As Boeing's grounded 737 Max planes move closer to recertification and a return to service, they may not take the Max name with them. An often-hinted change appears to have quietly happened in a Boeing press release.
In its announcement recently of its first new sales of the plane in a while, it said that Poland's Enter Air had ordered two 737-8 jetliners. All previous announcements have referred to the plane as 737 Max-8.
If that's actually the company's intention—and many have speculated that it would make it easier to get the public back on board—it would follow a pattern Boeing has used before. The most recent versions of the 737 Max were called 'Next Generation,' but the NextGen name applied to the series, not the individual models, which were called 737-600, 737-800, etc. The new naming would allow Max to appear as a series, while the planes would be 737-8 and 737-10.
The planes could return to service as early as October; the required 45-day public comment period on the FAA's proposed Airworthiness Directive for the plan expires in mid-September, although it is likely to take longer to finalize.