Boeing 737 Max, a new generation of this highly successful City Jet.

Boeing 737 Max, a new generation of this highly successful City Jet.

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Boeing 737 Max

As far back as 2005 Boeing initiated project Yellowstone 1 (Y-1) to come up with an updated design building on the Boeing 737 Next Generation family. Incorporating technology from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the

Norgwegian Air International Boeing 737 Max 8.

aim was to achieve fuel savings in the order of 20-25%. However, tests came back with results closer to 10%. It was found that you can’t build a smaller Boeing 787 which is designed for different usage such as lower cycles(take offs and landings) and carrying different systems for longer flights.

The project was shelved but not abandoned. New technologies had to be developed to enable the concept to become an actuality.

737 Max family
The Boeing 737 Max family of aircraft. Note the new winglets or wing fins. Weight is saved by a less robust structure required for two smaller fins.

On 11 August 2011 the Boeing board approved the 737 Max development project. The new family of Boeing 737s would adopt the same variant numbering system as the 787, namely Boeing 737 Max 7, Boeing 737 Max 8, Boeing 737 Max 9 and Boeing 737 Max10. Details of each as known so far are shown below. The main driver of course was competition to come up with a newer more economic version of the iconic 737 city jet. Airbus Industrie were well on the way to producing their new A320, the A320 NEO (New Engine Option) which would deliver a more economical version of the popular Airbus that is a direct competitor to the 737. After much research and analysis it was determined that applying updates, improvements and modifications to the current Boeing 737 model was by far the best option, cost wise and also speed to market wise.

The first Boeing 737 Max -8 fuselage completed assembly on 13 August 2015 at the Spirit

Boeing 737-8 MAX Winglet
This view shows the distinctive Boeing 737 MAX winglet. Two smaller winglets mean that that there is less weight required than for a more robust single longer span. In addition it means that a significant additin wing surface is added whilst still being able to fit into Gate size C at airport terminals.

Aeorsytems plant in Wichita, Kansas. This was a test aircraft and was eventually delivered to launch customer Southwest Airlines.  The completed aircraft, named “Spirit of Renton” rolled out of the Boeing Renton Factoryk on 08 December 2015. Nearly 49 years after the frst Boeing 737 took to the air on 09 April 1967, the 737 Max -8 took to the air on its first flight on 29 January 2016.

Boeing 737-9 MAX CFM LEAP-1B
Boeing 737-9 MAX CFM LEAP-1B engine. The chevroned rear of the nascelle, like the Boeing 787, ensures a smooth laminar airflow over the engine casing. This is all part of the 737 MAXs fuel saving economy.


The new design has some obvious visual differences which include:

737 Max Features Table

3d_blue_plane A change to the tail cone to a more tapered aerodynamic shape. This is part of the design improvement to realise an up to
3d_blue_plane Boeing 787 like engine nacelles with scalloped casing which allows for a cleaner airflow and less drag.
3d_blue_plane A split winglet with fins pointing up and down which reduces weight by a less robust structure required for two smaller fins. It also ensures that the aircraft can still utilise ICAO gate reference C gates ( wing span – 24m (78.7′) – <36m (118.1′) ) whislt enjoying a greater wing area for higher lift and therefore lower fuel consumption.
3d_blue_plane Leap-1B engines with a larger fan diameter of 1.76 Metres (69.4 in).
3d_blue_plane An increase of 8 inches in length to the nose wheel strut to accommodate the larger diameter engines. This ensures a 43CM (17 IN) clearance between the bottom of the engine casing and the runway surface.
3d_blue_plane A redesigned and lengthened engine pylon to further accommodate the larger engines. The new Leap 1B engines are postioned further forward and slightly higher than their predecessors to accommodate their larger diameter.
3d_blue_plane  A general strengthening of the air-frame structure.
A Boeing 737 Max 9 in Boeing house colours.

Specs for the Boeing 737 Max

Boeing 737 Max
737 Max 7
737 Max 8
737 Max 9
737 Max 10
Maiden FlightNot yet known29 January 2016
Not yet known
Launch DeliveryNot yet known2017Not yet known
Launch AirlineSouthwest AirlinesMalindo Air (Sub. Lion Air)
Lion Air
First DeliveryNone yet16 May 2017
None yet
Aircraft Orders
In Current Service0110
Passenger Capacity172 (Maximum seating)
150 (1-class, average)
138 (2-class, average)
200 (1-class, high volume)
174 (1-class, average)
162 (2-class, average)
220 (1-class, high volume)
204 (1-class, average)
178 (2-class, average)
Power PlantCFM International
Fan Tip Diameter1.75 m (69in)
Thrust26,786–29,317 lbf (119–130 kN)
Fuselage Length35.6 M (116 ft 8 in)39.5 M (129 ft 8 in)42.2 M (138 ft 4 in) 43.8 M (143 ft 8 in)
Overall Height12.3 M (40 ft 4 in)
Fuselage Width (Outside)
Cabin Width
Span35.9 M (117 ft 10 in)
Wing Area127 m2 (1,370 sq ft)
Sweep Back
Tail Fin
Overall Height12.3 M (40ft 4in)
Number of Nose-wheels2222
Number of Main-wheels4444
Seats Abreast6666
Max. Zero Fuel Weight62,913kg(138,700lb)65,952kg(145,400lb)70,987kg(156,500lb) TBA
Max. Takeoff Weight80,286kg (177,000lb)82,191kg (181,200lb)88,314Kg (194,700lb)TBA
Maximum Landing Weight66,043kg(145,600lb)69,309kg(152,800lb)74,344kg(163,900lb)TBA
Capacity (Litres)25,817L(6,820 USgal), excluding Auxiliary Centre Tank
Cruise Speed IAS/MachMach 0.79 (453 kn; 839 km/h)
Ceiling (Ft)41,000 ft (12,000 m)
Range with Max Payload(nm)7,084 Km (3,825 Nm)6,510 Km (3,515 Nm)6,510 Km (3,515 Nm)6,960 Km (3,215 Nm)
Variant737 MAX 7737 MAX 8737 MAX 9737 MAX 10

If there is more you want to learn about this airliner, please visit: Boeing 737 Home, Boeing 737 Specs, Boeing 737 Order Book, Boeing 737 History, Boeing 737 Assembly and Boeing 737 Interior.
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3 thoughts on “Boeing 737 Max, a new generation of this highly successful City Jet.”

  1. Lion Air flight JT610 which tragically plunged into the sea soon after takeoff from Jakarta will have both Lion Air and Boeing nervous. Whilst the Boeing 737 is a tried and true aircraft model, this new version, the 737 MAX is still relatively new. With any new technology, there are risks in the early days as we saw with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner batteries.
    It is too early to make any assumptions but rest assured, this will have the full attention of the aviation world and thankfully now the flight and voice recorders have been recovered we may start to get answers sooner than later.

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