Flight tests pending for enhanced 737

Flight tests are about to begin on a Boeing 737 ultimately destined for Continental Airlines that incorporate aerodynamic improvements designed to reduce fuel consumption by 1%.

Boeing has done some “cleaning up” of the aerodynamics by streamlining the anti-collision lights, some exhaust ports and slat-to-wing connections, plus some improvements around the main gear wheel bay.

Flights will continue through April, when the plane will be refreshed and delivered to Continental, which is also receiving the new Boeing Sky Interior (see the following post).

An additional enhancement that goes hand-in-hand with the aerodynamic improvements, changes to the CFM 56-7B engine called “Evolution” won’t be ready until next year. Flight tests will follow for these.

At the Boeing briefing yesterday, some good information came out about how Boeing looks at the emerging competitors (CSeries, C919, MS-21), the Airbus A320NEO and the future of the 737. We wrote this story for Commercial Aviation Online, which gets a 24 hour exclusive before we can post it here. Watch for this story tomorrow.

6 Comments on “Flight tests pending for enhanced 737

  1. I wish you had published pictures of how Boeing streamlined the anti-collision strobe lights, slat to wing joint connections and the various exhaust ports.

  2. Yawn. Boeing has been showing around this aerodynamic clean-up for years. No matter how often the story gets rehashed, one percent remains one percent.

  3. This is another old bird that has long needed a redesigned airframe. Years ago I was part of the design team that figured out how to put the fans on it. I also spent many long hours on the 135s and 52s doing fixes and upgrades. You can only smooth a rock until its round, then you need a new rock!

  4. Boeing first scorned Airbus for its widespread adoption for FBW then followed it albeit with a 30 year delay…

    Boeing first scorned Airbus for its widespread use of composites in its aircrafts ever since the early 70’s then adopted them also…

    Boeing first scorned Airbus for its production system of shipping premade sections from different countries at one final assembly facility and then adopted it albeit with disastrous results…

    Want to know what future Boeing aircraft and production methods would be like?
    Just look at what Airbus is doing today!

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