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Radar Love
24th Nov 2009, 02:53
I'm curious...

We've talked about why the 727 was great in its day, but what about the 737?

We often hear people get poetical about airliners of the past, first generation airliners most of us won't fly or fly again. The 737's the world's most popular airliner...it has lasted...it has, like a well known sci-fi series, gone boldly into the Next Generation. Is it really just a cynical matter of economics? Or is there something deeper that Boeing really got right, like they didn't with other models?

Many of us fly it and have first hand experience of it. What quirks does this aircraft have that you as an engineer or pilot (or anyone else) find endearing, what makes this airplane unique, what qualities as a flying machine does it have (or lack!) for you that no other airplane has had in your career? It's interesting that it's the only airliner to my knowledge that has several independent guidebooks to it on the market. Would you go back to it if presented with the opportunity, would you leave it, and why?

hetfield
24th Nov 2009, 08:49
The only unique thing with this plane is it's taxing like a crab.

KAG
24th Nov 2009, 09:00
The 737's the world's most popular airliner

Yes it is. At the same time it as been many years now since more A320 family airplanes are sold per year than the B737 family...
So this airplane has lasted for sure, but in the world that is not the airplane the airlines like the most nowadays.

At the same time comparing the B737 100 (or even 200) with the nowadays popular B737 800 is ridiculous.
Not the same engine, not the same technology, not the same instruments, not the same size... It is not the same airplane. Only the name, and the shape.
There is more difference between the B737-100 and B737-800 than between the Airbus 320 and the Sukhoi 100 superjet.

Anyway I like the B737, I think pilots like it more than the airlines, airbus being more cost efficient, more convenient to carry cargo, more convenient to train crew on the other airbus family aircraft...
It is still a simple and standard airplane with conventional control commands, systems, twin engine, no fly by wire like the bigger boeing or airbus, and flying it really isn' t much different than flying a much smaller airplane, and I like it.

Groundloop
24th Nov 2009, 09:18
Only the name, and the shape

Not all of the shape is the "same" - the NG has a completely different wing from the Classic.

Denti
24th Nov 2009, 09:20
Actually, the open orders are not all that much different between airbus and boeing, boeing has 2101 open orders for the 737 family and airbus has 2318 open orders for the a320 family.

We operate both fleets and found that boeings are quite cost effective and still can compete on many profiles against the a320 family.

I just wish the 737 had the same spacious cockpit as the airbus, it is getting too small in there (or i'm growing too fat, damn company food).

ab33t
24th Nov 2009, 13:13
The NG 737 only has the original 737 fuslage most things have changeg . That is the similar debate happening about the 747 NG if that should have a new TR as so many things are changing

wileydog3
25th Nov 2009, 00:43
The -200 was a fun airplane to fly but when they created the -300/400, not so much. Too much fuel and too slow for the long legs. Droning across America headed for the west coast at 0.74M? In that small cockpit? Not fun.

Didn't fly the NGs but when Herb got Boeing to build him some baby-757s with a new wing, more thrust, higher ceiling, more speed, it was a stroke of genius. same type rating but not the same airplane.

Also, speed brakes not very effective and combined with the typically slow extending flaps/slats, it is not an easy machine to get slow or down.

Reliable? Yes. Easy to fly? Yes. Comfortable cockpit? Not really. Suffice it to say, not my favorite although I flew it for more than 15yrs.

rottenray
26th Nov 2009, 01:28
Wiley writes:

Reliable? Yes. Easy to fly? Yes. Comfortable cockpit? Not really. Suffice it to say, not my favorite although I flew it for more than 15yrs.From SLF point of view, at least SLF who pays attention, the 737 is a lot of fun to fly in.

Not the best seat pitch, not the quietest, but a very "reassuring" feel - especially here in the Denver area, where the air is often less than smooth.

But, not apt to break very often, and perfect for short hops ala Southwest.

vapilot2004
26th Nov 2009, 01:46
Not the prettiest girl on the dance floor, nor the sexiest one to tango with...

Still a fine aircraft and you can pretty much count on her to get you where you are going time after time after time etc. When things do go sour, the 37 still flies like, well, an airplane and degradations are almost always graceful.

I like to think of them as good solid Buicks*. Old yes, but solid and reliable that brings to mind the cliche: "they don't make 'em like that anymore"

* to my UK/Aussie/EU compatriots: please consider this asterisk an open invitation to substitute a domestically produced vehicle of your choice here. :}

737forever
30th Nov 2009, 23:49
How is realy fuel burn per seat kilometer on the NG series compared to the A320 series.When the Ng arrived in the late 1990,s the wing was bang up to date,but the old nose design was still there with it,s sharp edge cockpit window.If I am not mistaken,the nose is identical with the 707(at least from radome tip and up,while the lower part is a little diifferent)This was designed in the fiftees.Seems to remember that Boeing could not modify the nose without having a new type approval.So my question is if this old tech aerodynamic nose realy is a big drag penalty with today,s fuel prices,or that nose design realy isn,t that important compared to wing design?

Mach E Avelli
1st Dec 2009, 00:27
VA pilot, the Aussie motor vehicle equivalent that I often used to describe the B732 was the HQ Holden of the skies. Simple, reliable and go-anywhere. Could not kill it with a stick and you needed to be able to drive a manual gear shift properly to get anything out of it.
Later B737 versions like the 300/400 made far more sense to the beancounters, because suddenly there was serious payload/range capability whereas the 200 in its various iterations still suffered from takeoff performance and fuel burn. But the later ones were not such 'pilot's airplanes' due to the huge leap forward in automation. Suddenly this became so smooth that it was almost seductive and everyone obsessed with mastering it to the detriment of basic skills. I have seen a few very experienced B737 pilots who had only flown the later series really struggle with the basic 200 which had no auto-throttle, nothing but pitch mode for climb and descent and some even had no automatic altitude capture and not much in the way of navigation coupling.

JammedStab
1st Dec 2009, 03:16
Just did my first few flights on a 732 after flying a 727. Flies well enough but much more busy for the PNF and during ground stops. Plus you have to pull back a bit in the flare insted of pushing a bit. How strange.

Lower aircraft weights, higher takeoff speeds(what do you expect when you can use a flap setting of only 1°) and its weird being able to actually hear the engines. Somehow the 72 still seems more like a real airplane.

DC-ATE
1st Dec 2009, 15:15
JammedStab -
Just did my first few flights on a 732 after flying a 727. Flies well enough but much more busy for the PNF and during ground stops. Plus you have to pull back a bit in the flare insted of pushing a bit. How strange.
Lower aircraft weights, higher takeoff speeds(what do you expect when you can use a flap setting of only 1°) and its weird being able to actually hear the engines. Somehow the 72 still seems more like a real airplane.

OK.....gotta jump in here even though it's been over 20 years since I flew the 737-200/300. When I first got on the -200, we had three pilots so the workload for the PNF wasn't that bad. But, you're right; with only two it can become busy at times, but it's no different than any other two-man aircraft.

Flaps OTHER than 1 degree were used for takeoff on both the -200 and -300.

As to "pull back a bit in the flare".....well, that's the way REAL airplanes are flown. The major 'flaw' with your 7-TWO-7 is the engines are in the WRONG place !!

JammedStab
2nd Dec 2009, 01:58
As to "pull back a bit in the flare".....well, that's the way REAL airplanes are flown. The major 'flaw' with your 7-TWO-7 is the engines are in the WRONG place !!

Those wrongly-placed engines make it go at Mach 0.84 instead of 0.74. Or is it the amazing wing. The 732 seems to be pretty twitchy as well on the ailerons and it seems to yaw a lot in cruise(most noticable in the back). It has 4 flight spoilers instead of 10 and you can't even extend them fully in flight. What if ATC keeps you high and tight?

However, I am told that it handles a crosswind better. Having fun comparing though.

DC-ATE
2nd Dec 2009, 02:57
JammedStab -
Those wrongly-placed engines make it go at Mach 0.84 instead of 0.74. Or is it the amazing wing. The 732 seems to be pretty twitchy as well on the ailerons and it seems to yaw a lot in cruise(most noticable in the back). It has 4 flight spoilers instead of 10 and you can't even extend them fully in flight. What if ATC keeps you high and tight?
However, I am told that it handles a crosswind better. Having fun comparing though.

.84 vs .74.....so what.....what's the rush. The 737-200 started out as a short haul a/c. As I recall, we flew the -300 faster, but can't remember; I retired off the DC-8.

As to "twitchy".....not sure about that. And as to yaw.....dunno.....never flew it from the back !!

It's up to you to NOT let ATC fly your airplane for you. As far as I'm concerned those spoilers are for landing. Any other use is poor planning.
Never flew an airplane that was uncontrollable in a crosswind. But, my transport catagory airplanes only consisted ot the Lodestar, Connie, DC-6/7, 737 and DC-8. Lodestar wasn't too much fun in a crosswind, however.

OK.....I'll go to bed now.:*

burty
2nd Dec 2009, 05:00
Never flew them but they're the reason I become a pilot. The 737-200 sounded like magic everytime it departed Wellington with the echo off the surrounding hills. I understand a very hands on machine as well? If only...

DC-ATE
2nd Dec 2009, 14:48
I agree with the sight and sound of a 737 arriving/departing Wellington. I've watched from the top of the Hill where that Byrd Memorial is when I was there on a containership a few years ago. Beautify city and site.

Blink182
2nd Dec 2009, 22:11
No real affection here from a Engineer, I've worked on -100, -200 and the 3,4 and 5s. Not the NGs though.
Anyone who has been involved with Flap rigging a 737 knows what a time consuming rigmarole that is:ugh:........... and don't start me on the door rigging ! ( especially D1L):eek:
Plenty of sticky out bits low to the ground to hit your head on. Everything in the u/c bay covered in dirty crap...Windscreeen change which involves dismantling the cockpit.Fuel tanks that only a midget can access......
Only redeeming feature is that an Engine change is pretty easy.

HAWK21M
3rd Dec 2009, 21:09
B737 = Maintenance Friendly & eaisly accessable Aircraft Maintenancewise.

punkalouver
4th Dec 2009, 00:23
Not many of either around any more.

L337
4th Dec 2009, 07:59
Looking at my logbook I see that I have 4470 hours on the 737-200. The bulk of those hours I operated out of Birmingham. England. EGBB.

Birmingham has a 15/33 runway and the prevailing wind is 250/ 15 gusting 20 on a good day. On a bad day you would spend all day fighting a max crosswind.

The -200 was dependable and predictable at the edges of its crosswind limits. The best I have ever flown on a nasty day. Quick to turnaround, almost never broke down, and did exactly what it said on the tin.

The -200 was a light aeroplane pretending to be a big one.

I then went to the A319 at EGBB.

The A319 in 250/25 gusting 40 ish was a pig. A huge big black overcomplicated sow after the 737. But that is another story.

WindSheer
4th Dec 2009, 19:35
The 73 always looks stable from the outside.
I think its those sleek little CFM's......;)

vwreggie
4th Dec 2009, 20:35
15 years of 747s and now 4 on 737 300/400/800ng. Each time I go to work its a little like making my way to archerfield all those years ago. Fun and interest ahead. Simple and uncomplicated. Now back to the 3rd month of my leave and house painting:ok:

cirr737
7th Dec 2009, 15:54
Well, what can I say... to be realistic the 737 it is a piece of crap... but I love it ;)

fabbe92
7th Dec 2009, 17:04
wiis the best aicraft to fly between the NG and the Classic in all aspects?

Denti
7th Dec 2009, 17:42
Personally i like the classic better in terms of pure normal flying. However in non-normals and for normal line operation the NG is quite a lot better. Especially the redesigned electrical system is much easier, not to mention the other goodies as IAN and fail operational autoflight system.

fabbe92
7th Dec 2009, 18:29
I´ve only flown it as a passenger and in simulator but I have a special love for the 3-500:)

I´ve heard that the NG is pure hydraulic while the md80 was flown with manual force. Is the Classic allso hydraulic or is the stearingsystem built up by lines?

Denti
7th Dec 2009, 19:13
The controls are hydraulic powered in both NG and classic. And yes, the -500 is a neat little plane, sadly never have flown the -600 and i doubt i ever will.

captjns
7th Dec 2009, 23:41
The -100 and -200 were the perfect jet for newbies to jets to cut their teeth on. It was the perfect Boeing trainer. You rarely hurt the jet… and the jet rarely hurt you.

Now for maneuverability and handling and landing performance… IMHO nothing beats the 727-100.

I think we can agree that all planes fly great... just some fly better than others:E.

Centaurus
8th Dec 2009, 12:59
The 737-200 with JT8D-17 engines was a beauty. On Nauru island the coast road ran parallel to and 50 yards from the whole length of the 5600 ft runway ending in the Pacific. Cars and motor bikes would stop and people would cover their ears as the 737 would crackle like thunder as the power hit 2.18 EPR. No noise abatement on Nauru and at night the noise of a departing or arriving 737 would wake the dead and the drunks. There were no complaints as these aircraft were the life-blood of the island. Pity they sent the country broke though.

The locals on their big Honda Goldwings tried to race you during take off. The bikes had us beat to 80 knots but after that we had them by the short and curlies.

Very rarely had to use full reverse on landing but if you did the passengers in the rear seats got a real earful. Never had to use autobrakes because reverse at 1.6 EPR was so effective and you only had to ease on the brakes at 80 knots or below. Only thing to be careful of was erroneous EPR readings if the Pt2 EPR tubes got insects or other foreign bodies in the tube. We always used N1 as primary means of setting initial thrust after a close shave one night.

No one was afraid of hand flying - unlike now when some pilots go white if asked to fly without the autopilot and flight director! Just kidding, of course.

JammedStab
5th Jan 2010, 21:10
[quote=DC-ATE;5352868
It's up to you to NOT let ATC fly your airplane for you. As far as I'm concerned those spoilers are for landing. Any other use is poor planning.
[/quote]

Planning is fine but it seems that with 55% N1 for engine anti-icing, you need full flight speedbrakes just to get 1,000 fpm descent. The ol' 72 allowed full speedbrakes in flight. And if you were 20 back on the glide at 250 with no speedbrake, you just configured while descending on the glide.

The 73 seems a little wobbly on occasion in ground rollout as well, possibly due to shimmy dampers on the main gear. Maybe just a little Tonka Toy-ish.

Must say that the autopilot is quite a nice design.

gusting_45
5th Jan 2010, 22:33
The 737 is an accountant's airplane, the 727 is a pilot's airplane.

Flew the 727 with -7 engines which were gutless but would still take it over the 737 (300/400) or the A320 family any day. Those that have flown the -200 have told me that it was like a little sports car, but no personal experience sadly.