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Boeing 737 MAX to get a Radical Winglet with a Boring Name

High Resolution Image (click for larger) of what Boeing expects the winglet for the new 737 MAX will look like. Image from Boeing.

High Resolution Image (click for larger) of what Boeing expects the winglet for the new 737 MAX will look like. Image from Boeing.

Last month, Boeing announced some of the design decisions for their new Boeing 737 MAX. However, there was no news on what their plans were for the winglets.  Would they stay similar to those found on the 737 NG or would they go a more radical direction? Turns out somewhere in the middle.

Boeing is planning to go with a dual feather design that they are calling the “Advanced Technology” winglet (more on the name later).  They are expecting the new winglet will save an additional 1.5% fuel burn versus the one currently on the 737.

737 MAX winglet video from Boeing
“The Advanced Technology winglet demonstrates Boeing’s continued drive to improve fuel burn and the corresponding value to the customer. With this technology and others being built into the MAX, we will extend our leadership,” said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Boeing states in their press release, that the 737 MAX will provide an 18% fuel burn advantage over the current Airbus A320. Unfortunately, they fail to compare the MAX to the new Airbus A320neo.

According to Airbus, the A320neo will have a 15% better fuel burn advantage over the current A320, so it appears the 737 MAX and A320neo will most likely be quite competitive to one another. I expect that these numbers, for both aircraft, will continue to change during development, so don’t get attached to them. It is safe to say that the 737 and A320 will continue to be direct competitors.

The Boeing 737 MAX 7, 8 and 9 showing off the winglets selected. Image from Boeing.

The Boeing 737 MAX 7, 8 and 9 showing off the winglets selected. Image from Boeing.

I am all for improving the 737 and I love following the changes, but I have to say that I am not too happy with the names that Boeing is coming up with. Although the MAX name has grown on me a bit since when I first heard about it (I was really not a fan), can’t Boeing come up with a better (and cooler) name than “Advanced Technology winglet?” I almost fell asleep just typing out that name.

Airbus has already stated that they are putting new winglets on the A320s and are calling them “sharklets.” That is a great name.

Yes, I know an airline is not going to choose the A320neo vs the 737 MAX based on the names (at least they better not), but the 737 and its new winglet are products that are deserving of creative names. Boeing has a history of coming up with classic names (Stratocruiser, Clipper, Dreamliner, etc). I just don’t see “MAX” and “Advanced Technology winglet” going down in the history books quite in the same way.

See additional photos of the Boeing 737 MAX with new winglets on Boeing’s website.

21 comments to Boeing 737 MAX to get a Radical Winglet with a Boring Name

  • These look like MD-11 winglets of day’s past

  • Tony

    They can just call it the pincer winglet or something

  • Alex

    Despite the cool looking new winglets, it’s still hard to get excited over a 737.

  • Rani Coellonia

    The German private aviation news page reports about Boeing’s new “Dual-Feather” winglets for their 737 MAX (wasn’t the “MAX” supposed to be an abbreviation for something?) and ‘fails’ to mention the Boeing labeling “Advanced Technology winglets”.
    It also describes them as an “open beak” (in German: “offener Schnabel”), which could also be taken as another suggestion for a name.
    Link to the article (German):

    However, my suggestion (not having read Gerry’s post yet) for a name would be “Grabber”, as they remind me of hands grabbing something (like of a child).

    Greetings from CGN/EDDK

  • I can’t say I’m a fan of the “MAX” name with the new 737. Max implies that they’ve maxed out. I guess the MAX will be last last 737 type produced because they can’t make it any better? I can’t understand why a company on the leading edge would admit that.

    How about “MAX-let” since its new to the MAX???

    • That’s one of the main reasons I don’t like the MAX name either. Although since this design is from the 60’s, it is quite possible that Boeing is saying this is the MAX they can and will do with this design.


  • Scott

    Nice to see that Boeing still can’t fully enclose the main landing gear. That was fine when the -200 was designed for 500 mile trips but now with these things doing medium range flights in has to be costing fuel. Boeing gets excited about shaving 1.5% fuel burn with winglets, what would cleaning up all the drag from the gear do. At the end of the day; it is just a boring, warmed over, mediocre 737.

    • My bet is the gear bump will be bigger than what these images show. With the larger engine, the gear needs to be longer. We will see, they have some pretty smart folks over there (maybe not in the naming department) — they might be able to figure something out.


  • Brian

    Boeing Advanced Technology Winglet – Call it the Batwing. That sounds pretty cool.

  • Rani Coellonia

    Update to my post of 5/3/12, 04:31pm:
    By now, also the German official aviation news page has reported about the new B737-MAX wingtip device, comparing it to a “split up” or “fork” wing (in German: “aufgespaltener Flügel”).
    Article (German):

    Regarding the name that would lead us to the following (two):
    -> fork + winglet = forklet*
    -> split + winglet = splitlet

    * Forklet is going a bit after Sharklet, might therefore cause some legal trouble, I guess…

    Nevertheless, not so bad ‘suggestions’, what do you think?

    Greetings from CGN/EDDK

  • Andrew Boydston

    Flight Feathers soars with the Eagles

  • Simon Finn

    The “current” marketing buzz is to stick the word “smart” in front of the product (it used to be putting a lower case “i” before everything). Examples: smartCar, smartPhone. It’s still a bit boring but, smartWings might have a ring to it.

    At least, its “less of a drag” than the awful “sharklets” – less of a drag, you see what I did there? Okay – it isn’t funny if you have to explain it, I know…

  • Mano Udomwech

    So graceful, the GRACE-LET.

  • dwightlooi

    Don’t get too worked up over the “MAX” name. Like 7E7, it’ll probably be dropped from the formal designation of the type before actual deliveries. I’ll bet on Boeing 737-8 and Boeing 737-9 which is consistent with the naming of the 787-8/9/10 and 747-8.

  • Ingallina Boeing

    Oh my God! Have you, the participants above, ever named your toys, your cars, your children? The 737Max will not go away at any time;unless, the youngest billionaire child named MAX decides to rename his new planes. Maybe? Common ladies and gentlemen, people name things, children, nor planes are the same. The 737MAX have the potential to fly as high, as accurate, as efficient, and as powerful as they look. Take it from me, who has observed the planes well enough. I love all about Max.

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