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New winglet proves 737 MAX will have big boost in fuel efficiency

At Boeing's Transonic Wind Tunnel testing lab, technicians hover around a small scale replica of the Boeing 737 MAX. They're conducting tests on the MAX's new Advanced Technology winglet.

The results of these high-accuracy tests will tell if the new winglet measures up to its desired effect.

"If you got out of the shower and your hair wasn't dry, and you got on a scale, we could measure your weight change as your hair dries," said Kevin Watson, a Wind Tunnel Calibration and Validation Engineer.

The 737 MAX model was put through a battery of tests mimicking flight at cruising speed. The results of those tests came back just as predicted: proof that the 737 MAX will deliver significant fuel savings over today's main competitors.

"It puts us in a great position to firm up our configuration by mid [20]13. Which will allows us to design it in '14, build it in '15, fly it in '16, and deliver it in '17," said 737 MAX Vice President & Chief Project Engineer, Michael Teal.