firm orders for a combination of the smaller MAX 7 and MAX 8 aircraft.









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3 Comments on "Southwest “Unmanned Aerial System” carries commercial passengers on a B-737 MAX’s initial flight!!!"

  1. Appreciate piece on new Southwest Max aircraft. Also appreciate the data included regarding aircraft performance, but there us no mention of engine noise, I.e. louder or quieter and by how much.

  2. Sorry– here’s the information requested “Shhh… The New 737 MAX Redefines a Quiet Airplane” from Boeing 40% lower –

  3. Thanks, Sandy. Interesting article with a nice hook. Southwest is keeping in step with the future.

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