Boeing 737 Next Generation
|Boeing 737 Next Generation |
|A Delta Air Lines 737-800|
|Role||Narrow-body jet airliner and Business jet|
|National origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Boeing Commercial Airplanes|
|First flight||February 9, 1997|
|Introduction||December 1997 with Southwest Airlines|
|Primary users||Southwest Airlines|
|Number built||6,856 as of July 2018|
|Developed from||Boeing 737 Classic|
|Variants||Boeing Business Jet|
Boeing 737 AEW&C
Boeing C-40 Clipper
Boeing P-8 Poseidon
|Developed into||Boeing 737 MAX|
The Boeing 737 Next Generation, commonly abbreviated as 737NG, is the name given to the −600/-700/-800/-900 series of the Boeing 737 airliner. It is the third generation derivative of the 737, and follows the 737 Classic (−300/-400/-500) series, which began production in the 1980s. They are short- to medium-range, narrow-body jet airliners powered by two engines. Produced since 1996 by Boeing Commercial Airplanes, the 737NG series includes four variants and can seat between 110 and 210 passengers.
Formally launched in 1993, the 737NG is an upgrade of the preceding 737 Classic models featuring a redesigned wing that is larger in area, with a wider wingspan, and greater fuel capacity. It is equipped with CFM56-7 series engines, a glass cockpit, and features upgraded and redesigned interior configurations. Performance and capability upgrades over its predecessor include longer range, greater capacity (in its largest variants), and available higher maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) specifications.
As of July 2018, a total of 7,070 737NG aircraft have been ordered, of which 6,856 have been delivered. The remaining orders are in the -700 BBJ, -800, -800 BBJ and -900ER variants. The most common variant is the -800, which has had over 4,800 delivered as of 2018 and is the most widely-used narrowbody aircraft. The 737NG's primary competition is with the Airbus A320 family. Upgraded and re-engined models in development as the 737 MAX series are eventually to supplant the 737NG, with the first 737 MAX delivered in 2017.
Design and development
When regular Boeing customer United Airlines bought the Airbus A320, this prompted Boeing to update the slower, shorter-range 737 Classic-400 into the more efficient, longer -800 New Generation. While the fly-by-wire A320 is more technologically advanced, in 1991 Boeing initiated development of an updated series of aircraft. After working with potential customers, the 737 Next Generation (NG) program was announced on November 17, 1993. The 737NG encompasses the -600, -700, -800 and -900 variants, and was the most significant upgrade of the airframe to date. The performance of the 737NG is essentially that of a new airplane, but important commonality is retained from previous 737 generations. The wing was modified, increasing its area by 25%, span by 16 ft (4.88 m), with a thinner cross-section, which nonetheless increased the total fuel capacity by 30%. New quieter and more fuel-efficient CFM56-7B engines were used. These improvements combine to increase the 737's range by 900 nmi, permitting transcontinental service. A flight test program was operated by 10 aircraft: 3 -600s, 4 -700s, and 3 -800s.
The passenger cabin of the 737 Next Generation improved on the previous style interior of the Boeing 757-200 and the Boeing 737 Classic by incorporating select features from the 777, with larger, more rounded overhead bins and curved ceiling panels. The interior of the 737 Next Generation also became the standard interior on the Boeing 757-300, and subsequently became optional on the 757-200.
In 2010, the interior of the 737 Next Generation was updated to look similar to that of the Boeing 787. Known as the Boeing Sky Interior (BSI), it introduces new pivoting overhead bins (a first for a Boeing narrowbody aircraft), new sidewalls, new passenger service units, and LED mood lighting. Boeing also offers BSI retrofits for older 737NG aircraft. Boeing's Space Bins carry 50% more than the pivoting bins, allowing a 737 to hold 174 carry-on bags.
Production and testing
The first NG to roll out was a −700, on December 8, 1996. This aircraft, the 2,843rd 737 built, first flew on February 9, 1997 with pilots Mike Hewett and Ken Higgins. The prototype −800 rolled out on June 30, 1997 and first flew on July 31, 1997, piloted by Jim McRoberts and again by Hewett. The smallest of the new variants, the −600 series, is identical in size to the −500, launching in December 1997 with an initial flight occurring January 22, 1998; it was granted FAA certification on August 18, 1998.
Boeing increased 737 production from 31.5 to 35 per month in January 2012, to 38 per month in 2013, to 42 per month in 2014, and is planned to reach rates of 47 per month in 2017 and 52 per month in 2018.
The monthly production rate could reach 57 per month in 2019, even to the factory limit of 63 later. A single airplane is produced in Boeing Renton Factory in 10 days, less than half what it was only a few years ago. The empty fuselage from Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas, enters the plant on Day 1. Electrical wiring is installed on Day 2 and hydraulic machinery on Day 3. On Day 4 the fuselage is crane-lifted and rotated 90 degrees, wings are mated to the airplane in a six-hour process, along with landing gear, and the airplane is again rotated 90 degrees. The final assembly process begins on Day 6 with the installation of airline seats, galleys, lavatories, overhead bins, etc. Engines are attached on Day 8. It rolls out of the factory for test flights on Day 10.
In 2004, Boeing offered a Short Field Performance package in response to the needs of Gol Transportes Aéreos, who frequently operate from restricted airports. The enhancements improve takeoff and landing performance. The optional package is available for the 737NG models and standard equipment for the 737-900ER.
In July 2008, Boeing offered Messier-Bugatti-Dowty's new carbon brakes for the Next-Gen 737s, which are intended to replace steel brakes and will reduce the weight of the brake package by 550–700 pounds (250–320 kg) depending on whether standard or high-capacity steel brakes were fitted. A weight reduction of 700 pounds (320 kg) on a Boeing 737-800 results in 0.5% reduction in fuel burn. Delta Air Lines received the first Next-Gen 737 model with this brake package, a 737-700, at the end of July 2008.
On August 21, 2006, Sky News alleged that Boeing's Next Generation 737s built from 1994 to 2002 contained defective parts. The report stated that various parts of the airframe produced by Ducommun were found to be defective by Boeing employees but that Boeing refused to take action. Boeing said that the allegations were "without merit". However, a one-year investigation by Al Jazeera's People & Power series in 2010 questions the safety of some structural parts in 737s.
As early 737NG aircraft become available on the market they are actively marketed to be converted to cargo planes via the Boeing Converted Freighter design as the operational economics are attractive due to the low operating costs and availability of certified pilots on a robust airframe.
Replacement and re-engining
Since 2006, Boeing has discussed replacing the 737 with a "clean sheet" design (internally named "Boeing Y1") that could follow the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. A decision on this replacement was postponed, and delayed into 2011.
On July 20, 2011, Boeing announced plans for a new 737 version to be powered by the CFM International LEAP-X engine, with American Airlines intending to order 100 of these aircraft. Internally, a minimum change version of the Leap-X is the probable final configuration for the proposed re-engined 737, and is expected to give a 10–12% improvement in fuel burn. Entry into service was planned for 2016 or 2017, with the new models probably being designated 737-7/-8/-9, being based on the 737-700/-800/-900ER respectively.
On August 30, 2011, Boeing confirmed the launch of the 737 new engine variant, called the 737 MAX. Its new CFM International LEAP-1B engines are expected to provide a 16% lower fuel burn than the current Airbus A320. Boeing delivered the first 737 MAX 8 to Malindo Air on May 16, 2017. The 737 MAX competes with the Airbus A320neo family.
The 737-600 was launched by SAS in March 1995 with the first aircraft delivered in September 1998. A total of 69 have been produced, the last aircraft was delivered to WestJet in 2006. Boeing displayed the 737-600 in its price list until August 2012. The 737-600 replaces the 737-500 and is similar to the Airbus A318.
Winglets were not an option. WestJet was to launch the -600 winglets, but dropped them in 2006.
In November 1993, Southwest Airlines launched the Next-Generation program with an order for 63 737-700s and took delivery of the first one in December 1997. It replaced the 737-300, typically seating 126 passengers in two classes to 149 in all-economy configuration, similarly to the Airbus A319.
As of July 2018, all -700 series on order, 1,128 -700, 120 -700 BBJ, 20 -700C, and 14 -700W aircraft have been delivered. By June 2018, around one thousand were in service: half of them with Southwest Airlines, followed by Westjet with 56 and United Airlines with 39. The value of a new -700 stayed around $35 million from 2008 to 2018, a 2003 aircraft was valued for $15.5 million in 2016 and $12 million in 2018 and will be scrapped for $6 million by 2023.
The 737-700C is a convertible version where the seats can be removed to carry cargo instead. There is a large door on the left side of the aircraft. The United States Navy was the launch customer for the 737-700C under the military designation C-40 Clipper.
Boeing launched the 737-700ER (Extended Range) on January 31, 2006, with ANA as the launch customer. Inspired by the Boeing Business Jet, it features the fuselage of the 737-700 and the wings and landing gear of the 737-800. With up to nine auxiliary fuel tanks, it can fly over 5,510 nmi (10,200 km), 2,145 nmi (3,973 km) farther than the 737-700. The first was delivered on February 16, 2007 to ANA with 24 business class and 24 premium economy seats, while it can accommodate 126 seats. It was to fly the Nagoya-Guangzhou route from March 2007 while the second was to start a daily Tokyo-Mumbai service with 36 all business seats from September. After serving Guangzhou, Mumbai, or Yangon, both aircraft were stored since 27 March 2016, waiting to be sold. With nine auxiliary tanks, it can hold 10,707 gallons (40,530 L) of fuel, and with a 171,000 lb (77,565 kg) MTOW it has a 5,775 nmi (10,695 km) range with 48 premium seats in one class. It is similar to the Airbus A319LR.
The Boeing 737-800 is a stretched version of the 737-700. It replaced the 737-400. It also filled the gap left by the decision to discontinue the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and MD-90 aircraft following Boeing's merger with McDonnell Douglas. For many airlines in the U.S., the 737-800 replaced aging Boeing 727-200 trijets.
The 737-800 seats 162 passengers in a two-class layout or 189 passengers in a one-class layout. It competes with the Airbus A320. It burns 850 US gallons (3,200 L) of jet fuel per hour—about 80 percent of the fuel used by an MD-80 on a comparable flight, even while carrying more passengers than the latter. According to the Airline Monitor, an industry publication, a 737-800 burns 4.88 US gallons (18.5 L) of fuel per seat per hour.
The 737−800 was launched by Hapag-Lloyd Flug (now TUIfly) in 1994 and entered service in 1998. In 2011, United Airlines— flying a Boeing 737-800 from Houston to Chicago—operated the first U.S. commercial flight powered by a blend of algae-derived biofuel and traditional jet fuel to reduce its carbon footprint.
As of July 2018, 4,858 737-800, 102 737-800A, and 21 737-800 BBJ2 aircraft have been delivered, with 171 unfilled orders. The -800 is the most popular variant of the 737NG, and ranks as the most common narrowbody aircraft in service. Ryanair, an Irish low-cost airline, is among the largest operators of the Boeing 737-800, with a fleet of over 400 aircraft serving routes across Europe and North Africa.
In February 2016, Boeing launched a passenger-to-freighter conversion program, with the aircraft designated the 737-800BCF (for Boeing Converted Freighter). Boeing started the program with orders for 55 conversions, the first converted aircraft was due to be delivered in late 2017. The first converted aircraft was delivered to West Atlantic in April 2018. At the 2018 Farnborough Airshow, GECAS announced an agreement for 20 firm orders and 15 options for the 737-800BCF, raising the commitment to 50 aircraft. Total orders and commitments include 80 aircraft to over half a dozen customers.
Modifications from the 737-800 airframe include installing a large cargo door, a cargo handling system and additional accommodations for non-flying crew or passengers. The aircraft is designed to fly up to 1,995 nmi at a MTOW of 79 tonnes.
Boeing later introduced the 737-900, the longest variant to date. Because the −900 retains the same exit configuration of the −800, seating capacity is limited to 189 in a high-density 1-class layout, although the 2-class number is higher at approximately 177. Alaska Airlines launched the 737-900 in 1997 and accepted delivery on May 15, 2001. The 737-900 also retains the MTOW and fuel capacity of the −800, trading range for payload. These shortcomings until recently prevented the 737-900 from effectively competing with the Airbus A321.
The 737-900ER (ER for extended range), which was called the 737-900X prior to launch, is the newest addition and the largest variant of the Boeing 737 NG line and was introduced to meet the range and passenger capacity of the discontinued 757-200 and to directly compete with the Airbus A321. An additional pair of exit doors and a flat rear pressure bulkhead increased seating capacity to 180 passengers in a 2-class configuration.
The first 737-900ER was rolled out of the Renton, Washington factory on August 8, 2006 for its launch customer, Lion Air, an Indonesian low-cost airline. The airline received this aircraft on April 27, 2007 in a special dual paint scheme combining the Lion Air's logo on the vertical stabilizer and the Boeing's livery colors on the fuselage.
- Boeing 737 AEW&C: The Boeing 737 AEW&C is a 737-700IGW roughly similar to the 737-700ER. This is an Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) version of the 737NG. Australia is the first customer (as Project Wedgetail), followed by Turkey and South Korea.
- C-40 Clipper: The C-40A Clipper is a 737-700C used by the U.S. Navy as a replacement for the C-9B Skytrain II. The C-40B and C-40C are used by the US Air Force for transport of generals and other senior leaders.
- P-8 Poseidon: The P-8 is a 737-800ERX ("Extended Range") that was selected on June 14, 2004 to replace the Lockheed P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft. The P-8 is unique in that it has 767-400ER-style raked wingtips, instead of the blended winglets available on 737NG variants. The P-8 is designated 737-800A by Boeing.
Boeing Business Jet
In the late 1980s, Boeing marketed the Boeing 77-33 jet, a business jet version of the 737-300. The name was short-lived. After the introduction of the next generation series, Boeing introduced the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) series. The BBJ1 was similar in dimensions to the 737-700 but had additional features, including stronger wings and landing gear from the 737-800, and has increased range (through the use of extra fuel tanks) over the other various 737 models. The first BBJ rolled out on August 11, 1998 and flew for the first time on September 4.
On October 11, 1999 Boeing launched the BBJ2. Based on the 737-800, it is 5.84 m (19 ft 2 in) longer than the BBJ1, with 25% more cabin space and twice the baggage space, but has slightly reduced range. It is also fitted with auxiliary belly fuel tanks and winglets. The first BBJ2 was delivered on February 28, 2001.
The BBJ3 aircraft is based on the 737-900ER aircraft. In January 2014, three 737-900ER aircraft had been configured as BBJ3 business jets for Saudi Arabian customers. The BBJ3 is approximately 16 feet longer than the 737-800/BBJ2, and has a slightly shorter range.
Orders and deliveries
Accidents and incidents
According to the Aviation Safety Network, the Boeing 737 Next Generation series has been involved in 15 hull-loss accidents and 10 hijackings, for a total of 590 fatalities. An analysis by Boeing on commercial jet airplane accidents in the period 1959–2013 showed that the Next Generation series had a hull loss rate of 0.27 per million departures versus 0.54 for the classic series and 1.75 for the original series.
|2-class:56–62||108 (8F@36" 100Y@32")||128 (8F@36" 120Y@32")||160 (12F@36" 148Y@32")||177 (12F@36" 165Y@32")|
|1-class:56–62||123 @32" - 130 @ 30"||140 @32" - 148 @ 30"||175 @32" - 184 @ 30"||177 @32" - 215 @ 28"|
|Seat width:67||First : 22in / 56 cm; Economy : 17in / 43 cm|
|Length:34–41||102 ft 6 in / 31.24 m||110 ft 4 in / 33.63 m||129 ft 6 in / 39.47 m||138 ft 2 in / 42.11 m|
|Height:34–41||41 ft 3 in / 12.57 m||41 ft 2 in (12.55 m)|
|Wing||Span: 112 ft 7 in / 34.32 m, with winglets: 117 ft 5in / 35.79m;:34–41 Area: 124.60 m2 (1,341.2 sq ft); Sweepback: 25°; AR: 9.44|
|Fuselage:67||Width: 12 ft 4 in (3.76 m); Cabin width: 11 ft 7 in (3.54 m); Cabin height: 86.6 in (2.20 m)|
|OEW:21–24||80,200 lb / 36,378 kg||83,000 lb / 37,648 kg||91,300 lb / 41,413 kg||98,495 lb / 44,677 kg|
|MLW:21–24||121,500 lb / 55,111 kg||129,200 lb / 58,604 kg||146,300 lb / 66,361 kg||157,300 lb / 71,350 kg|
|MTOW:21–24||144,500 lb / 65,544 kg||154,500 lb / 70,080 kg||174,200 lb / 79,016 kg||187,700 lb / 85,139 kg|
|Fuel capacity:21–24||6,875 US gal / 26,022 L||7,837 US gal / 29,666 L|
|Lower deck cargo:21–24||720 ft³ / 20.4 m³||966 ft³ / 27.4 m³||1,555 ft³ / 44.1 m³||1,826 ft³ / 51.7 m³|
|Takeoff run||6,161 ft (1,878 m)||6,699 ft (2,042 m)||7,598 ft (2,316 m)||9,800 ft (3,000 m):159|
|Flight envelope||41,000 feet (12,497 m) Ceiling, Mach 0.82 (470 kn; 871 km/h) MMo|
|Cruise||Mach 0.785 (453 kn; 838 km/h)||Mach 0.781 (450 kn; 834 km/h)||Mach 0.789 (455 kn; 842 km/h)||Mach 0.79 (455 kn; 844 km/h)|
|Range||3,235 nmi (5,991 km)||3,010 nmi (5,570 km)||2,935 nmi (5,436 km)||2,950 nmi (5,460 km)|
|Engines (× 2)||CFM56-7B18/20/22:126–133||CFM56-7B20/22/24/26/27:134–149||CFM56-7B24/26/27:150–161|
|Thrust (× 2)||20,000–22,000 lbf
89–98 kN :126–133
|Cruise max. thrust||5,960 lbf (26.5 kN) (climb)|
|Engine dimensions||Fan tip diameter: 61 in (155 cm), length: 103.50 in (263 cm)|
|Engine ground clearance||18 in / 46 cm:44||19 in / 48 cm:45|
- Boeing 737
- Boeing 737 AEW&C
- Boeing 737 Classic
- Boeing 737 MAX
- Boeing Business Jet
- Boeing C-40 Clipper
- Boeing P-8 Poseidon
- Boeing T-43
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Airbus A320 family
- Boeing 717
- Boeing 757
- Bombardier CSeries
- Comac C919
- Embraer 195
- Irkut MC-21
- McDonnell Douglas MD-90
- Tupolev Tu-204
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Boeing 737 Next Generation.|
- 737 page on Boeing.com
- Chris Brady (12 September 2016). The Boeing 737 Technical Guide. ISBN 978-1447532736.
Boeing 7x7 aircraft production timeline, 1955–present
|Boeing 717 (MD-95)|
|Boeing 737 Original||Boeing 737 Classic||Boeing 737 NG||737 MAX|
|Boeing 747 (Boeing 747SP)||Boeing 747-400||747-8|
|= Narrow-body||= Wide-body|
|*Overlapping production times like between the 747-400 and the 747-8 have been decided in favor of newer models|