The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range twinjet narrow-body airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engined airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of ten passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers. The 737 is Boeing's only narrow-body airliner in production, with the -700, -800, and -900ER variants currently being built. A re-engined and redesigned version, the 737 MAX, is set to debut in 2017.
Originally envisioned in 1964, the initial 737-100 made its first flight in April 1967 and entered airline service in February 1968 at Lufthansa. Next, the lengthened 737-200 entered service in April 1968. In the 1980s Boeing launched the -300, -400, and -500 models, subsequently referred to as the Boeing 737 Classic series. The 737 Classics added capacity and incorporated CFM56 turbofan engines along with wing improvements.
In the 1990s Boeing introduced the 737 Next Generation with multiple changes including a redesigned, increased span laminar flow wing, upgraded "glass" cockpit, and new interior. The 737 Next Generation comprises the four -600, -700, -800, and -900 models, ranging from 102 ft (31.09 m) to 138 ft (42.06 m) in length. Boeing Business Jet versions of the 737 Next Generation are also produced.
The 737 series is the best-selling jet commercial airliner. The 737 has been continuously manufactured by Boeing since 1967 with 8,845 aircraft delivered and 4,392 orders yet to be fulfilled as of December 2015. 737 assembly is centered at the Boeing Renton Factory in Renton, Washington. Many 737s serve markets previously filled by 707, 727, 757, DC-9, and MD-80/MD-90 airliners, and the aircraft currently competes primarily with the Airbus A320 family. As of 2006 there were 1,250 Boeing 737s airborne at any given time on average, with two departing or landing somewhere every five seconds.
The 737 models can be divided into three generations, including nine major variants. The "Original" models consist of the 737-100, 737-200/-200 Advanced. The "Classic" models consist of the 737-300, 737-400, and 737-500. The "Next Generation" variants consist of the 737-600, 737-700/-700ER, 737-800, and 737-900/-900ER. Of these nine variants, many feature additional versions such as the T-43, which was a modified Boeing 737-200 used by the United States Air Force (USAF).
The fourth generation derivative - the 737 MAX - is currently under development and will encompass the 737-MAX-7, 737-MAX-8, and 737-MAX-9 which will replace the -700, -800 and -900/900ER versions of the NG family, respectively.
The initial model was the 737-100. It was launched in February 1965. The -100 was rolled out on January 17, 1967, had its first flight on April 9, 1967 and entered service with Lufthansa in February 1968. The aircraft is the smallest variant of the 737. A total of 30 737-100s were ordered and delivered; the final commercial delivery took place on October 31, 1969 to Malaysia–Singapore Airlines. No 737-100s remain in commercial service. The original Boeing prototype, last operated by NASA and retired more than 30 years after its maiden flight, is on exhibit in the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
The 737-200 is a 737-100 with an extended fuselage, launched by an order from United Airlines in 1965. The -200 was rolled out on June 29, 1967, and entered service at United in April 1968. The 737-200 Advanced is an improved version of the -200, introduced into service by All Nippon Airways on May 20, 1971. The -200 Advanced has improved aerodynamics, automatic wheel brakes, more powerful engines, more fuel capacity, and longer range than the -100. Boeing also provided the 737-200C (Convertible), which allowed for conversion between passenger and cargo use and the 737-200QC (Quick Change), which facilitated a rapid conversion between roles. The 1,095th and last delivery of a -200 series aircraft was in August 1988 to Xiamen Airlines. Many 737-200s have been phased out or replaced by newer 737 versions. In July 2015, there were a combined 99 Boeing 737-200s in service, mostly with "second and third tier" airlines, and those of developing nations.
Britannia Airways 737-200 Advanced With a gravelkit modification the 737-200 can use unimproved or unpaved landing strips, such as gravel runways, that other similarly-sized jet aircraft cannot. Gravel-kitted 737-200 Combis are currently used by Canadian North, First Air, Air Inuit and Air North in northern Canada. For many years, Alaska Airlines made use of gravel-kitted 737-200s to serve Alaska's many unimproved runways across the state.
Nineteen 737-200s were used to train aircraft navigators for the U.S. Air Force, designated T-43. Some were modified into CT-43s, which are used to transport passengers, and one was modified as the NT-43A Radar Test Bed. The first was delivered on July 31, 1973 and the last on July 19, 1974. The Indonesian Air Force ordered three modified 737-200s, designated Boeing 737-2x9 Surveiller. They were used as Maritime reconnaissance (MPA)/transport aircraft, fitted with SLAMMAR (Side-looking Multi-mission Airborne Radar). The aircraft were delivered between May 1982 and October 1983.
After 40 years the final 737-200 aircraft in the U.S. flying scheduled passenger service were phased out in March 2008, with the last flights of Aloha Airlines.The variant still sees regular service through North American charter operators such as Sierra Pacific.
The prototype of the -300 rolled out of the Renton plant on January 17, 1984, and first flew on February 24, 1984. After it received its flight certification on November 14, 1984, USAir received the first aircraft on November 28. A very popular aircraft, Boeing received 252 orders for it in 1985, and over 1,000 throughout its production. The 300 series remained in production until 1999 when the last aircraft was delivered to Air New Zealand on December 17, 1999, registration ZK-NGJ.
In December 2008, Southwest Airlines selected Boeing to retrofit the 737-300 with a new set of instruments, hardware and software, to improve commonality with the 737-700, as well as to support the Required Navigation Performance initiative.
The 737-300 can be retrofitted with Aviation Partners Boeing winglets. The 737-300 retrofitted with winglets is designated the -300SP (Special Performance). Used passenger -300 aircraft have also been converted to freighter versions. The 737-300 has been replaced by the 737-700 in the Boeing 737 Next Generation family.
The 737-400 design was launched in 1985 to fill the gap between the 737-300 and the 757-200, and competed with the Airbus A320 and McDonnell Douglas MD-80. It stretched the 737-300 another 10 ft (3.45 m) to carry up to 188 passengers. It included a tail bumper to prevent tailscrapes during take-off (an early issue with the 757), and a strengthened wing spar.The prototype rolled out on January 26, 1988, and flew for the first time on 19 February 1988.
The aircraft entered service on September 15, 1988, with launch customer Piedmont Airlines (25 aircraft ordered).
The 737-400F was not a model delivered by Boeing, but a 737-400 converted to freighter. The Boeing 737-400 never included winglets as an option, just like the Boeing 737-600. Alaska Airlines was the first to convert one of their 400s from regular service to an aircraft with the ability to handle ten pallets. The airline has also converted five more into fixed combi aircraft for half passenger and freight. These 737-400 Combi aircraft are now in service.
The 737-400 was replaced by the 737-800 in the Boeing 737 Next Generation family.
The -500 series was offered, due to customer demand, as a modern and direct replacement of the 737-200, incorporating the improvements of the 737 Classic series in a model that allowed longer routes with fewer passengers to be more economical than with the 737-300. The fuselage length of the -500 is 1 ft 7 in (47 cm) longer than the 737-200, accommodating up to 140 passengers. Both glass and older style mechanical cockpits arrangements were available. Using the CFM56-3 engine also gave a 25% increase in fuel efficiency over the older -200s P&W engines.
The 737-500 was launched in 1987, by Southwest Airlines, with an order for 20 aircraft,and flew for the first time on 30 June 1989. A single prototype flew 375 hours for the certification process,and on February 28, 1990 Southwest Airlines received the first delivery. The 737-500 has become a favorite of some Russian airlines, with Nordavia, Rossiya Airlines, S7 Airlines, Sky Express, Transaero, UTair and Yamal Airlines all buying second-hand models of the aircraft to replace aging Soviet-built aircraft and/or expand their fleets. Aerolíneas Argentinas replaced its 737-200s with second-hand 737-500s. The 737-500 is now replaced by the 737-600 in the Boeing 737 Next Generation family. However, unlike the 737-500, the 737-600 has been a slow seller for Boeing since its introduction, with only 69 aircraft delivered.
As the retirement of all 737 Classic models has accelerated, with retirement of 300s and -500s climbing 40% in 2012, the 737-500 has fared worse because of its smaller size. Aircraft older than 21 years old are being retired (vs. at least 24 years old for the 737-300). While a few 737-300s are slated for freighter conversion, there is no demand at all for a -500 freighter conversion.
Next Generation SeriesEdit
The 737-600 is the direct replacement of the 737-500 and competes with the Airbus A318. The Boeing 737-600 did not include winglets as an option. WestJet was to be the Boeing launch customer for the 737-600 winglets, but announced in their Q2 2006 results that they were not going to move ahead with those plans. The 737-600 was launched by Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) in 1995 with the first aircraft delivered on September 18, 1998. A total of 69 -600s have been produced and the final aircraft was delivered to WestJet in 2006.
Since 2012, Boeing has removed the 737-600 from their list of aircraft prices
The 737-700 was the first of the Next Generation series when launch customer Southwest Airlines ordered the variant in November 1993. The variant was based on the 737-300 and entered service in 1998. It replaced the 737-300 in Boeing's lineup, and its direct competitor is the Airbus A319. It typically seats 137 passengers in a two-class cabin or 149 in all-economy configuration. The primary user of the 737-700 series is Southwest Airlines.
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.
ANA Boeing 737-700ER Business Jet shortly after take off Boeing launched the 737-700ER (ER for extended range) on January 31, 2006. All Nippon Airways is the launch customer, with the first one of five 737-700ERs delivered on February 16, 2007. The 737-700ER is a mainline passenger version of the BBJ1 and 737-700IGW. It combines the 737-700 fuselage with the wings and landing gear of a 737-800. It offers a range of 5,510 nautical miles (10,200 km), with seating for 126 passengers in a traditional two-class configuration. The 737-700ER competes with the Airbus A319LR. The 737-700ER has the second longest range for a 737 after the BBJ2. The 737-700ER is inspired by the Boeing Business Jet and is designed for long-range commercial applications.
All Nippon Airways began using the variant on daily service between Tokyo and Mumbai. ANA's service, believed to be the first all-business class route connecting to a developing country, was to start in September 2007 and use Boeing 737-700ERs outfitted with 38 (38 Club ANA) and 48 (24 Club ANA/24 Economy) in four-across seats configuration and an extra fuel tank. As of November 2015, 1,116 -700, 117 -700 BBJ, 17 -700C, and 14 -700W aircraft have been delivered.
The 737-800 is a stretched version of the 737-700, and replaces the 737-400. It also filled the gap left by the decision to discontinue the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and MD-90 following Boeing's merger with McDonnell Douglas. The −800 was launched by Hapag-Lloyd Flug (now TUIfly) in 1994 and entered service in 1998. The 737-800 seats 162 passengers in a two-class layout, or 189 in one class, and competes with the A320. For many airlines in the U.S., the 737-800 replaced aging Boeing 727-200 trijets.
The 737-800 is also among the models replacing the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series aircraft in airline service; it burns 850 US gallons (3,200 L) of jet fuel per hour, or 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.
On August 14, 2008, American Airlines announced 26 orders for the 737-800 (20 are exercised options from previously signed contracts and six are new incremental orders) as well as accelerated deliveries. Ryanair, an Irish low-cost airline is among the largest operators of the Boeing 737-800, with a fleet of over 300 aircraft serving routes across Europe and North Africa. In November 2015, 3,849 -800, 55 -800A, and 21 -800 BBJ2 aircraft have been delivered with 1,093 unfilled orders.
In 2011, United Airlines operated the first U.S. commercial flight powered by a blend of algae-derived biofuel and traditional jet fuel flying a Boeing 737-800 from Houston to Chicago to reduce its carbon footprint.
Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900 with Disneyland livery 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 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 or 220 passengers in a single-class layout. Additional fuel capacity and standard winglets improved range to that of other 737NG variants.
The first 737-900ER was rolled out of the Renton, Washington factory on August 8, 2006 for its launch customer, Lion Air. Lion Air 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. Lion Air has orders for 132 Boeing 737-900ERs as of August 2015.
On August 22, 2011, it was reported that Delta Air Lines placed an order for 100 737-900ERs. As of November 2015, 52 -900s, 358 -900ERs, and 7 -900 BBJ3s have been delivered with 142 unfilled orders.