The source of this question is the understanding that the LEAP-1B couldn't fit under the wing of a 737 without changing its longitudinal position. But this wasn't the case with the design of the LEAP-1A/A320neo. For lack of ground clearance?

What is the height under the wing of a B737 Max at the point where the engine is attached? Under the wing of an A320neo?

Regarding question duplicity: This is about wing ground clearance, not engine ground clearance.

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    $\begingroup$ welcome to aviation.SE. I'm sorry, but I think that the "this matter" part only distracts from the question. I've edited it out so that the answers can concentrate on the important fact without needing to cater to any speculation. $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Mar 14, 2019 at 16:32
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of Why are the Boeing 737 nacelles odd shaped? $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Mar 14, 2019 at 16:43
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    $\begingroup$ @fooot I disagree, this is a totally different question. plus, the 737 Max does not have a such odd shape: airliners.net/photo/Boeing/Boeing-737-8-MAX/2745186/L $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Mar 14, 2019 at 17:04
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of Is the ground clearance of the B737 engine low compared to similar aircraft? $\endgroup$
    – zymhan
    Mar 14, 2019 at 19:11
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    $\begingroup$ The question is about the ground clearance of the wing, not of the engine. I'd like to understand why during the design of the 737 Max they had to offset the engine. The result of offsetting the engine would be to get the engine clearance back to "normal", because of a low wing clearance. $\endgroup$
    – Kenzo
    Mar 15, 2019 at 8:18

1 Answer 1


The short answer is:

Yes, there is less vertical space under the wing of a 737 Max compared to an A320neo.

In the image below I have put the two airplanes side to side and the height difference is very apparent. Please note that the images are from the respective predecessors of the aircraft. The only thing that has changed regarding the height is that the 737 MAX has slightly larger tires than the 737 Classics, which should raise the MAX by 2 inches.

The reason for the lower height of the 737 is that it was developed a lot earlier when engines were a lot smaller in diameter. Therefore, they designed shorter landing gear. Choosing longer landing gear would have seemed unreasonable because this comes with a significant weight penalty. Redesigning the landing gear now would basically mean designing a completely new aircraft, because it would interfere with so many other systems.

Side to side comparison of A320CEO and 737 Classics Image Source A320, Image Source 737

It is difficult to accurately compare distances in photographs, because they come with all kinds of distortions. I have resized the images so that the main gear track is according to scale. Therefore the height comparison of the wings is fairly accurate.


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