Back in December, Southwest Airlines announced that we had signed on to be the launch customer for Boeing’s new 737 MAX variant that will debut in 2017. The MAX will offer much improved fuel efficiency and environmental performance compared to current 737s, and it will provide great comfort and reliability to our Customers. Like any new aircraft, some features of the MAX’s design hadn’t been firmed up in time for that first announcement. One item of speculation among my fellow Avgeeks has been the design of the MAX winglets. I’ve even seen speculation they might be of the Sprioid design, which is basically a big “O” on the end of the wing.
Well, the answer is in, and the artist’s illustration shows the selected design which will feature an upper winglet similar to those on our current 737s and a smaller, lower winglet at about a 45 degree angle from the wing.
Looking at the other side of the aircraft, we get a good view of the winglet angles.
The three most notable external spotting differences between the MAX and current 737s are visible above. MAX has a redesigned rear fuselage, the new winglets, and a different engine cowling.
The fuselage is more tapered and has a newly designed exhaust for the auxiliary power unit (APU).
While the forward portion of the cowling resembles the current 737, the aft portion features a scalloped shape, which is currently in use on the 787.
And, from the front, the MAX resembles the 737-800, and this is the “face” that for many people describes the jet age. It is the same forward fuselage used by the 707 and its cousin, the KC-135, and by the earlier 727. Show this nose to almost anyone anywhere in the world, and they probably will say “Boeing.” Thanks to our friends at Boeing for these amazing computer-generated images. Their realism is startling, and in this photo, the First Officer is even visible in the cockpit (at least in the larger version of the print). For more information on the 737 MAX’s winglets click here.