Between the Boeing 737 MAX, which will enter service in less than two years’ time, and the current Boeing 737 (737-800 NG) launched in 1998, airlines now have a choice to make. The main differences between these two versions are the following.
Firstly, there is of course the engine. The MAX is primarily a remotorised version of the 737, having been equipped with the new LEAP engines, which are bigger than the CFM56. The fan diameter is greater by over 8 inches (20 centimetres), which meant that Boeing had to raise their 737 MAX by extending the nose wheel undercarriage length.
Thanks to its new engines, this version is quieter than the current one. It is also 14% more fuel efficient, and has had its range increased by 620 miles (1,000 kilometres), taking it up to 4,100 miles (6,600 km).
The easily recognised boomerang form of the winglets, or wing tip extensions, which are optional on the current 737, are standard on the remotorised version. They improve the MAX’s aerodynamics by reducing lift induced drag (and provide some extra lift), as does the wing shape, reminiscent of the 787 Dreamliner’s.
Internally, the main difference is up front. The 737 MAX’s cockpit is refined and uncluttered as can be seen in these two photos. It has the latest avionics and four large 15 in (38 cm) LCD screens.
Finally, the last difference between the two versions is the price. Expect to pay $ 96 million for the current 737, or a tad more for the MAX, with its $ 110 million catalogue price.