The Boeing 737 has been in the skies for over half a century. The type has gone through several changes through the decades, with additions and amendments helping it adapt. Altogether, how many variants are there? Let’s take a look.
The original crop
Lufthansa first introduced the 737 in February 1965. This variant was the 737-100. The German powerhouse would receive a further 21 units of this edition, making it the largest operator of the jet as only 30 were ever made.
During the same year of the -100’s introduction, the Boeing 737-200 followed. This larger model had a range of 2,600 NM.
Moreover, there were two other modifications to the original editions. The 737-200C was a convertible 737 for both passenger and cargo use. This jet had a larger cargo door and a more robust cabin floor. Altogether, 104 units were delivered to operators.
Meanwhile, the 737-T43A was built for military use. This aircraft, interestingly, could come with a gravel kit to allow carriers to land on fields without a concrete runway.
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The Boeing 737 Classic series was launched in 1984. Notably, the program was introduced with USAir. There were three variants with this series.
737-300 was the middle option. 126 people could fit on board, and it had a range of 2,060 NM. Subsequently, the 737-400 upped capacity to 188 and had a range of 2,375 NM.
737-500 had a smaller build, fitting only 110 passengers on board. Additionally, it could fly up to 2100 NM on a single service.
The Next Generation
One of the most recognizable productions of the Boeing 737 program comes from the Next Generation (NG) series. There are five variants, and Southwest Airlines introduced the first of these planes in 1997.
The 737-600 holds 108 passengers and can reach 3,235 NM. The 737-700 can carry more on board, with 128 seats. Moreover, it has a range of 3,010 NM. The most popular of the bunch is the 737-800. This variant can hold 160 passengers to reach distances of 2,935 NM.
Furthermore, the 737-900 has more capacity than the previous units on this list. It can fit 177 passengers and has a range of 2,950 NM.
There were also two extended-range variants in the NG series. The 737-700ER had more range than the -700 with 5,775 NM. Meanwhile, the 737-900ER could reach 3,850 NM. Both of these extensions have the same capacity as the standard units.
Taking it to the MAX
The 737 MAX series offers the most modern commercial units. However, these planes are currently on the ground following two tragic incidents.
The 737 MAX 7 has the least capacity of the group and can fit 153 passengers in a two-class setting. Also, it has a range of 3,850 NM.
737 MAX 8 is the successor to the 737-800 and can hold 178 passengers. It also had a range of 3,550 NM.
The 737 MAX 9 can serve 193 people in two classes. Additionally, it can fly up to 3,550 NM on a single trip.
The largest of this series is the MAX 10. It is also the biggest variant in 737 history. The plane can hold 204 passengers in a two-class setting while reaching distances of up to 3,300 NM.
Along with these commercial variants, there is also a handful of other notable military and business models. The 737NG has two military conversions with the 737 AEW&C (737-700W) and the P-8 Poseidon (737-800A). Additionally, there were three variants produced following the introduction of the Boeing Business Jet series in 1998. These planes are the BBJ1, BBJ2, and BBJ3.
Altogether, Boeing has been busy over the last five decades keeping up to date with its 737 portfolio. Altogether, there have been 23 variants in total, with several of these planes becoming legendary models in the industry.
What are your thoughts about the different variants of the Boeing 737? What is your favorite one out of all of them? Let us know what you think of the aircraft in the comment section.