- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Boeing 737-700
Boeing 737-7H4 Jet Aircraft - Southwest Airlines - N486WN - Providence Theodore Francis Green State Airport, Rhode Island, USA (PVD/KPVD)
Boeing 737-7H4
N486WN (cn 33852/1579)
Southwest Airlines
Photo taken April 12, 2008
Providence Theodore Francis Green State Airport, Rhode Island - USA (PVD / KPVD)
Photo Copyright & Thanks to
Tom Luniewski

The Boeing 737 Next Generation is the name given to the -600/-700/-800/-900 series of the Boeing 737 after the introduction of the -300/-400/-500 Classic series. They are short to medium range, single aisle, narrow body jet airliners. Produced since 1996, 3,172 737NG aircraft have been delivered as of January 2010.

Design and development

Prompted by the modern Airbus A320, 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, and is to date the most significant upgrade of the airframe. The performance of the 737NG is essentially that of a new airplane, but important commonality is retained from previous 737. The wing was modified, increasing its area by 25% and span by 16 ft (4.88 m), which increased the total fuel capacity by 30%. New quieter more fuel-efficient CFM56-7B engines were used. These improvements combine to increase the 737's range by 900 nmi, now permitting transcontinental service. A flight test program was operated by 10 aircraft; 3 -600s, 4 -700s, and 3 -800s.

In terms of the passenger cabin, the new style interior on the 737 Next Generation improved on the previous style interior used on the Boeing 757-200 and the Boeing 737 Classic by incorporating select features of the 777-style interior, most noticeably 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.

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 31 July 1997, again with Hewett and Jim McRoberts. The smallest of the new variants, the -600s is the same size as the -500, was the last in this series to launch, in December 1997. First flying January 22, 1998, it was given certification on August 18, 1998.

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'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 kilograms) depending on whether standard or high-capacity steel brakes were fitted. A weight reduction of 700 pounds 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".

Boeing has already hinted that a "clean sheet" replacement for the 737 (internally dubbed "Boeing Y1") could follow the Boeing 787.

Boeing has also hinted that they could put new engines on the 737, to make that model stay competitive.


Boeing 737-600
The 737-600 is the direct replacement of the 737-500 and competes with the A318. This is the only Boeing 737 still in production that does 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 System in 1995 with the first aircraft delivered on 18 September 1998. A total of 69 -600s have been delivered with no further announced unfilled orders as of January 2010.

Boeing 737-700
The 737-700 was the first of 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 A319. It typically seats 137 passengers in a two class cabin or 149 in all economy configuration.

The 737-700C is a convertible version where the seats can be removed from the plane to carry cargo. There is a large door on the left side of the aircraft. The US Navy was the launch customer for the 737-700C under the military designation C-40 Clipper.

Boeing 737-700ER
Boeing launched the 737-700ER on January 31, 2006. All Nippon Airways is the launch customer, with the first one of five 737-700ER’s 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 will offer a range of 5,510 nautical miles (10,205 kilometers), with seating for 126 passengers in a traditional 2-class configuration. A competitor to this model would be the 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, Japan’s second-biggest carrier, is to pioneer the model in Asia with a 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 a 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. A total of 1021 -700, 101 -700 BBJ, and 12 -700C aircraft have been delivered as of January 2010.

Boeing 737-800
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 and MD-90 series aircraft in airline service; it burns 850 gallons of jet fuel per hour, or about 80% of the fuel needed 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 gallons of fuel per seat per hour. Alaska Airlines replaced the MD-80 with the 737-800, saving $2,000 per flight, assuming jet fuel prices of $4 per gallon. The fuel cost of each such flight (2008 prices) on a 737-800 is about $8,500.00. For example, on 14 August 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. A total of 1814 -800, and 14 -800 BBJ aircraft have been delivered with 1,376 unfilled orders as of January 2010. Ryanair, a European low-cost airline is one of the largest operators of the Boeing 737-800, with a fleet of over 200 aircraft serving more than 1000 routes across Europe and North Africa.

Boeing 737-900
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 177 seats in two classes, or 189 in a single-class layout. 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.

Boeing 737-900ER
The 737-900ER, 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 increase seating capacity to 180 passengers in a 2-class configuration or 215 passengers in a single-class layout. Additional fuel capacity and standard winglets improve 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 lion on the vertical stabilizer and the Boeing livery colors on the fuselage. As of November 2009, Lion Air has orders for 156 B737-900ERs.

A total of 52 -900s, and 68 -900ERs have been delivered with 183 unfilled orders as of January 2010.

Military models

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 Poseidon is a 737-800ERX ("Extended Range") that, on June 14, 2004, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems beat Lockheed Martin in the contest to replace the 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.

Boeing Business Jet

Plans for a business jet version of the 737 are not new. 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 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 BBJ, 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.


Boeing 737-600

  • Flyglobespan
  • Eastar Jet
  • MALÉV Hungarian Airlines
  • Scandinavian Airlines System
  • WestJet

Boeing 737-700

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Berlin
  • AIRES Colombia
  • AirTran Airways
  • Alaska Airlines
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Continental Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Eastar Jet
  • Germania
  • Jet Airways
  • JetLite
  • Iraqi Airways
  • KLM
  • Transavia
  • Turkmenistan Airlines
  • SkyEurope
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Virgin Blue
  • WestJet
  • Xiamen Airlines

Boeing 737-800

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Berlin
  • Air Europa
  • Air India
  • Air Sofia
  • αjet
  • American Airlines
  • Arkefly
  • Biman Bangladesh Airlines
  • Blue Air
  • CanJet
  • Caribbean Airlines
  • Continental Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Egyptair
  • Eurocypria
  • Flydubai
  • Flyglobespan
  • Fly Yeti
  • Futura
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Helios Airways
  • Jeju Air
  • Jet Airways
  • JetLite
  • JetAmerica
  • Jin Air
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • KTHY (Cyprus Turkish Airlines)
  • Pegasus Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Royal Thai Air Force
  • Ryanair
  • Scandinavian Airlines
  • SpiceJet
  • SunExpress
  • Sunwing Airlines
  • Thomson Airways
  • Transavia
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Turkmenistan Airlines
  • TUIfly
  • TUIfly Nordic
  • Ukraine International Airlines
  • Virgin Blue
  • WestJet
  • Xiamen Airlines

Boeing 737-900

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Jet Airways
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • Continental Airlines
  • Xiamen Airlines

Boeing 737-900ER

  • Blue Air
  • Continental Airlines
  • Lion Air
  • SpiceJet
  • Turkmenistan Airlines
  • Sky Airlines

Accidents and incidents

Notable accidents and incidents involving the 737 Next Generation (-600/-700/-800/-900) include:

  • December 8, 2005 - Southwest Airlines Flight 1248, a 737-700, skidded off a runway upon landing at Chicago Midway International Airport in heavy snow conditions. A six-year old boy died in a car struck by the airliner after it skidded into a street. Passengers on board the aircraft and on the ground reported several minor injuries. The aircraft involved, N471WN, became N286WN after repairs.
  • On September 29, 2006, Gol Transportes Aéreos Flight 1907, a 737-800 Brazilian airliner with 154 people on board crashed following a midair collision with an Embraer Legacy 600. All on board the 737-800 were killed. The Legacy landed safely at a Brazilian Air Force Base.
  • On May 5, 2007, Kenya Airways Flight 507, a 737-800 carrying 105 passengers and nine crew lost contact and crashed into a swamp on a flight to Nairobi, Kenya from Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, after making a scheduled stop at Douala, Cameroon. There were no survivors.
  • On August 20, 2007, China Airlines Flight 120, a Boeing 737-800 inbound from Taipei, caught fire shortly after landing at Naha Airport in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. There were no fatalities. Following this incident, the FAA issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) on August 25 ordering inspection of all Boeing 737NG series aircraft for loose components in the wing leading edge slats within 24 days. On 28 August, after initial reports from these inspections, the FAA issued a further EAD requiring a detailed or borescope inspection within 10 days, and an explicit tightening of a nut-and-bolt assembly within 24 days.
  • On November 10, 2008, Ryanair Flight 4102, a Boeing 737-800 from Frankfurt-Hahn suffered substantial damage in an emergency landing at Ciampino Airport, Rome. The cause of the accident was stated to be birdstrikes affecting both engines. The port undercarriage of the 737 collapsed. The aircraft involved was Boeing 737-8AS EI-DYG (c/n33639, msn 2557). There were six crew and 166 passengers on board. Two crew and eight passengers were taken to hospital with minor injuries. As well as damage to the engines and undercarriage, the rear fuselage was also damaged by contact with the runway.
  • On February 25, 2009, Turkish Airlines Flight 1951, a Boeing 737-800 coming from Istanbul, crashed during a landing and impacted into a field near the Polderbaan at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam. The fuselage broke into three pieces after the crash and the engine pylons separated. Of the 135 passengers and crew, there were nine fatalities: five passengers and four crew members (including both pilots and a pilot-in-training), and 84 people suffered injuries. Preliminary crash investigations focused on a malfunctioning left radio altimeter, which may have resulted in false altitude information causing the autothrottle to reduce power.
  • On December 22, 2009 an American Airlines Flight 331, a Boeing 737-823, from Miami International Airport overran the runway at Norman Manley International Airport, Kingston, Jamaica.
  • On January 25, 2010, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409, a 737-800, crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport. The flight had 90 passengers and 8 crew, 50 passengers of which were Lebanese, and was bound for the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.


  737-600 737-700  /  737-700ER 737-800 737-900ER
Cockpit crew Two
Seating capacity 132 (1-class, dense),
123 (1-class, standard)
149 (1-class, dense),
140 (1-class, standard)
189 (1-class, dense),
175 (1-class, standard)
215 (1-class, high-density),
204 (1-class, dense),
187 (1-class, standard)
Seat pitch 30 in (1-class, dense), 32 in (1-class, standard) 28 in (1-class, high-density),
30 in (1-class, dense),
32 in(1-class, standard)
Seat width 17.2 in (1-class, 6 abreast seating)
Length 102 ft 6 in  (31.2 m) 110 ft 4 in  (33.6 m) 129 ft 6 in  (39.5 m) 138 ft 2 in  (42.1 m)
Wingspan 117 ft 5 in  (35.7 m)
Height 41 ft 3 in  (12.6 m) 41 ft 2 in  (12.5 m)
Wing sweepback 25.02° (437 mrad)
Aspect ratio 9.45
Fuselage width 12 ft 4 in (3.76 m)
Fuselage Height 13 ft 2 in (4.01 m)
Cabin width 11 ft 7 in (3.54 m)
Cabin height 7 ft 3 in (2.20 m)
Empty weight 80,031 lb  (36,378 kg) 84,100 lb  (38,147 kg) 91,108 lb  (41,413 kg) 98,495 lb  (44,676 kg)
Maximum take-off weight 145,500 lb  (66,000 kg) Basic: 154,500 lb  (70,080 kg)
ER: 171,000 lb  (77,565 kg)
174,200 lb  (79,010 kg) 187,700 lb  (85,130 kg)
Maximum landing weight 121,500 lb  (55,112 kg) 128,928 lb  (58,604 kg) 146,300 lb  (66,361 kg)
Cargo capacity 756 ft³  (21.4 m³) 966 ft³  (27.3 m³) 1,591 ft³  (45.1 m³) 1,852 ft³  (52.5 m³)
Takeoff run at MTOW 8,016 ft (2,400 m) 8,283 ft (2,480 m) 8,181 ft (2,450 m)
Service ceiling 41,000 ft  (12,500 m)
Cruising speed Mach 0.785 (514 mph, 828 km/h) 0.78 (511 mph, 823 km/h)
Maximum speed Mach 0.82 (544 mph, 876 km/h, 473 kt)
Range fully loaded 3,050 NM (5,648 km) Basic: 3,365 NM (6,230 km)
WL: 3,900 NM (7,220 km)
ER: 5,510 NM (10,205 km)
3,060 NM (5,665 km) 2,700 NM (4,996 km) in 1 class layout,
3,200 NM (5,925 km) in 2 class layout
with 2 aux. tanks
Max. fuel capacity 6,875 US gal  (26,020 L) 7,837 US gal  (29,660 L)
Engine (x 2) CFM 56-7B20 CFM 56-7B26 CFM 56-7B27 CFM 56-7
Max. thrust (x 2) 20,600 lbf (91.6 kN) 26,300 lbf (116.0 kN) 27,300 lbf (121.4 kN)
Cruising thrust (x 2) 5,210 lbf (23.18 kN) 5,480 lbf (24.38 kN)
Fan tip diameter 61 in (1.55 m)
Engine length 98.7 in (2.51 m)
Engine ground clearance 18 in (46 cm) 19 in (48 cm)

Orders and deliveries summary

Model Series Orders Deliveries Unfilled
Commercial Jets
737-600 69 69 -
737-700 1,508 1,021 487
737-700C 13 12 1
737-800 3,186 1,814 1,372
737-900 52 52 -
737-900ER 244 68 176
Commercial Jets Total 5,072 3,036 2,036
Business Jet
737-700BBJ 117 101 16
737-800BBJ 18 14 4
737-900BBJ 9 2 7
Business Jets Total 144 117 27
Grand Total 5,216 3,153 2,063
All data as of January 31, 2010
Last updated March 24, 2010
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Boeing 737 Next Generation".
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