The Boeing 737 was originally designed in the 1960's and flew into the 1980's before a major redesign (the 737-700, -800, and -900 models) was implemented.

Coming up in a few years will be the next major revamp of the line as the 737-Max series (737-7, 737-8, and 737-9).

What major changes have been incorporated in these revisions?


2 Answers 2


There are of course a lot of tiny changes that Boeing would have done to the aircraft that most of us wouldn't notice, but for brevity I've just included the major changes between the 737NG series and the upcoming 737MAX.

  • The CFM LEAP-1B engine replaces the current CFM56 engines. Some of the significant improvements in fuel efficiency (15% savings minus drag from larger engine touted by CFM) come from a much higher bypass ratio (from 5.3:1 to approximately 9:1) and materials that can tolerate higher temperatures. Chevrons (saw-toothed tips at the end of the nacelle) have also been included to reduce engine noise on takeoff.

  • The engine change required changes to the nose landing gear to allow enough clearance from the ground, extending the nose gear by about 8 inches (20cm) and modifying the nose gear bay to allow it to fit into the existing space.

  • The AT (Advanced Technology) winglets replace the 737NG's blended winglets. The AT winglet incorporates two portions, done to reduce the weight required (compared to a larger blended wingtip) while still reducing block fuel burn by about 1.5%.

  • Fly-by-wire spoiler system reduces the need for long cabling between the cockpit and the spoiler hydraulic actuators, saving weight, reducing stopping distance by quicker actuation and increasing the accuracy of the controls.

  • Redesigned tailcone and modifications to elevator to improve aerodynamics, removing the requirement for vortex generators (VGs), which improves predictability and control by making the air turbulent, but as a result increasing drag.

  • $\begingroup$ So, there are no cockpit changes? :( $\endgroup$ Dec 20, 2013 at 17:39
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @YgorMontenegro, looks like at least some of the new 737s will feature an updated flight deck. $\endgroup$
    – egid
    Dec 24, 2013 at 4:14
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    $\begingroup$ and don't forget a new cabin design. While it is already available as an option on the NG since 2010 the Sky cabin (based on that of the 787) will become standard on the Max. $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Aug 28, 2014 at 13:08
  • $\begingroup$ The flight deck now has large displays and there is an onboard network system and onboard maintenance function. Additionally, the landing gear lever only has two positions with an override button instead of a trigger. (A pilot should never really touch either type of override. Putting gear lever up on the ground is a bad day.) There is also a new optional tire pressure indication system. $\endgroup$
    – PaNerdicon
    Jul 1, 2017 at 5:16

There was a lot of changes with the original 737 and the Max.

First of all the original 737 had a wingspan of 93 feet the 100-500 model had this wingspan

enter image description here enter image description here the 737NG has a wingspan of 117.5 feet

and the 737 Max has a wingspan of 118 feet, so it has more lift.

Another change would be the engine, the Boeing 737 100-200 had a Pratt & Whitney JT8D, enter image description here enter image description here

the 737 300-500 had a CFM International 56-3 series

and the 737 600-900 had a CFM International CFM56-7 series enter image description here enter image description here and the 737Max has a CFM International LEAP-1B

which is the most efficient engine out of the whole 737 series.

Another major change is the winglet.

The winglet started to being put on the 737NG series and it increases efficiency,and lift enter image description here enter image description here but the 737 Max wing has a split tip winglet which increases efficiency and lift by 1% over the original winglet and also the wing is raked like a Boeing 787 to reduce wing tip vortex.

Another major change is lower fuel costs than the original 737 and lower operation costs.
Another change would be the tail cone which is more efficient.enter image description here

Second to last major change would be touchscreen screens on the back of the seats which modern airplanes like the 787 and the A350 have.

enter image description here enter image description here

The last major change is the sky interior.

enter image description here

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Pictures can be helpful but this may be a bit too many. I think the stuff about the original 737 isn't relevant here, and the Sky Interior and seatback displays are already available on the NG series. Otherwise the illustration of the changes is good. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Aug 7, 2015 at 22:20
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, seatback displays are actually usually put in by the airline (as is all of the seating.) They're not so much related to the plane itself. Delta has had them in several of their 737NGs for years, for instance, while Southwest does not put them in their NGs. $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Aug 10, 2015 at 13:51
  • $\begingroup$ Except for the Sky Interior - don't rely on anything else in the interior matching what is in the promotional pictures because that is dependent on each operator. $\endgroup$ Jan 27, 2016 at 8:36

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