Boeing 737

| March 11, 2011 | 2 Comments

The Boeing 737 is one of the most iconic aircraft in aviation history almost as iconic as the original Wright flier. On average there are over 1,000 737’s in the air at one time. and one taking off or landing every 30 seconds. This proves how popular the Boeing 737 really is. First entered into service in 1967 it went well with the 727 and 707. The aircraft was in short in range and offered 60 seats. Perfect for small hops like San Antonio-El Paso. This aircraft is so popular that it has been in production for 43 years and will not be replaced for another decade. Please read on.

How it all began.

Beginning idea.

The Boeing 737 was first envisioned to fill the gap between the Boeing 727 and 707. The Boeing 727 was a tri engine medium range airliner with 149 to 186 seats. The Boeing 707 was a long range 4 engine airplane with  104 to 202 seats. Jack Steiner was the head project engineer with Joe Sutter as assistant. They set to work on this idea. Boeing was not sure on the project. It was a if we can sell a few well do it. Boeing got to work and went to United and Lufthansa. Lufthansa ordered 22 aircraft worth 67 million in 1965(190.28 million in 2008) and had Boeing increase capacity to 100 passengers. United then ordered 40 737’s and had Boeing stretch the plane 36 inches ahead of the wing and 40 inches behind. This plane was designated the Boeing 737-200. The project was saved.


The Boeing 737 was a minor project at the time and Jack Steiner lost Joe Sutter to another project. Joe Sutter became head engineer of the Boeing 747 project. One of the key issues was where to place the engines. If The engines were place in he rear like the  DC-9 it would cost them speed, aerodynamic efficiency, and would put more stress on the airframe then necessary. The project was started in 1964. After awhile the final configuration was the engine slung under the wing.  There are no doors for the landing gear to save weight. There are caps that cover the wheel to complete the aerodynamic efficiency. There is one more thing that save a lot of weight. A fuel dumping device was not installed. Boeing proved that the plane was safe without them and could cut the fuel down by circling. In 1968 the thrust reversal system was introduced to aviation. This became standard on all aircraft after 1969.


The maiden flight was made on April 9th 1967 piloted by Brien Wygle and Lew Wallick.  During flight testing a problem was discovered that at high speeds with loads 30%more than normal it could buckle the rear wing spar. modifications were made at a cost to weight and performance. On December 15th 1967 the Federal Aviation Administration certified the -100 for commercial flight. Type certificate A16WE. The 737 was the first aircraft to be certified for category two approaches. The  -200 had its maiden flight on August 8th 1967 and certified on April 28th 1968.


Initial production was at Boeing Field (king county airport) because the factory at Renton was at capacity with the 727 and 707.  after 271 aircraft were built production was moved to Renton in late 1970.

The fuselage, wings, and landing gear would be joined together and then the aircraft would move down the line and get avionics, interior, and engines. Once that was done the aircraft flies to Boeing Field to get painted and tested before delivery.  Part of the fuselage is made in Wichita by Spirit Areo systems.


Engines on the -100 and -200 models were JT8d engines. Those were the long skinny engines. The classic and next gen models feature CFM56-3 engines. due to the ground clearance the engine gear box and other accessories were moved to the side giving it a triangular circular shape. Because the engines are so low they are prone to foreign object debris (FOD) . There is a new engine coming out for the 737. It is the CFM56-7, It is 7% more fuel efficient than the CFM56-3 model.

Flight Systems.

Flight systems are very well done and very safe to. For example if there was a double engine failure the system would let you control the tabs via wires, so the pilot would control all the control surfaces via his muscles. The 737 is the only aircraft currently produced that can operate by hydraulics on a double engine failure.


Blended wing-lets are available on all 737’s. The wing-lets are 8 ft tall, reduce fuel burn , reduce engine wear, and create less noise on takeoff.

New carbon brakes are now certified by the Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) and are made by Messier Bugatti. These brakes weigh 550 pounds (250-320kg’s) less than standard steel brakes on a next gen 737. Weight savings depend on whether standard or high capacity brakes are fitted. Weight savings of 700 pounds on a 737-800 are .5%.

Short field packages are fitted to planes that need to use runways of less than 5000 feet (1500 meters) and use high altitude airports. The packages include, sealed leading edge slats, a two position tail skids (low approach speeds), and increased flight spoiler deflection on the ground. All of these wonderful features are standard on the 737-900ER.

Original Series.

This was the first series of 737’s. The -100 being launched by Lufthansa only 30 were made. The -200 being launched by United had many improvements and popularity. The project was nearly canceled after a bad year at Boeing, but with cuts in the 747 production line and elimination of the 2707 project the project was saved.


This was the first variant of the 737.  Launched in 1965 by Lufthansa this was the smallest variant of the 737 family. The last one was retired in 2007 by NASA the aircraft went to the Smithsonian.


The 737-200 launched by United airlines in 1968. The -200 had many improvements like bigger payload, better short field performance and better fuel economy. There were many variants of the -200 model. They include 737-200, 737-200 advanced, 737-QC (quick change), 737-200 C, 737-200 with a gravel kit. This model was for airlines that operated from unimproved airstrips and gravel strips the main customer was Alaska airlines which is based in Alaska. After 40 years of service the 737 was retired from passenger US service in 2008 by aloha airlines. The -200 was also converted to train navigators and was designated the T-43. The T-43 was retired this year 2011.

737 Classic Series.

The 737 classic series included the series -300,-400,-500. The classic series included a number of improvements like more range, more fuel savings, more seats, or more cargo. So read on for a description of the classic series.


The 737-300 was launched in 1981 by us air and Southwest airlines. It had a capacity of 128 passengers and in a two class configuration it can hold 137 seats.


The 737-400 was launched by Piedmont airlines in 1985 and first flown by Piedmont in 1988. There is a com-bi version that carries cargo and passengers. The 737-400 is operated mainly by charter airlines primarily because it is a stretched -300. As some of you might know this is the default 737’s in flight Sim 2004 and 2002.


The 737-500 was launched in 1987 by the one and only Southwest Airlines! The -500 enterd service in 1990. The passenger capacity was 149 and like all 737’s a cockpit crew of two. 389 737-500’s were built.

737 Next Generation Series


The 737-600 is the baby of the 737 family having a passenger capacity of only 130. This model was meant to replace the 737-500 and airlines aging DC-9’s. The launch customer was SAS (Scandinavian airlines system) in 1995. A total of 69 have been 0rdered so far. This is the only next gen model that is not offered wing lets.


The 737-700 was launched by Southwest Airlines in 1998 and it replaced the 737-300 in Boeing’s lineup. Its direct competitor is the Airbus Industries A-319. It can carry 149 passengers in a two class layout. There are also many military models which I will list later. The largest operator of the type is SOuthwest Airlines which ises the aircraft for us domestic routes.

737-700 ER

This model is a -700 fuselage with -800 wings and landing gear. It has a range of 5,510 nautical miles. This aircraft had a seating capacity of 132, 17 less passengers than the standard 737-700.


The 737-800 was launched in 1994 by Hapag Lloyd Flug(now TUIfly) in 1994 and entered service in 1998.  It is meant to replace the MD-80’s, 90’s, and 727 tri jets. The 737-800 can carry 162 passengers in a typical two class layout and up to 189 in  a single class high density layout. The 737-800 competes with the Airbus industries A-320.  The P-8 Poseidon is a 737-800 ERX and is meant to replace aging navy P-3 Orion’s.


The 737-900 is the longest 737 to date, but was discontinued in favour of the 737-900ER.


The 737-900 ER is the most powerful 737 to date bringing in a range of 10,400KM. It has a capacity of 189 passengers in a typical two class layout and up to 215 passengers in a high density one class layout. This 737 competes with the Airbus A 321 and replaces the aging 757’s. The additional fuel tanks and addition of wing lets boost range by around 500 nm over the -900 variant giving it a range of 3200 nm.

BBJ (Boeing Business Jet)

The BBJ is a business model of the 737 with a custom interior these are worth the price. The different models feature different 737’s. The BBJ 3 is a Boeing 737-700. Boeing is currently working on a BBJ that is really a 737-900 ER.


Over all the Boeing 737 is a great airplane bringing people to there destinations anywhere on the world whether it’s on a Southwest airlines 737-700 or a lion Air 737-900Er the 737 will get you there. The airplane is over 40 years old and still going strong. I would like to take a moment to thank Boeing for this wonderful plane and all its planes from the B&W to the 737 to the 787 dream liner. The Boeing 737 will be forever remembered.

Replacement (Y1)

We are nearing the end of this beautiful iconic aircraft with a new era dawning. The 737 will be replaced by the Boeing Y1 in the Boeing Yellowstone project. This new aircraft is expected to come by the end of the decade. I would just like to thank Boeing for everything they have done. Thanks Boeing!



Boeing 737-


Specifications. (gathered from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

737 737-200 737-200 Advanced 737 Classic (-300/-400/-500) 737 Next Generation (-600/-700/-800/-900)
Cockpit Crew Two
Seating capacity, typical 124 ( maximum)
85 (2-class)
136 (maximum)
97 (2-class)
136 (maximum)
102 (2-class)
149 – 189 (maximum)
108 – 146 (2-class)
130 – 215 (maximum)
108 – 177 (2-class)
Length 94 ft (28.65 m) 100 ft 2 in (30.53 m) 102–120 ft (31–37 m) 102–138 ft (31–42 m)
Wingspan 93 ft (28.35 m) 94 ft 9 in (28.88 m) 112 ft 7 in (34.32 m)
117 ft 5 in (35.79 m) with winglets
Wing area 102.0 m2 (1,098 sq ft) 105.4 m2 (1,135 sq ft) 124.58 m2 (1,341.0 sq ft)
Wing sweepback 25 degrees 25.02 degrees
Overall height 36 ft 10 in (11.23 m) 36 ft 4 in (11.07 m) 41 ft 3 in (12.57 m)
Maximum Cabin Width 11 ft 7 in (3.53 m)
Fuselage Width 12 ft 4 in (3.76 m)
Cargo capacity 650 cu ft (18.4 m3) 875 cu ft (24.8 m3) 822–1,373 cu ft (23.3–38.9 m3) 756–1,835 cu ft (21.4–52.0 m3)
Operating empty weight, typical 62,000 lb (28,100 kg) 69,700 lb (31,600 kg) 69,800 lb (31,700 kg) 69,000–74,170 lb (31,300–33,600 kg) 80,200–98,500 lb (36,400–44,700 kg)
Maximum take-off weight (MTOW) 111,000 lb (50,300 kg) 115,500 lb (52,400 kg) 128,100 lb (58,100 kg) 138,500–150,000 lb (62,800–68,000 kg) 144,500–187,700 lb (65,500–85,100 kg)
Cruising speed Mach 0.79 (485 mph, 780 km/h) Mach 0.78 (511 mph, 823 km/h)
Maximum speed Mach 0.82 (544 mph, 876 km/h)
Takeoff field length (MTOW, SL, ISA) 6,646 ft (2,026 m) 7,550–8,500 ft (2,300–2,600 m) 8,000–8,300 ft (2,400–2,500 m)
Maximum range, fully loaded 1,540 nmi (2,850 km; 1,770 mi) 1,900–2,300 nmi (3,500–4,300 km; 2,200–2,600 mi) 2,270–2,400 nmi (4,200–4,400 km; 2,610–2,800 mi) 3,050–5,510 nmi (5,650–10,200 km; 3,510–6,340 mi)
Maximum fuel capacity 4,720 US gal (17,900 l; 3,930 imp gal) 4,780 US gal (18,100 l; 3,980 imp gal) 5,160 US gal (19,500 l; 4,300 imp gal) 5,311 US gal (20,100 l; 4,422 imp gal) 6,875 US gal (26,020 l; 5,725 imp gal)
Service ceiling 35,000 ft (10,700 m) 37,000 ft (11,300 m) 41,000 ft (12,500 m)
Engines (×2) Pratt & Whitney JT8D CFM International 56-3 series CFM International CFM56-7 series
Thrust (×2) 14,500 lbf (64 kN) 14,500–17,400 lbf (64–77 kN) 20,000–23,500 lbf (89–105 kN) 19,500–27,300 lbf (87–121 kN)

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  1. Quinn Boeing says:

    wow this is amazing! I hope you fufill your dreams!

  2. John Bananas says:

    great job nice article

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