Boeing Considers Larger Engine For The 737 MAX
Boeing is reportedly considering putting a larger engine on the 737 in an effort to blunt the success of the Airbus A321neo that outsells it by four to one.
The plane maker would offer a modified version of the larger and more powerful LEAP-1A engine used on Airbus's A321neo rather than the LEAP-1B used on the 737 MAX 9, they said.
That would enable Boeing to add range while stretching the 178-seat jet to fit 12 or more extra passengers and gain a capacity advantage over the 185-seat A321neo, the sources said.
Boeing disputes its rival's claims about the strength of demand in this niche where Airbus has the lead. But leapfrogging the A321neo with more seats would hedge Boeing's position as many airlines opt for bigger planes.
However, the new derivative version of the 737 MAX 9, nicknamed 737 MAX 10, would bring significant headaches.
Adding the larger engine would mean raising and possibly repositioning the landing gear and re-certifying parts, costing an estimated USD$1 billion - USD$2 billion, according to industry experts.
Boeing's 737 MAX family uses the smaller LEAP engine partly because its fuselage sits lower to the ground and needs a smaller diameter engine fan.