Europe’s biggest budget airline has not yet operated the aircraft, which has been grounded worldwide after two fatal crashes.
But a number of aircraft have been built for the carrier, and others are under construction.
Pictures taken at the Boeing factory at Renton, near Seattle, show a new 737 aircraft in Ryanair colours with the word “Max” replaced by the number “8200”.
Ryanair has ordered a unique design of the Boeing 737 Max with additional seats and an extra emergency exit. It can hold 197 passengers, eight more than the standard 189 in its existing fleet of 737-800 aircraft – the only type the airline currently flies.
The photographer, Chris Edwards, tweeted: “Looks like @Ryanair is dropping the MAX title from is new #737MAX200 aircraft.
“Instead of ‘737 MAX’ on the nose the 5th aircraft rolled out of paint wearing ‘737-8200’ in its place.
“7629 EI-HAY 737-8 200 has been painted and wears the new model designation on the nose.”
Ryanair had originally intended to start flying the aircraft from Stansted in May.
The first fatal accident involving the Boeing 737 Max was Lion Air JT610, shortly after take-off from Jakarta on 29 October 2018. All 189 passengers and crew died. On 10 March 2019, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max crashed soon after departure from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board.
The anti-stall system known as MCAS has been implicated in both crashes,. it is believed a faulty “angle of attack” sensor triggered the software, forcing the nose of the aircraft down despite the pilots’ efforts to keep the plane flying.
All Boeing 737 Max passenger flights were stopped shortly after the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
Boeing is currently working on safety improvements, and it is thought unlikely that the plane will be in passenger service before the end of the year.
The Independent has asked Ryanair for a response about the apparent change of designation.
When British Airways’ parent IAG signed a Letter of Intent for the aircraft at the Paris Air Show in June, no mention was made of the Max suffix in the accompanying press release.
Instead, the plane was called the Boeing 737-8 and 737-10 – the two variants under consideration by IAG.
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