When the 737 MAX took flight above the open fields of Glasgow, Mont., last month, Boeing engineers and technicians were all ears.
That's because they were listening to and recording every decibel of sound through microphones to certify that the MAX meets federal and international noise regulations.
"The noise safety standards are becoming increasingly stringent as people start to live closer to airports,” said Barry St. Germaine, a Boeing Test & Evaluation (BT&E) pilot.
"We will not be able to fly into certain airports if we don't meet the noise requirements, so tests like this ensure we continue to maintain the current market and gain access to new markets around the world,” he said.
The 737 MAX is designed to be 40 percent quieter than today's Next-Generation 737. Community noise testing is intended to validate that design.
"We're still looking at the numbers, but preliminary results show the MAX noise levels are right where we want them to be,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program.