Boeing 737 images

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737-800 Development

Boeing set out to increase production output and began development on the Boeing 737-800. The 800 was developed to replace the 727 on short routes. Based on the 737-400 the 800 variant would improve upon seating capacity over its 400 variant. This narrow body jet airliner had first rolled out on June 30, 1997 and shortly after was had its first test flight with he pilot Jim McRoberts in the cockpit. The 800 variant is the stretched version of the 737-700. Since development and production Boeing has built 10,574 737-800s.


Production has run from 1998 to present day. The Boeing 737-800 to date has around 5000 units produced and 2019 saw 138 of the 800 roll of the production line. It is produced in the Renton plant in Washington by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. In the 90s Boeing produced 80% of components in house including the wings, fuselage and tall assemblies. Later on Boeing contracted out such production to other suppliers.

Orders and Delivery

Boeing’s 737-800 isn’t called the most popular airliner for no reason. It’s sales cant be matched. Boeing supplied 10,574 since initial development as of 2020. Boeing has its 737 in almost every single developed nation. The 737-800 is used in airlines such as Aircal, Delta Air Lines, New York Air and United Airlines just to name a few.


The design of the 737-800 lends itself to the sleek size and prowess of this aircraft. The design of the 800 comes from studying the pitfalls of the 727. The 800 being based of the 400 is designed for short routes. The initial concept included podded engines and a T-tail as seen on the 727. However engineers designing the 737 opted to lighten the structure with the engines underneath he wings and allow for the fuselage to be widened for six-abreast seating.

Cockpit / Flight Deck

Boeing uses Rockwell Collins avionics for the 737-800. The cockpit is a dual seat design. There aren’t to many differences between each variant. Most of the differences comes from lighting in the overhead giving clear readings of digital gauges. Two panels control the displays one either side of the cabin.

Cabin / Seating

Seating in the 737 was a result of the design when moving the engines underneath the wings. As mentioned this allowed the fuselage to be expanded and have six-abreast seating. The total capacity is 526 seats broken down to 162 first class seats, 175 business class and 189 economy seats.

737-800 Engines

The massive 800 variant is powered by two 2Snecma / CFM56-7B27 underwing turbofans putting out a respectable 27,300 pound-force. They move the 800 along at a max cruise speed of 473 knots. The 747-800 can climb to 40,000 feet and will burn 0.44 nautical mile per gallon. It also boasts a 3,060 Nautical Mile or 5,667 Kilometers travel range.


The Boeing 737-800 variant has as mentioned 27300 pound-force delivered by two turbo fans. It requires a 2316 meter or 7,598.33 feet of take off distance. For land the 800 needs 1372 meters or 4,501.26 feet. The service ceiling is 41,000 feet.

Versions / Variants

There are many variants of the 737. The 800 shares a lineage with the 300, 400, and 500. It is notably more stretched than and based off of the original 400. Each version in the 737 family fills a differ role. A unique variant in the 737 family is the 737 Convertible which is both a passenger and cargo airliner.


The Boeing 737-800 fills the role upping the capacity of the 300 up the line tot the 500 version. The 800 is mainly used for passenger transport with its 526 seating capacity. And the 800 has shown to be one of the most popular models for filling this role.

Notable accidents or incidents

Some accidents involving the Boeing 737-800 have resulted in the death or injury of passengers aboard. In one insistence a 737-800 on a route from Istanbul crashing in a field near the Polderbaan. The airliner was attempting to land at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The aircraft broke into 3 pieces after crashing. Out of the 135 passengers on board there were 9 fatalities and 84 suffered injuries. The cause of the accident was determined to be a malfunctioning left radar altimeter.

737-800 Direct competitors

Boeing’s main competitor is with Airbus. Their version of the Boeing 737-800 is the Airbus A220. Airbus has come to dethrone the 737 as the leader of the industry. A previous model which had success was Airbuses A320. Although successful the A320 could not take on the Boeing 737’s success.

All Boeing Aircraft


Boeing 737: How world's most successful airplane became its most troubled

(CNN) — Over the course of its long history, the Boeing 737 has acquired more nicknames than any other commercial aircraft.

Among them are Baby Boeing, Tin Mouse, Light Twin, Guppy, Bobby, Rudder Rotor, as well as a few less flattering ones, such as Fat Freddy and Dung Beetle.

But none of these is as notorious as Max, the name Boeing has given to the 737's latest incarnation -- now synonymous with disaster, as well as one of the worst corporate blunders of all time.

The problems that marred the 737 Max are intricately linked to the fact that the plane's foundation is from the 1960s.

Over 50 years after its maiden flight, the Boeing 737 is both the most successful airliner ever made and one whose future is more uncertain than ever.

'Profit-making machine'

The first flight of the Boeing 737-100

The maiden flight of the 737 took place on April 9, 1967.

Courtesy Boeing

The first 737 was rolled out on January 17, 1967 and took to the skies for the first time three months later. It was christened by flight attendants from the 17 airlines that had placed orders for it.

German flag carrier Lufthansa took delivery of the production version of the plane, known as the 737-100, later that year, marking the first time a new Boeing aircraft was launched by a European airline.

United Airlines received its first 737 the following day, in a version stretched three feet to fit more seats -- and dubbed 737-200 -- that proved more popular.

"In the early days, the 737 was a very strong, very reliable aircraft," says Graham Simons, an aviation historian and author of the book "Boeing 737: The World's Most Controversial Commercial Jetliner."

"Some of them were even used to land on gravel strips, and they're still being used to do so in northern Canada.

"A few European charter companies, at peak season, flew them for 18-20 hours a day without problems," he adds.

Compared to Boeing's previous two jets, the four-engined 707 and the three-engined 727, the 737 was a smaller, more economical plane.

Its main competitors at the time, the BAC-111 and the Douglas DC-9, also had two engines, but they were placed near the tail of the plane, making the back section of the cabin narrower and noisier.

Boeing's designers placed the 737 engines under the wing instead, much like the company's other jets, which reduced noise and vibration and made maintenance easier, because they could be reached without a ladder.

Unlike Boeing's larger planes, however, the 737 didn't have its engines mounted on pylons in front of the wing, but directly under it. This allowed the aircraft to sit very low to the ground, making it easier to load luggage.

"You could load the plane from the back of a truck, without specific machinery. It was also easier to refuel, because the wings were lower to the ground," says Simons.

"And it didn't require external ladders for passenger access. Instead, it had air stairs that came out from under the door and dropped down. All of that could reduce the turnaround time at a major airport from around 90 to 40 minutes. A hell of a saving."

To add to these selling points, the 737 also had six seats per row versus the competitors' five, meaning it could carry more passengers.

"It became a very good profit-making machine," says Simons.

Strong demand

A Boeing 737-300 of the Brazilian airline company Varig, gets ready for takeoff at the Congonhas domestic airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2006

The engines of the Boeing 737-300 have a flat-bottomed shape known as the "hamster pouch."

MAURICIO LIMA/AFP via Getty Images

The 737 was Boeing's first two-crew aircraft, doing away with the flight engineer station that was commonplace at the time and introducing another innovation that would become standard.

To demonstrate that the plane could be safely managed by just two pilots, Boeing flew it along the busy Washington-Boston corridor 40 times in six days during Thanksgiving 1967, simulating a range of failures and problems.

As a result, the FAA approved the plane for two-crew operation. Airlines, however, weren't quick to adapt.

"At that time, pretty much every airliner had three crew; sometimes, on transatlantic flights, there were four crew: two pilots, a flight engineer and a navigator," says Simons.

"But technology had evolved, and there was much more automatic equipment on the 737. On short flights, the work done by the flight engineer could be shared across the two pilots.

"A big saving for the airline: less weight to carry and one less wage to pay. Unions, however, didn't like it."

Pushback from unions slowed the acceptance of two-crew operation, and many airlines kept the flight engineer until the early 1980s.

This was one of the factors that slowed down the early commercial traction of the 737, and airlines initially operated the plane with three crew.

By 1987, however, the 737 was the most ordered plane in commercial history, according to Boeing.

Its success came as a result of the plane's first major redesign, which debuted with the 737-300 in 1984.

This model was longer and wider, with capacity for up to 150 passengers, and it was designed to stand up to its new rival, the European-made Airbus A320, which had launched the same year.

The 737-300 had a new, more modern engine that posed the first big challenge to Boeing's engineers.

It was much bigger than the previous engine and wouldn't fit under the wing, as the plane had been designed to be low to the ground.

The problem was solved by reducing the diameter of the fan and relocating engine components from the lower part of the pod to the sides. This gave it a distinct, flat-bottomed shape colloquially known as the "hamster pouch."

The success of this upgrade set aside initial plans to design an entirely new, more modern aircraft to replace the 737, showing Boeing that results could be achieved by teaching its old dog new tricks.

First safety crisis

Thousands of Boeing employees at the Renton, Wash. factory celebrated the 10,000th 737 to come off the production line

Boeing's 10,000th 737 rolled off the production line in 2018.

Courtesy Boeing

With the last delivery of a 737-200 in 1988, Boeing moved fully to the upgraded versions, which also included the 737-400 -- the longest version yet, with a capacity of 188 passengers -- and the smaller 737-500, a direct replacement of the 737-200 that was first flown by then fledgling Southwest Airlines.

Today, Southwest is the world's largest 737 operator with 732 aircraft. It doesn't fly any other airplane.

In the early 1990s, the 737 underwent a safety crisis spawned by two fatal accidents. In 1991, a United flight crashed upon landing in Colorado Springs, killing 25; in 1994, a USAir flight crashed near Pittsburgh, killing 132.

In both accidents, the rudder -- a moving surface on the tail of the plane that affects its horizontal direction -- started moving unexpectedly, causing the pilots to lose control of the plane.

While investigations were underway, another flight in 1996 almost crashed following similar problems with the rudder.

In 1999, the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed the rudder was the culprit due to a design flaw, and the FAA ordered modifications to the entire 737 fleet.

"Two serious accidents, three years apart. Very tragic, but it didn't create the same crisis atmosphere back then, as the 737 Max accidents would," says Simons.

Next Generation

 Korean Air's first 737-900ER featuring the new Boeing Sky Interior

At 138 feet, the 737-900ER is the longest 737 model so far, with capacity for up to 215 passengers.

Courtesy Boeing

By 1993, over 3,000 737s had been ordered, and about a quarter of those are still flying today.

That same year, Boeing announced the plane's third redesign -- called Next Generation -- which would prove wildly popular and further cement the 737's position as the world's most successful airliner.

Working once again on the same airframe, to speed up certification and get the planes to airlines quickly, Boeing upgraded the plane's wings, its fuel capacity, its engine, cockpit and interior, as well as increasing its takeoff weight.

Four variants were initially released (followed by several revisions), seating between 110 and 189 passengers.

The lineup included the longest 737 model to date, the 737-900ER, which at 138 feet was a full 44 feet longer than the original 737-100, and offered almost twice the range.

In total, the Next Generation family received over 7,000 orders, helping the 737 to become the first commercial aircraft to surpass 10,000 orders, in 2012.

By then, nearly a third of all commercial flights were operated by a 737, and one would take off or land somewhere in the world every two seconds.

During the rollout of this redesign, Boeing again started work on an all-new replacement for the now aging 737, a project codenamed Y1.

The idea was shelved once again, however, due to the success of yet another partial upgrade and the continued pressure from the fast-selling Airbus A320.

To the Max

Image of Boeing 737

The rollout of Boeing 737 MAX, the fourth generation of the Boeing 737, took place in 2016.

Courtesy Boeing

The Boeing 737 Max was announced in 2011, the fourth generation of the aircraft.

"Boeing needed to combat what Airbus were doing with the A320neo, a version of the plane with a new engine that was quite substantially more fuel efficient," says Simons.

To do so, however, the company ran into a problem it had encountered before: the new, much bigger engines it wanted for the 737 Max wouldn't fit under the plane's low wings -- an issue Airbus didn't have, because the A320 was already a much taller plane than the 737.

The solution was to add some length to the front landing gear and mount the engines further forward and higher on the wings, giving them the clearance they needed.

But, as Boeing later found out in simulators, this altered the plane's aerodynamics, making it tilt up dangerously in certain situations.

To counter the problem, the company devised a safety system called MCAS, which would immediately push the 737's nose down if it tilted too high.

Because MCAS was designed to make the 737 Max fly just like previous 737s, and because Boeing believed that it would come into action only in extreme flying circumstances, it was kept almost secret.

Boeing decided against including it in the brief lesson that pilots already certified for previous 737s needed to take to fly the 737 Max.

Furthermore, MCAS relied on a single sensor, a heresy in aviation where redundancy is always preferred.

Airlines liked the 737 Max, because it was more economical to operate and didn't require expensive simulator training for their pilots.

The plane's four variants offered several other improvements, including capacity up to 204 passengers, longer range, and distinctive split-tip winglets at the tip of each wing as standard, to further increase fuel efficiency.

It would go on to surpass 5,000 orders, bringing the total orders to date for the 737 line to more than 16,000, before disaster struck.

Global grounding

The first 737 MAX 7 is pulled into position for its debut at Boeing's Renton, Washington

Boeing 737 MAX -- the fourth generation of the Boeing 737 -- has been grounded since 2019.

Courtesy Boeing

Two fatal accidents, both involving 737 MAX 8 variants, occurred on October 29, 2018 and on March 10, 2019.

Both times, MCAS incorrectly activated due to erroneous data from a faulty sensor, and pitched the nose of the plane down.

The pilots didn't know how to react, and desperately tried to lift the plane's nose, but MCAS activated again and again, eventually diving the planes into the ground.

A combined 346 people died aboard those two flights. A few days after the second accident, once the similarities with the first became obvious, Boeing grounded the entire 737 Max fleet.

"In my view, the Max was a series of modifications too far. They should have never come out with it in the first place. They should have sat down with a blank computer screen to design an entirely new aircraft," says Simons.

According to internal documents released in early 2020, one Boeing employee described the airplane as "designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys."

Already on its knees from the pandemic, the aviation industry still awaits the final verdict on the 737 Max saga.

Airlines in the US will resume flying the aircraft before the end of the year, after the FAA cleared it for takeoff in late November.

In the meantime, however, production of the plane stopped for months and hundreds of orders have been canceled.

It remains to be seen whether Boeing will even keep calling the plane Max or rebrand it altogether, and whether the public will show a distrust of the aircraft to the point of explicitly avoiding it.

But will it be safe to fly on a 737 Max? No doubt, according to Simons.

"None of the aviation authorities around the world are going to take a gamble of clearing the aircraft to fly, if they haven't tested it thoroughly," he adds.

"They are probably going to do way more testing that is realistically needed. They're going to make 100% sure that it is safe to fly."

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Boeing's 737 Max aircraft under scrutiny again

By Theo Leggett
Business correspondent, BBC News

Image source, Getty Images

Little more than six months after Boeing's 737 Max was cleared to fly again by US regulators, the aircraft finds itself under intense scrutiny once again.

The discovery of a potential electrical problem last month led to the renewed grounding of more than 100 aeroplanes, belonging to 24 airlines around the world.

Deliveries of many more new aircraft have been suspended. Boeing and the US regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration say they are working closely to address the issue.

But the affair has given new energy to critics who claim the 737 Max was allowed back into service prematurely - and that issues which could have contributed to two fatal crashes have not been fully analysed or addressed.

Those critics include a high profile whistle-blower, Ed Pierson, who has already sought to link allegedly poor production standards at the 737 factory with electrical defects on the crashed planes, which he claims may have been implicated in both accidents.

According to Boeing and the FAA, the problem first became apparent during testing of a newly manufactured 737 Max 8, which had yet to be delivered to its owner. It was found that electrical power systems on the aircraft were not working correctly.

The fault was traced to poor electrical bonding, where panel assemblies that were also intended to conduct electricity and form part of a connection with the frame of the aircraft were not doing so effectively.

This meant that some components on the plane, including the pilots' main instrument panel and a standby power control unit, were improperly grounded, or earthed.

According to the FAA, this could potentially "affect the operation of certain systems, including engine ice protection, and result in loss of critical functions and/or multiple simultaneous flight deck effects, which may prevent continued safe flight and landing".

The flaw, then, was a dangerous one. The FAA was worried that over time other aircraft, which were already in service, could develop the same condition. It issued an Airworthiness Directive on 30 April stipulating that affected aircraft should be modified before being permitted to fly again.

On the face of it, there is nothing to link these flaws with the errant flight control software - known as MCAS - that triggered the loss of two planes, in Indonesia and Ethiopia, claiming the lives of 346 people.

In each of those accidents, flawed data from a faulty sensor prompted MCAS to force the nose of the aircraft down repeatedly, when the pilots were trying to gain height, ultimately pushing it into a catastrophic dive.

According to Chris Brady, a pilot who runs a website and a video channel devoted to technical aspects of the 737, "the problem is unrelated to MCAS or any other previous Max problem".

It occurred, he says, because in early 2019, Boeing changed the way panels were attached on parts of the plane. It was seen as a very minor change, so it was not notified to regulators.

"There was nothing, let's say, unethical about that", he explains. "Prima facie, this appears to be an honest mistake, the implications of which have just been unearthed".

But for Mr Pierson, a former senior manager on the 737 production line, the new electrical issues are a symptom of something more serious.

Image source, Getty Images

During congressional hearings into the crashes involving the Max, he claimed that in 2018 the factory in Renton, near Seattle had become "dysfunctional" and "chaotic", as pressure increased to produce new aircraft as quickly as possible.

Earlier this year, he published a report that explicitly linked alleged production pressures with electrical anomalies and flight control system problems that occurred on both crashed aircraft prior to the accidents.

He suggested that defects in the wiring of both aircraft could have contributed to the erroneous deployment of the MCAS software, alongside sensor failures already implicated in the crashes.

He now says the disclosure of new problems reinforces his case.

"Yes, MCAS caused the airplanes to pitch down and crash", he explains. "But it was an electrical system malfunction that likely caused the angle of attack sensor to send faulty data to MCAS".

Mr Pierson believes that the 20-month recertification process which cleared the 737 Max to fly again focused on software design and pilot training, but failed to address the impact of production standards at the factory.

As a result, he says, it is "no surprise that new discoveries linked to 737 Max production defects continue to come to light" on an aircraft described by the FAA's Administrator Steve Dickson as "the most scrutinised transport aircraft in history".

Mr Pierson says he has written to the US Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, requesting a meeting to outline his concerns, but has not heard back.

Boeing emphatically denies any connection between production standards in the 737 factory and the two accidents involving the 737 Max.

It says: "The Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents have been reviewed by numerous governmental and regulatory entities, and none of those reviews has found that production conditions in the factory contributed to the accidents."

Image source, Getty Images

Dai Whittingham is chief executive of the UK Flight Safety Committee, a group of organisations, including airlines and regulators, which promotes safety in commercial aviation.

He says that a direct link between the two accidents and the recently-discovered electrical flaws is "a hard connection to make".

But on one key point he appears to agree with Mr Pierson. "These issues are separate in how they've arisen", he explains, "but they may well have stemmed from the same corporate culture, with a focus on saving time and keeping costs down over maintaining quality".

The allegation that Boeing prioritised profit over safety in the run up to the two accidents is not new - and indeed was made by prosecutors when announcing a $2.5bn settlement with the aerospace giant earlier this year.

The company says it has learned many lessons as a result of the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 and Lion Air 610 accidents. It says it has "made fundamental changes" and continues "to look for ways to improve".

"Boeing is committed to restore trust, and we'll do it one airplane at a time," it said.

People within the company insist the changes which led to the current problems were not motivated by time or cost savings.

It's not clear how long the affected aircraft will remain grounded. The actual modifications required are expected to be relatively simple and are only expected to cost about $2,250 (£1,600) per aircraft. But the FAA is understood to be asking for detailed analysis to be sure all potential concerns have been dealt with.

With the scrutiny the 737 Max is under, neither Boeing, nor the FAA, can afford to make a mistake.

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Back to home pageBoeing 737 MAX - Photo Gallery

First flight of the MAX - 29 Jan 2016

737 MAX First Flight

A Static Cone

The sharp eyed amongst you who saw the first flight may have noticed a cone trailing behind the aircraft from the top of the rudder. This is a static cone used on test aircraft. It is aerodynamically designed to give an area of zero dynamic pressure. These are used to calibrate pressure instruments during airframe modifications and were recently used for altimeter calibration during RVSM calibration.


Waiting to depart

MAX test aircraft interior

737 MAX rollout - 8 Dec 2015

The second prototype was rolled out first from the Renton factory in Washington today.

"AT WInglet" or "Dual Feather Winglet"

The 737 MAX Flightdeck

MAX-9 landing after its first flight

Artists impression of the MAX family in-flight

Water spray testing

Water spray testing

All photos credit Boeing

All Images In Google. Lufthansa Boeing 737-300

About the Boeing 737 MAX

737 MAX 7737 MAX 8737 MAX 9737 MAX 10
Seats (2-class)138 – 153162 – 178178 – 193188 – 204
Maximum seats172210220230
Range nm (km)3,850 (7,130)3,550 (6,570)3,550 (6,570)*3,300 (6,110)*
Length35.56 m (116 ft 8 in)39.52 m (129 ft 8 in)42.16 m (138 ft 4 in)43.8 m (143 ft 8 in)
Wingspan35.9 m (117 ft 10 in)35.9 m (117 ft 10 in)35.9 m (117 ft 10 in)35.9 m (117 ft 10 in)
EngineLEAP-1B from CFM InternationalLEAP-1B from CFM InternationalLEAP-1B from CFM InternationalLEAP-1B from CFM International
210 seats: 737-8-200*one auxiliary tank*one auxiliary tank

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