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As Boeing Preps 737-9MAX For Service, We Compare It To The Original 737-100

The Evolution of the World’s Most Popular Jetliner

Boeing is set to launch the fourth generation of the 737, the world’s most successful jetliner family known for simplicity, reliability and low operating costs.

The 737-9MAX is expected to enter service in the first quarter of this year. It was rolled out at the 2017 Paris Air Show and completed its maiden flight on April 13, 2017, taking off from Renton Municipal Airport and landing at Boeing Field.

The Original Baby Boeing Sought After A Much Different Market

Airlines have had a long love affair with the twin-engine short to medium-range, narrow-body twinjet. The 737 was originally conceived in 1964 and took its first flight in April 1967. Shortly afterward in February 1968, it entered service at Lufthansa. Since that time, more than 10,000 737s have been in use by airlines all over the planet. This video depicts when the 737 was first built and considered to be the epitome of high technology.

Features of the original design include two underwing mounted turbofans and the aircraft has the same fuselage cross section as the 727, which makes it wider than the DC-9 and BAC-111.  Boeing’s goal was to have a regional airliner that would offer jet service to markets smaller than their 727 offering at the time.

Oh my, have you grown!

Here is how the brand new 737-9MAX and the original recipe 737-100 stack up. The latest Boeing has a wingspan almost 21 feet wider. The 737-9MAX is significantly longer than the 737-100, measuring 44 feet longer than the original.

The height of the two airliners is almost equivalent with the 737-100 tail measuring just 3.6 feet shorter than its larger descendant. But the 737-9MAX has an empty weight of 90,710 lbs while the original 737-100 had an empty weight of only 61,994 lbs. The differences are most obvious in the takeoff weight. The maximum takeoff weight of 177,000 lbs for today’s 737-9MAX trumps the 110,000 lbs takeoff weight for the 737-100.

The 737-9MAX has expanded maximum seat capacity for 220 passengers which puts it in the same league as the Airbus A321LR, at least in terms of seats. The jetliner provides a longer range of about 4,000 nautical miles, a vast improvement over the range of the early 737-100 which had a range of only 1,540 nautical miles. That means the new MAX series can fly almost 3 and a half times longer than the original baby Boeing.

By pjs2005 from Hampshire, UK, rotated by the uploader (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The chief pilot for the 737 Max program, Ed Wilson, has praise for the way the 737-9MAX flies. He told Flight Global that it, “is just like any other 737. I flew my first 737 10 years ago and it flies pretty much like that one.”

The Boeing 737-9MAX, also referred to as 737 MAX 9, is powered exclusively by the CFM International LEAP-1B engine and is part of a new group of re-engined 737 planes that deliver even better fuel economy than their predecessors. Primera Air has placed orders for up to 12 MAX 9 jetliners. flydubai finalized the purchase of 175 737 MAX aircraft late last year. It is the largest single-aisle jet order in Middle East history.

Image: Boeing

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