Boeing has successfully carried out the maiden flight of its 737-10 aircraft over the US state of Washington on 18 June.

The aircraft is the largest member of the 737 MAX family. It took off from Renton Field in Renton, Washington, and landed at Boeing Field in Seattle.

The approximately 2.5h flight marks the start of a comprehensive test programme for the aircraft.

Boeing 737 chief pilot captain Jennifer Henderson said: “The airplane performed beautifully. The profile we flew allowed us to test the airplane’s systems, flight controls and handling qualities, all of which checked out exactly as we expected.”

The aircraft manufacturer will work closely with regulators to certify the aircraft ahead of its original scheduled entry into service in 2023.

Capable of carrying up to 230 passengers, the 737-10 is designed to reduce carbon emissions by 14% and noise by 50% when compared with existing next-generation 737s.

Furthermore, Boeing is working to improve safety for the 737 MAX 10, as well as the air data indication system. It is also adding a third cockpit indication to avoid stalling or losing lift.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Stan Deal said: “The 737-10 is an important part of our customers’ fleet plans, giving them more capacity, greater fuel efficiency and the best per-seat economics of any single-aisle airplane.

“Our team is committed to delivering an airplane with the highest quality and reliability.”

The aircraft is designed to close the gap between its 178-to-220-seat 737-9 and Airbus’s 185-to-240-seat A321neo.