Could this be the new look of the Boeing 737? This amazing mock up was done by Darin Kirschner and not Boeing.

Could this be the new look of the Boeing 737? This amazing mock up was done by Darin Kirschner and not Boeing.

The Boeing 737 is a very successful aircraft and Boeing has been spending a lot of time thinking about its future. The big question for Boeing is should they work on making the current model more efficient or look to create an entirely new design. The plane is still very popular; Boeing has made and delivered over 6600 and they have 2200 more on back order. With an aircraft still so in demand, it is a big risk to build a brand new plane.

For the short term, Boeing has been working to squeeze 2% more efficiency from the current 737 Next Generation. Two percent might seem small, but it can save airlines about $120,000.00 per airplane per year. If you are an airline with multiple 737s, that can add up to big savings — quite quickly.

Currently Boeing is working on two aspects to get that two percent savings out of the 737. One percent is coming from an updated CFM56-7BE engine and another percent making the plane more aerodynamic, reducing drag and increasing efficiency. Although these additional savings will be appreciated by airlines, to continue to stay competitive, Boeing will need to get their single aisle aircraft to be even more efficient.

As of now, it appears that Boeing is going towards a possible redesign.

Boeing Chairman President and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney recently said, “We’re gonna do a new airplane. We’re not done evaluating this whole situation yet, but our current bias is to not re-engine, is to move to an all-new airplane at the end of the decade, or the beginning of the next decade.” As of now, this is not a done deal, but it appears that they will most likely create a new airplane to replace the 737.

Boeing isn’t making this decision on their own. They have been working with airlines to see what they want for the short and long term. Obviously some airlines aren’t too fond of the idea of a totally new aircraft. There are quite a few that have a fleet of only 737s and having a mixed fleet, while it is being updated, is not something they want. This would be more costly for airlines in the short term, but would save them more money after entirely switching the fleet over.

At a recent Boeing media event Scott Fancher, the Vice President and General Manager of the 787 Dreamliner Program was asked what new technologies from the 787 could be scaled down for the new Boeing 737. When asked about composite materials being found in the new 737, he stated, “some composites scale down nicely, but others, they don’t.” He explained that some of the new systems technology and engine efficiencies could also be scaled down. Boeing feels that all the investments made on the 787 Dreamliner will serve as a basis for future new aircraft.

This is a mock up of a larger version of what possibly the new 737 could look like in Alaska Airlines livery. Can you spot the differences?

This is a mock up of a larger version of what possibly the new 737 could look like in Alaska Airlines livery. Can you spot the differences?

Boeing is not quite ready to talk about what the new Boeing 737 might look like. However, Darin Kirschner decided to take a shot and he had the skills to do it. Kirschner has allowed me to share his two mock ups of what the Boeing 737 replacement (which he is calling the Boeing 737.X) could look like.  Just to be clear, these two photos are not in anyway from or endorsed by Boeing. That being said, they look awesome.

“While I do have aerodynamics training and am an Industrial Designer at heart, what I’ve produced is pure art and conjecture,” Kirschen stated. “It is no more likely to be truly accurate than any other fantasy, but understanding flight as I do, I think that if Boeing were to pattern the replacement 737 after the 787, we would get something within degrees of what I’ve created here.”

He started with the Dreamliner and scaled it down, creating a 12′ diameter cabin. He cleaned up the nose and cockpit and kept the styling cues of the 787. Just like in the 787, the windows are increased in size and spaced out. This will allow more natural light in and make the cabin seem bigger. I know I am very excited to see what Boeing comes up with… stay tuned.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: [email protected]

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22 Comments

The AS mock up looks like a 757 which I think airlines would like more. If they can range the seat capacity from 125-200 seats, it might be just as successful as the original 737.

arthuro zabala

I agree I think so to it shouldnt be a redesign of a 737 it should be a 757-8 that would be great

Thanks for sharing David.. I agree with Daniel, the AS mock up looks alot like the 757. I happen to be a huge fan of the 757 and would love to see the new 737 have some of this sleek design carryover from the 787 program.

I kind of like the new teeth behind the engines a la the 787 and 747-8. The additional 2nd main door would likely fit nicely with a 2 class config (not req’d for southwest). Also, the winglets appear more swept like the 787. It looks like they’re putting some 787 into all the newer aircraft…if this is to be a true representation. Kudos to the author!

Lets not forget that Southwest has been a strong advocate for over 10 years for a new aircraft with a configuration of 2 + 3 + 2.

Quicker boarding and deplaning while seating more than the current 737-700.

That would be called the 767.

No, depending on the variant, the seating capacity would vary from 140 to 180.

I like the above mock-ups, but I doubt the engines will have RR decals.

Sixty years ago, when I was little more than a teaspoon-sized dream in the eyes of my parents, Boeing sent my father home with a check (or pay envelope) every week. He moved on to other options, but several relatives enjoy Boeing pensions. BAC made good choices in those days and they still make mostly excellent choices. Their aircraft have moved me (and undreds of millions of others) around the world and more times that some of us wish to count. Boeing usually makes very good choices! So what is their choice for the follow-on to the 737 Series? I have no clue. Speculation is +/- worthless, but I’ll bet that our friends at Boeing are giving this topic intense consideration. The bits and pieces that their experts are considering in detail would boggle our simple minds. We know that they have entire teams devoted to this stuff, groups like-minded staffers from more science and social science fields than Boeing has ever before employed. Pilots often note that they like to be ‘ahead’ of their aircraft when preparing to land. Boeing has demonstrated a bent for staying ‘ahead’ of their markets and for more than sixty years. Whatever the next major step, Boeing will know exactly where they are headed. I am not worried about them or th[eir future. With the 737 as the most successful commercial aircraft of all time, >6000 delivered and >2000 orders in the bag, they are in a sweet spot. Their dreamers made the 777 and they are putting the final touches on the Dreamliner, 787. There have been a few bumps. So? What radically new airplane has not suffered through some significant bumps? When Boeing is ready, they will reveal some new airplane to take the 737 market segment from 2020 through 2060. And it won’t be a Q&D photo-shopped re-engine arrangement. With potential sales of between 5k and even 10k units, Boeing can afford to take a deep breath, think it through and deciede what they want to sell for the next ‘few’ years – and get it right. We will have to wait a few years to know where they are headed, but it is a more than fair bet that it will be a very fine airplane. Boeing has several advantages. One of the less obvious ines is that they listen to their engineers and scientists (and Dreamers) and they can make stuff happen, very quickly. I won’t be flying in 2050, but my grandkids will be. Aheywill be flying on Boeing airplanes!
-Craig
P.S. to the blogger: Your technical stuff has improved markedly in recent months. Good job! Keep you standards high.

Hey all, I’m the trouble maker who conjured this idea and did these illustrations. I thank David for taking interest and choosing to post my (hobby) work. I also thank Gordon Werner for hooking David and I up.

The basic idea behind this exercise was what if Boeing scaled as much of the Dreamliner tech into an all new 737 sized package? Basically a clean-sheet airplane but with greater efficencies, a slightly wider fuselage, more flexible and powerful engines and yet still serving the current 737-700 to 757-200 markets. In order to make it obvious to anyone looking at these that they were replacements for the 737NG line, I kept the 737 name and added the .X with hyphenated -1, -2, -3 for the variants. So, 737.X-1 = 737-700, 737.X-2 = 737-800 & 737.X-3 = a 737-900 replacement, except that in the case of the 737.X-3, it is really a 757-200 replacement with the smallest coming 787 variant taking the 757-300 slot in the lineup.

The 787 is using RR engines, as do 757-200’s and since this really is a fantasy idea, I imagined that RR would develop a mid-sized engine sung their latest Trent developments that could power the 737.X-3 on the upper end and the smaller 737.X-1 at the lower end. This would also fill a gap that exists in the current RR lineup of engines.

I imagined Alaska would be the launch customer for the -3 variant, hence the illustration above.

the mock-ups look insanely awesome. good work.

Denver Dan

What do you guys think the chances are of Boeing doing something revolutionary like a 2-2-2 seating?

0.03%, it weighs more than a 737 with the same seating capacity.

Even if B737 is the most successful aircraft from the Boeing family, I prefer Boeing going for a brand new design. Boeing should continue improving the current B737NG. The new design might be more successful.

These profiles look interesting. I like the one at the top better, the plane looks friendly. The big tail fin is overly dominant, though.

…and is the same height as the current -700. 😉

I think the mock ups are really good and it would be really cool if boeing produced planes like these

I worked on the RS program. The idea behind the new airplane was to replace 3 aircraft with the new 737-R. No designation was given at that time. The 3 airplanes to replace were the 717, 737 and 757 by adding sections to the fuselage for and aft of the mid (wing) section. It would use the same engine on all 3 variants and set the performance characteristics in the engine control for the type of usage. It was also suppose to have Trans Atlantic capabilities on the Ext Range Version. All the aircraft it replaced were Center Isle aircraft. The aircraft had the same fuselage diameter as the 757. It had a new carriage and repositioned nose wheel. The flight deck and manufacturing was to leverage the 787. Several flight decks were considered. From traditional column wheel to side stick. Pilot workload was also considered and trying to reduce the amount of heads down time. Who knows what it will be like in the end state. But Great pics. A little off on the cockpit area but close.

The 737 is based on a 40 year old airframe I think the replacement for the 737 should be based on the 787 with fly by wire and a carbon fibre fuselage

The 787 should be the benchmark for all new boeing aircraft even the replacement for the 747. Boeing has to start to move foward otherwise airbus,will put boeing out of buisness and boeing will be forced to close down

Working with both the 737NG and the 757, i believe that boeing should have go with updating the 757 over the 737. The 757 was such a poorly designed plane. the 767 which was released around the same time is WAY better than it. One thing i did see in the 757 was room for SO much improvement. the 757 was built like the A320 was (i know the 757 came out first just hear me out). instead of making it close to the ground like the 737 is, the 757 still has room for engine improvements without having to make huge changes to the landing gears. I agree with one of the above statements, a 757 update would have been better.

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