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Boeing's newest version of the 737 MAX makes first flight

The Boeing 737 MAX 10 is a slightly bigger version of the MAX planes already flying and can hold up to 230 passengers.

SEATTLE — Boeing’s newest version of the 737 MAX jetliner has taken flight.

A Boeing 737 MAX 10 completed a test flight of about 2 1/2 hours on Friday over Washington state.

"The airplane performed beautifully," said 737 Chief Pilot Capt. Jennifer Henderson in a statement after the flight. "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 MAX 10 can hold up to 230 passengers. It's a slightly bigger version of Boeing planes that are already flying. Boeing officials said the plane also incorporates environmental improvements, cutting carbon emissions by 14% and reducing noise by 50% compared to today's Next-Generation 737s. 

Airlines began using those earlier MAX jets in 2017, but they were grounded worldwide for nearly two years after two crashes that killed 346 people.

The new model is designed to compete against a similar plane from Europe's Airbus. 

Boeing officials say they will work closely with regulators to certify the airplane prior to it being put in service, which is scheduled for 2023.

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