The Differences of 737NG & 737 Max and History of the 737 Family

Intro
With the recent announcement of development of the Boeing 737 Max, I wanted to go into some of the history of the 737 and highlight of the differences of the Max from its predecessors in the 737 family. I will be putting more of an emphasis on the 737 NG & 737 Max characteristics and differences. I want to do this because I have seen some comments within the Infinite Flight Community pertaining to the Max update. I wanted to clear up a few things and hopefully adjust expectations for the update. Hopefully this post can add to the excitement!

We are getting a whole new aircraft, not just a new cockpit!

History of the 737
The 737 was envisioned and developed in the mid 60’s as a replacement for the 727. It would still take many years to completely phase out the 727, with most airlines retiring it by 2003 because of the fuel inefficiency and loud engines. The 737 was to supplement the short and thin routes of the 727. The design of the 737 kept the fuselage of the 707 quad-jet, but with only two Pratt & Whitney JT8D turbofans. The 737 entered commercial service with Lufthansa in early 1968.


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The 737 Classic series, launched and released in the early 80’s included the -300, -400, and -500 model featuring the more efficient CFM56-3 high-bypass turbofan engines. These variants provided seating for between 110 and 168 passengers.

737 Next Generation (NG)
Boeing’s 737 Next Generation is a twin-engine, narrow-body aircraft, marking the third generation of the Boeing 737 series. Initiated in 1993 and in production since 1997, this series provides a significant upgrade from the 737 Classic models (-300/-400/-500). Its development was prompted by Boeing customers going to the more technologically advanced fly-by-wire Airbus 320 family.

Improvements in the 737NG include a newly designed wing that offers a larger surface area and wingspan, enhanced fuel capacity, increased maximum takeoff weights (MTOW), and extended range. Equipped with CFM International CFM56-7 engines, the aircraft features a modern glass cockpit and updated interior configurations. This series comprises four variants: the -600, -700, -800, and -900, accommodating from 108 to 215 passengers. The primary competitor of the 737NG series is the Airbus A320 family.

The 737NG is the hallmark of modern innovation of efficiency and technology in aviation. It has helped pave the way for where we are at today, a world with a very busy commercial aviation industry with more flights and passengers than ever.


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737 Max
The Boeing 737 MAX, representing the fourth generation of the Boeing 737 series, is a narrow-body aircraft crafted by Boeing. This model follows the Boeing 737 Next Generation (NG) series and is positioned as a rival to the Airbus A320neo family. Boeing announced this new series in August 2011, and it embarked on its first flight in January 2016. By March 2017, it had received certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The inaugural delivery of the 737 MAX 8 variant was to Malindo Air in May 2017, marking the start of its commercial service.

Rooted in the foundational designs of earlier 737 models, the 737 MAX incorporates CFM International LEAP engines for enhanced efficiency, notable aerodynamic adjustments including split-tip winglets, and several airframe enhancements. The series is available in four versions, offering seating for 138 to 204 passengers in a standard two-class layout and boasts a flying range between 3,300 and 3,850 nautical miles.

Boeing had foreseen in the early 2000’s that a replacement for the 737 would be needed in the near future to keep an edge on the aviation industry. There was talk about a completely new aircraft after the 787 production. However, Airbus put pressure on Boeing with release of the revamped A320 family, the NEO. The redesign of the 737NG was quickly pushed out to keep up with competition.


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Other Quick Differences between the NG & Max

Other than previously mentioned

  1. Tail Cone/APU Outlet

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  2. With a newer engine, we have new engine noises. I believe it to me significantly quieter throughout all portions of the flight.
  3. Higher nose gear to fit those new engines.

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Wrap Up
I hope this makes you as excited as it makes me. If you have any additional information or key points please comment, and I can add it to the post. Let’s limit the conversation around the Boeing controversy right now and keep it to the positive notes of the innovation of the aviation industry. Thanks for reading! This is my first in-depth post, I hope it goes over alright. What key features on do you want to see when the update come?

The future of Aviation is now, and we are living in it! How exciting!

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Nice explanation about the 737

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Thank you much!

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737 Max HUD

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