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The Boeing 737: The Original, Classic, NG And MAX – What’s The Difference?

The 737 has been a great success story for Boeing. In fact, it has been the best selling commercial jet to date. In production for over 50 years, it has been continuously modified and updated through many variants – part of its success story. This article takes a look at the main differences through each 737 family – the Original, Classic, Next Generation, and MAX. ( More...

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Tom Bright 13
Nice article, I was an engineering aide in 1967 and worked on the First 737 during the flight test days. I was able to fly once with the engineers doing stalls. What an experience, with the plane falling from the sky 1000 ft per stall.
John D 0
Sounds exhilarating, those 1000 ft stall drops
WhiteKnight77 5
A proven design with small upgrades keeps flying for years. The B-52 is a classic example of such.
Simon Palmer 3
Great article summing up the differences between the 737 models.

David Pockett 1
Having travelled a lot on both the 737 and A320, as a passenger experience the A320 remains streets ahead - roomier, quieter, higher off the ground (so it doesn't feel like you are also about to touch your backside on the ground when landing) and noticeably smoother in flight. I have an inner ear issue which affects my balance so my observations about the smoother flight are legitimate and possibly not noticeable by many others, hence if I have the choice it's A320 for me every time.
mariofer 10
Although the A320 cabin is slightly wider than the 737, about 7 inches, which gives you the ability of having wider seats, only about 1/2", roominess has nothing to do with the aircraft type but with the seats and row pitch the carrier uses. Have you flown any of the no frills airlines A320s? I am sure it would change your opinion.
In Addition the shape of the fuselage and the positioning of the floor deck account for the Airbus roominess. However 737 doesn't feel like its going to shake apart, rattle, and present a Dixie cup flimsiness feeling like the A320. Solid
I flew only the -200 and -800 versions. While there is virtually no comparison in terms of passenger comfort, efficiency and flight pay, I preferred the -200. It was a fun "light twin" to fly as compared to the stretched and heavier later versions. Anyone who flew both the DC-9 and the MD-80s knows that bigger, more efficient doesn't necessarily equate to better flying from a pilot (autopilot off!) perspective.
ron baird 1
Remember when the first 737' were often referred to as "flufs"?
It is truly the Model T of aircraft thank god Ford realized that the Model T had a limited life ! , too bad for Boeing that they have not come to this same conclusion and started a new clean sheet design.
Silent Bob 4
Manufacturers can only afford to build what they can sell to recoup their investment. Until there is enough demand from airlines for a new clean sheet aircraft Boeing can't afford to lay out the literally billions of dollars in design costs. Right now it's far cheaper for airlines to keep flying 737s, you have parts commonality, less training demands for pilots and mechanics, etc. And since fuel prices are still relatively low there isn't a high demand for new ultra fuel efficient planes just yet.
In the case with the MAX, investing billions wasn't really the issue as evidenced by the fact that they sunk nearly 25 billion fixing the problem. Boeing g could have spent this money developing a swank new plane for that dough. The issue was timing. They needed to get a new aircraft out the door sooner than later to catch up with and compete with Airbus's latest A320neo variant....which was much further ahead in development at the time. People will put Boeing's motivation to "profit over safety"; but the reality is they had nothing to answer to Airbus... and were caught flat-footed. The MAX was a rush to production answer to compete. That said it's a solid airframe. They really screwed the pooch with the flawed MCAS design. They made really, really, really bad decisons rushing this aircraft to market.
Six years seems hardly rush. But yes, a defect to have only one sensor as designed ... and .... unlucky to have incompetent crews on the flights with sensor failure. But that is politically incorrect to say.


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