We developed a surface-micromachined tunable Fabry–Pérot interferometer for the thermal infrared spectral range of wavelengths 7–12 µm. In this paper, we present the device performance in terms of the optical transmission and the tunability. The device represents the first layout that proved successful in terms of the manufacturing process yield (about 80%). The optical transmission over the wavelengths from 3 to 20 µm is presented with the emphasis on analysing the first-order transmission peak. The transmission band width and the peak height are compared using the existing theory for this type of an interferometer. The deviation from an ideal performance is resolved and partly explained through the known structural unidealities.