A321neo LR side view template

What a major letdown this illustration was! I fully admit that I haven’t been keeping up with all the latest developments on the Airbus A320 series of aircraft, but I had a pretty strong assumption that the A321neo LR (Long Range) was going to look significantly different than the run-of-the-mill A321neo. Maybe a larger wing with redesigned winglets? A taller vertical stabilizer? Perhaps some changes to the engine cowlings? Nope, nope, and nope.

As far as I can tell (based on all the pics of pre-production A321neo LR’s I’ve seen on the internet), there are only a few very minor visual differences over a standard non-LR version:

  • Boarding doors are reduced to three (from four on the standard A321). It’s the second one (just ahead of the wing) that has been eliminated.
  • Two small over-wing emergency exits have been added, though there is an option to eliminate one.
  • The second-most rear boarding door has been moved back slightly (by four frames).
  • A black “bandit mask” has been added to the cockpit windows, similar in design to the A350 and A330neo. From a distance, I think this looks pretty cool and fits well with the smaller proportions of the A321. However, when you look at it up close you can see that the shape of the bandit mask doesn’t match very well with the shape of the windows and it looks nothing short of awkward (and like a total afterthought). It works well on the A350 and A330neo since the windows match the outline of the mask perfectly, but I’m not so sure it’s appropriate here with the square windows. I get why Airbus is doing it (it’s a design language / corporate branding thing) but it looks totally forced in this scenario.

The problem with creating templates for aircraft that aren’t even in production yet is the fact that there are many unknowns that won’t likely be answered until they crank up the production line and start spitting these things out. Part of me thinks that a black bandit mask won’t make it to full production, because really – it just doesn’t fit the shape of the windows at all.

A321neo LR with CFM LEAP 1A engines side view blueprint

Side profile line drawing of an Airbus A321neo LR with CFM LEAP 1A engines. See how the outline of the “bandit mask” doesn’t match the shape of the cockpit windows? That really bugs me, and I wish Airbus would address that!

purchase the side profile airbus a321neo lr template source files in fully editable vector and psd format

Perhaps (just maybe?) the cockpit windows are going to be completely redesigned similar to the way that the A330neo windows were? I wouldn’t think it’s very likely at this point, with production starting very soon and it seems as if it’s a major structural change that would have been seen in testing years ago.

Another question I had while creating this template was about the engines. As deep as I dug through the Interwebs, I couldn’t confirm whether or not that the Pratt & Whitney engines are going to be an option or not. All of the pictures that I’ve seen of preproduction aircraft (and concept illustrations) seem to imply that the CFM LEAP 1A engines are the only choice, and I found no mention of Pratt & Whitney on the Airbus website – or anywhere else for that matter. I guess I’m just going to have to wait and see, and if a Pratt & Whitney powered A321neo LR ever comes into existence, I’ll be sure to illustrate a version of that one too. But for now, I’m just going to skip it.

Anyway, I can’t help but to feel somewhat unsatisfied at the moment, because I was really looking forward to digging into my existing A321neo template and making some pretty big and significant changes to create this long range version. Moving a few windows and doors doesn’t satisfy my creativity at all – especially combined with the fact that the bandit mask looks totally out of place surrounding those square windows and the designer in me wants to redesign that very (very) badly. Hey Airbus – give me a call sometime and I’ll help you figure out how to fit those A350 and A330neo-style cockpit windows onto this thing!

Speaking of challenges, I’m quite looking forward to my next template. I’m going to give the RJ85 / BAe146 a crack since it’s one of my most requested aircraft types at the moment, and I can’t wait to dive head first into that one. Please note that there will be a slight delay though, as I have some travel coming up next week and therefore I won’t be able to finish it for at least another two weeks (maybe longer) – but it is coming!

737-100 all white side view

There is no greater feeling in life than committing to draw every single variant of the Boeing 737 and then actually completing it. Well, that’s a slight exaggeration (lol) but I’ve got to tell you that I’m feeling a huge sense of satisfaction right now as I just put the finishing touches on these 737–100 illustrations not five minutes ago.

That’s not to say that was a totally epic experience or anything. The 737 line was without a doubt the most difficult series of aircraft templates that I have created to date, primarily based on the sheer number of versions there are, each requiring a ton of research to figure out how they differ from every other model.

There were a lot of mistakes made along the way (which I had to go back and correct) and once again I thank YOU – my astute readers who pointed out things that I missed or illustrated incorrectly! Without your help, these illustrations wouldn’t be as nearly as accurate as they ended up being. Are they perfect? No, not by a long shot. But that’s ok because I will be refining these templates for a long time to come as I discover new things that could use some tweaking. And trust me – when it comes to technical drawings like these, there are always things that could use some tweaking…

737-100 blueprint technical drawing

Wireframe line drawing of a 737-100

The funny thing is that the entire process of drawing these 737–100 illustrations was a lot less exciting than I thought it was going to be. For some reason or another, I had it in my mind that the -100 was significantly more different than the -200. After all, it was the launch version of the 737 line, and I had assumed incorrectly that there were some very significant unique visual attributes to the -100 that didn’t carryover to any other model.

For example, I thought (for sure) that the -100 had an external communications antenna that extended from the vertical stabilizer down to the top center of the fuselage. I could’ve sworn that I’ve seen pictures of that wire on original 737s many times over the years, but when doing the research to create these illustrations, I discovered that it never existed on this model at all. It was actually added to a cargo variant of the -200, and it was never a thing on the -100. Interesting!

Something else I learned during the research process was the fact that the modified engines with the redesigned thrust reversers came very early in the 737-100 production cycle, meaning that the original version (with the shorter engines) didn’t last very long. As a matter of fact, nearly all of those original-engined -100s received this thrust reverser retrofit in a very short amount of time due to how much of an important safety upgrade it was. It was frustrating to not be able to find any good pictures of the very first 737-100s (with the shorter engines) as they rolled off the production line in 1968. The lack of decent reference material makes creating these templates a challenge, so my apologies if I didn’t get it looking 100% correct.

737-100 retrofitted thrust reversers side view

All white 737-100 featuring engines with retrofitted thrust reversers

retrofitted thrust reversers 737-100 technical drawing

And here’s the associated line drawing version of the model with retrofitted thrust reversers

As a bonus, I thought it would be fun to create some versions of this original 737 in bare aluminum. This was an aircraft designed and built in the 1960s after all, so it seems only right to include the unpainted versions that expose all of that beautiful retro sheet metal!

Bare aluminum Boeing 737-100 side view

Bare aluminum Boeing 737-100 side view with the original engines

Bare aluminum Boeing 737-100 retrofit side view

And here’s the bare aluminum version featuring engines with retrofitted thrust reversers

purchase the side view boeing 737-100 template source files in fully editable vector and psd format

So there you have it! The entire 737 line of illustrations is now complete, and even though it feels great to have it done, I’m even more excited about the fact that I can now move on to other aircraft types. Keep in mind that I’m still planning on doing the cargo versions of some of these early 737s (with gravel kits too), but I won’t be making separate posts about those. I’ll simply add them to the existing posts that I have already written, just so it doesn’t slow me down and I can focus more on illustrating instead of writing.

And now, probably the most exciting question of this post: what aircraft am I going to illustrate next? That’s a very good question actually! I had been thinking that I was going to do the A321neo LR, but I was doing some research yesterday and ultimately I couldn’t figure out what the the visual differences are over a standard A321neo. If anyone reading this knows for sure, please leave a comment below – because if there aren’t any visual differences, it may not be worth doing the template at all. Other than that, I have been receiving a ton of requests for the Avro RJ85 lately, so maybe I’ll do that instead…

737-200ADV side view high resolution

Remember when I posted my 727 template a few months ago and I explained how nostalgic it made me feel the entire time I was drawing it? Those same exact feelings came roaring back as I was scouring the internet searching for 737-200 reference material, and I kept finding myself getting sidetracked by looking at endless amounts of grainy pictures and videos of these old birds.

This original version of the 737 was a big part of my youth, and they left a lasting impression on me when I was still a young boy and becoming interested in airliners way back in the 1980s. My home airport at that time was FNT (Flint, MI), and it wasn’t uncommon to see Piedmont 737-200s fly over our house on approach into the airport. It was even more fun when they took off right overhead – because there’s nothing much louder than an old 737, and it was a total rush to feel the house shaking from the power of those obnoxiously loud JT8D’s.

Unfortunately, there was only one (maybe two) Piedmont 737 flights a day into FNT in the mid 1980s, so those flyovers didn’t happen quite as often as I would have liked. I am sure that mom and dad were perfectly ok with the low frequency of air traffic in the area, but I would’ve been beyond excited if it was the busiest airport in the world and there was a steady stream of incoming and departing aircraft – 24 hours a day. The louder the better!

So this is it. The final version of the 737 in my entire series of templates for this family! I’ve already illustrated and uploaded templates for the MAX series (-7 MAX, -8 MAX, and -9 MAX), the Next Generation series (-600, -700, -800, and -900), as well as the Classic series (-300, -400, and -500). This -200 is my first in the last and final series of the 737, which is officially referred to as the “Original” series. It’s confusing, isn’t it? Yeah, but don’t worry – once I post the -100 templates, I’m going to do a round-up post which outlines all the visual differences between every version of the 737. That’s gonna be a good post, so keep watching for that because it’s coming very soon!

737-200ADV detailed tech drawing

Wireframe line drawing of the 737-200ADV (Advanced)

purchase the detailed boeing 737-200 template source files in fully editable vector and psd format

Even though I’m going to getting into the visual differences in a future post, it’s probably only appropriate to tell you how the Original version differs from the 737-300 template that posted yesterday. Remember: the 737-300 is part of the Classic series, so there are quite a few differences between this -200 and that one.

Come to think of it, the easiest way to explain it is to tell you that the only thing the -200 shares with the -300 is the fuselage. Pretty much every other component is different! The wings on the Original series are shorter, the vertical stabilizer is completely different, the horizontal stabilizer is shorter, the landing gear is completely different (which makes the entire aircraft sit lower to the ground), and the engines are JT8D’s as opposed to the CFM56’s. It’s the engines that make up most of the visual difference however – at first glance, everything else seems to be the same, and most casual observers probably wouldn’t even notice a difference. I sure didn’t – as a matter fact, I always thought that the wings were exactly the same between the Original and Classic series. I was very wrong!

Another thing that I would like to point out is that the 737-200 in this post is an “Advanced” model. In a nutshell, this is a higher performance version of the standard 737–200 featuring a re-designed thrust reverser system which elongated the engines by 48 whopping inches. The engines themselves were higher performance variants, which changed the shape of the inlet of the cowlings the front of the engine (slightly). The re-shaped inlet is a bit difficult to see in the side view like this, but the thrust reverser extension is very apparent and gives the -200 a very unique look. I can only imagine how futuristic it must’ve looked in 1968 when it was first implemented. Like far out dude.

Those of you out there who are hoping to get templates for a standard 737-200 need not worry. Since there are many similarities between that one and the -100, I’m going to go ahead and do the -100 first and then swing back around and do the original -200 after that. Please note that I’m not going to make a separate post for that one, but I will be updating this post with those illustrations just to keep things neat and organized.

We’re getting really close to the completion of the 737 family now!

Boeing 737-300 all white blank

It’s only taken me six years to get to this point, but finally – here is the template for the world’s most popular commercial aircraft! Before I in advertently dig a hole too deep to get myself out of, I fully admit that I’m not totally positive that the 737–300 is the world’s most popular airliner or not. I do know that it was the most popular 737 ever built (with 1113 sold), and combined with the fact that the entire 737 family is the most successful commercial airliner type in history (in terms of sales), I’m just making a broad and best-guess assumption that the 737–300 is the king of the hill. Even if I’m totally wrong, you have to give me credit for making a solid guess, right? 🙂

And before all of you Boeing historians out there start pecking away at your keyboards to inform me that it was actually the 737-200 which was the most popular with 1114 total sales, there were several different sub-variants of that one (cargo/combi) that helped to make up that overall number. Since the 737-300 didn’t have any sub-variants, I’m counting full-passenger versions only. In that case, the 737-200 only sold 991 times, versus the 1113 of the 737-300.

737-300 side view blueprint

Wireframe line drawing of a 737-300

I’ve received more requests for side view 737–300 templates more than any other aircraft since I started doing this way back in 2012, and I know that there are a lot of you out there who have been patiently waiting for these illustrations (for what seemed like an eternity for sure). That’s why it felt really good to put the finishing touches on them this morning and call ’em “done”, and I was half tempted to crack open a beer and light a cigarette even though I don’t drink or smoke.

Because I’ve been working so hard on the entire 737 family for several weeks now, there wasn’t much about the -300 which surprised me as I was illustrating it. It’s essentially just a shortened version of the -400, and a slightly longer version of the -500. There’s nothing special or unique about the design of this one that I haven’t already talked about in my posts for the -400 and -500, so it was a rather simple template to create all things considered.

The only thing that I learned from doing this illustration (which really surprised me) was the fact that blended winglets were developed for this model, which ended up becoming a very popular add-on. At first I thought it was a mistake when I discovered that little juicy little tidbit of info, but a quick search of airliners.net revealed that there were quite a handful of 737’s out there that wore blended winglets at some point. No 737-300s rolled off the assembly line with winglets – it was solely an aftermarket option, but ended up being very popular due to how much it increased fuel efficiency on longer routes. BTW, 737-300s fitted with winglets were dubbed “Special Performance” models.

737-300SP winglets side view

Here’s the all white 737-300SP, which is the Special Performance version featuring blended winglets

737-300SP blueprint

And here’s the wireframe line drawing of the 737-300SP

purchase the boeing 737-300 template source files in vector and psd format

Anyway, now that I’m getting down to the end of the 737 line, I’m starting to understand firsthand how complex and massively huge this family of aircraft is. When I first committed to illustrating every single version of the 737 several weeks ago, I wasn’t expecting it to be such a heartburn-inducing chore. The naïve side of me was thinking that 737s were generally the same from generation to generation, with small visual tweaks here and there that were (for the most part) difficult notice with the naked eye. But now that I’ve got everything from the 737–300 all the way up to the 737–9 Max illustrated, I can really appreciate how much this aircraft has evolved over the years and it’s definitely not the same airplane today that it was when it first rolled out of the factory way back in 1969.

The good news is that at the time of this writing, I am darn near close to having the -200 fully illustrated and ready to post here to norebbo.com. I fully expected to have it completed by now, but it turns out that the original version of the 737 was massively different from the Classic series and there were a lot of changes required which has unexpectedly eaten up a lot of my time this week. Anyway, I’ll get into that gory info in tomorrow’s post, but for now, I hope you enjoy the 737-300 that you’ve been been patiently waiting so long for!

737-400 all white side view

Thanks for all of your support (and patience) while I continue on this excruciating journey of creating templates for the entire 737 family of aircraft! “Excruciating” is probably too light of a word considering all of the blood sweat and tears that I’ve put into this little project over the past few weeks or so, but I will admit that most of the struggle has been my own fault due to not paying attention to the little (but oh-so significant) details.

Making mistakes on one template has never been that big of a deal, because it normally doesn’t take very long to go back in and fix whatever it is that’s wrong and to regenerate updated illustrations for this blog and my online store.

The problem with my 737 family of templates is the fact that I’ve done nine of them now (including this 737–400), and every time that I realize that I made a little mistake (it happens more often than I care to admit), I have to go back in and fix every single one of them. Making matters worse is the fact that most versions of the 737 have multiple sub-variants (winglets vs no winglets) and that just amplifies the pain and frustration. It’s a very time consuming and mind-numbing process to modify and then to regenerate final illustrations for every template, and now that I’m getting down to the final few 737 versions, it’s a really big (and soul-crushing) deal to discover a mistake and then have to go back and update everything.

Long story short, I guess what I’m trying to say is that this 737 series of illustrations has my my most frustrating series so far. However, I will admit that I feel immensely satisfied with what I have been able to produce over the past few weeks, and I’m very excited to be getting close to the end. There’s only three more to go after this one!

737-400 technical blueprint

Wireframe line drawing of a 737-400

buy boeing 737-400 source file airliner template in vector and psd format

Although the 737-400 was nowhere near being the most popular version of the 737 ever (that honor goes to the 737-800), it’s still the variant that I think of first when somebody says “737” to me. I’m pretty sure that I have Alaska Airlines to thank for that, because the -400 was the main type of aircraft they flew to my home airport of SAN (and nearby SNA) back in early 2000’s. For some reason another, all those -400s with that friendly Eskimo on the tail have been etched into my brain and it’s the 737 I think of the most when I think of the 737. Weird, I know.

486 737-400s were produced between years of 1988 and 2000, which is 97 more than the 737–500. The 737–300 (which I will post a template for next week) was the king of the 737 Classic series with 1113 total sales. If you’re curious, it was the 737-100 which was the major 737 variant with the fewest sales. Only 30 buyers lined up for that one, which is odd considering that the 737 went on to be the most popular jet airliner of all time.

Finally, I would like to apologize for the fact that I don’t yet have an illustration of the 737-400F for you like I promised yesterday. Remember at the top of this post where I was explaining how it takes a lot of time to go back in and fix mistakes that I inevitably make with each illustration? It turns out that the engine cowling that I illustrated for the -500 (which carries over to all 737 Classic variants) was all wrong and I had to go back and fix it this morning. So – the time that it took to fix that goof took away from the time that I was planning to use for creating the freighter version of the 737-400. No worries though, because I’m still planning on producing it and I hope to get it posted next week along with the 737-300.

I’d like to try to get the -200 posted next week as well, but no promises on that one because it’s going to take some time to draw those JT8D engines and get them strapped to the wing. Obtaining decent reference material for those really old aircraft isn’t easy, as I recently discovered with the template creation process of my Douglas DC-8. Cameras weren’t very good back then, so I hope that I’ll be able to find some decent photos which aren’t so grainy that I can’t see any of the details. But do you know me – I like a challenge, and I’m really looking forward to illustrating those old birds!

737-500 white side view

I actually had to do a double take as I was uploading the images for this blog post, because I thought for sure that I had made a mistake and that I accidentally grabbed my 737-600 illustrations instead. At first glance, the 737-500 and -600 look nearly identical – so it was a very easy mistake to make and I don’t feel too ashamed about admitting that I wasn’t able to tell the difference. There are actually some fairly significant differences between the two that took a little bit of extra time to illustrate, and those differences are really difficult to see if you don’t know what to look for. Once I took a moment to compare the two side-by-side, it was clear to see which was which and a wave of relief washed over me (confirming that I had uploaded the correct images and that I was still the nerdy and knowledgeable AvGeek I had been aspiring to be).

737-500 blueprint no winglets

Wireframe line drawing of a 737-500 without winglets

As I mentioned in my last post, the 737-500 is part of the “Classic” series of the 737 family (along with the -300 and -400), while the -600 is part of the “Next Generation” camp (along with the -700, -800, and -900). The most significant visual differences between the Classic and Next Generation series are different wings and vertical stabilizers, and you have to look really close to notice those differences at all. The wing is much smaller on the Classic series, while the vertical stabilizer is somewhat shorter – although it maintains roughly the same shape. The engines (CFM56-3B’s) are also completely different, and are smaller than later versions (which had CFM56-7’s). As I said, it’s really hard to notice these differences without comparing the two side-by-side, so go ahead and download both and place them over top of each other – then you’ll be able to see very clearly how different they are.

The other major difference between the -500 and -600 is the fact that the -500 was available with blended winglets (similar in design to the winglets available on the Next Generation series). I actually had no idea that they were an option on this version, and I find it odd that they weren’t available on the -600 at all. I had always assumed that winglets didn’t become available until much later in the 737 timeline, so once again I learned something new as I was digging around and doing my research. This side view airliner template thing is becoming one of the most educational projects of my entire life!

737-500 blended winglets side view

Side profile illustration of an all white Boeing 737-500 with blended winglets

737-500 with blended winglets blueprint

Wireframe line drawing of a 737-500 with blended winglets

buy boeing 737-500 source file airliner template

Oh – a few more interesting bits of technical data for those who are curious: the 737-500 was the direct replacement for the -200, and is roughly 19 inches longer than that first generation aircraft. It’s also 8 inches shorter than the 737-600 which replaced it. Neat, huh?

Launched in 1987 with Southwest Airlines, the 737-500 flew for the first time in 1989, and was launched into service in 1990. 389 airframes were built between the years of 1990 and 1999, which is a pretty respectable number – enough so that it was easy to spot in airports all over the world. I remember seeing a ton of them here in San Diego with Southwest, and it was a real bummer when they retired their last one in 2016. A quick check of my flight log reveals that I’ve flown on 6 of them over the years (2 of them with Southwest and 4 on United Shuttle), which is actually more than I recall. Geez, now I’m totally regretting not getting a ride on one of the last ones before right they were retired…

As I promised last week, my goal for this week was to post templates for both the 737-500 and the 737-400. The good news is that I am still on track to make good on my word, with the -400 illustrations coming tomorrow. Note that I will also be including the -400F (freighter) version along with it, which is one that I know a handful of you have been asking for. Make sure to check back 24 hours from now!

boeing 737-600 side view all white no livery

Now we’re getting to the good stuff! This post about the Boeing 737-600 marks the beginning of what will be a series of posts over the next few weeks featuring every model of the 737 family that I have not yet illustrated (all the way down to the first generation -100). Those of you who have been following me for a very long time know that I’ve been promising blank illustration templates for the entire 737 family for weeks (months perhaps?) and I couldn’t be happier to announce that I’m now ready to start posting them here to the blog and my online store.

Why did it take so long to get to this point? Well, the 737–800 was one of my very first templates that I ever created back in 2012 or so and it wasn’t anywhere near up to the level of quality that my templates are at today. That meant that my -700 and -900 versions (based off of that poorly drawn -800) had inherited the same quality control problems and all of my 737 illustrations were a total mess. In order to create very high-quality templates of the entire 737 family, I needed to start with a base illustration (the -800) that was as accurate and clean as possible. I had to start over from scratch, and that’s what I’ve been working on in solitude over the past two weeks. It was a ton of work, but it was totally worth it because those new illustrations are incredibly accurate and some of the best that I’ve ever done.

Those of you who have purchased 737 illustrations off of my online store over the past few years probably noticed a series of email notifications last weekend which alerted you to the new versions that are now available. I hope that you were all able to take advantage of the free upgrade, because all of those illustrations are brand new (rebuilt from the ground up) and much more accurate than the versions they replaced.

Keep in mind that at the time of this writing, I have not yet updated my existing 737 templates here on the blog. Only my online store has the new versions at this moment, but don’t worry – over the next few weeks I’ll be sure to update those old posts with all new templates. Pretty exciting stuff if you are a huge 737 fan like me!

Now that I’ve taken the time to explain why I’m such a slow poke, it’s time to talk about the 737-600 itself (the subject of this post). It’s an odd looking airplane, no doubt, but put it side-by-side with an Airbus A318 and it doesn’t look all that awkward. “Cute” is probably a better way to describe the proportions of this stubby little bird.

737-600 line drawing blueprint

Wireframe line drawing of a 737-600

buy boeing 737-600 source file airliner template

For those of you who don’t already know, the Boeing 737-600 is the successor to the 737-500, and is a part of the “Next Generation” 737 series which also includes the -700, -800, and -900. Note that the MAX series (737-7, 737-8, 737-9, and 737-10) is a completely different group and not included as part of the Next Generation series. Don’t worry – it’s not easy to keep track of all the variants of the 737 unless you’re a total AvGeek, but the Wikipedia page has it all broken down in an easy to digest format and it’s a good place to go if you’re looking for a detailed history of the entire line.

As of September 2018, there have only been 69 Boeing 737-600’s built and delivered since it’s introduction in 1998, and to be totally honest, that’s about 30 more than I expected. I’ve always considered these things to be super rare unicorns – much like how the 767-400 was built (in very low numbers) specifically for Delta and Continental back in the early 2000’s. As a matter fact, I don’t even recall ever seeing a 737-600 in real life at any time in my past – even though WestJet occasionally sends those little guys here to my home airport in San Diego every now and then to complement the regularly scheduled -700s and -800s. They aren’t easy to find!

As I said at the beginning of this post, I will be posting the rest of the 737 lineup in succession (working backwards) very soon. My goal for next week is to post templates for both the -500 and -400, so keep your mouse button finger well-rested and ready to do some clicking!

A330-200F Pratt & Whitney side profile

Those of you who have been patiently waiting for my long-promised templates of the 737 family should know that it’s going well so far and I am just about ready to start posting them here to the blog. Unfortunately, you also need to know that I’ve got a wickedly short attention span and I start to get restless when I work on one thing for too long. Combine that with the fact that I’ve received three separate requests for the A330-200F over the past few weeks, and I just couldn’t resist digging into it and creating the templates.

This all-cargo version of the Airbus A330-200 has some very interesting differences compared to the passenger version, and of course I didn’t know about any of them until I started doing the research to create these drawings.

The biggest and most obvious difference is the bulge (officially referred to as a “blister fairing”) at the connection point of the front landing gear to the fuselage. This additional piece serves the purpose of raising the nose of the aircraft so that the cargo deck remains level during the loading process. It always struck me as being odd that the A330 had a natural nose-down angle while on the ground, and I’ve never really understood the reasoning for it. I’d love to know the answer, so if there is anybody out there reading this who knows why the A330 was designed that way, please leave a comment and let me know!

A330-200F pratt & whitney blueprint

Technical side profile line drawing of an Airbus A330-200F with Pratt & Whitney engines

The other major difference that I didn’t know about was the fact that General Electric does not supply engines for this freighter version of the A330. Again, this strikes me as being very odd since they do offer the option (and a very good one at that) for the passenger version. What exactly is so different about a freighter which would make an engine supplier drop out completely? I can’t imagine that there would be any type of performance requirements that would be different from an all passenger version to make it a complete game changer, so it really makes me wonder.

Other than that, there aren’t any other major visual differences between the A330-200 and A330-200F (other than the lack of windows and the cargo door of course). I did find it interesting that the cargo loading door is located so close to the main boarding door though. On Boeing aircraft such as the 777 and 747, the cargo door is located in the aft section of the fuselage away from any other holes in the structure. I guess it doesn’t really matter to have major openings in the fuselage so close together, and the fact that I questioned it at all is a pretty good indication of how little I know about aerospace design.

I can totally imagine all of you rocket scientists out there holding your head in shame as I spew off these ignorant questions (which I’m sure are totally elementary to anyone in the aviation industry). Hey – I just draw these airplanes based on reference material I find on the Internet, and trust me…that’s a good thing. You don’t want this art school graduate anywhere near a calculator or a physics book!

A330-200F with Rolls Royce engines side profile

Here’s the all white A330-200F with Rolls Royce engines

A330-200F rolls royce engines blueprint

…aaand the line drawing with Rolls Royce engines

buy a330-200f source file airliner template

One final point I’d like to make about the A330-200F is the fact that I’m surprised that it hasn’t sold better than it already has. At the time of this writing, there have been 42 firm orders for this cargo variant of the hugely popular A330, which trails far behind competitors such as the 767–300F and the 777F. On paper it seems like it would sell like hotcakes considering that it’s size and performance capabilities are placed squarely in between those two other aircraft, so it’s just another confusing question I have about this bird which remains unanswered.

As always, thanks for your continued support of this ongoing side-profile airliner template project that I’ve been working on for about five years now, and I’m feeling rather proud of what I’ve managed to accomplish so far. Yeah, it seems like I’m moving at a glacially slow pace at times, but these illustrations take a long time to create and most of you know that I’ve been quite busy trying to build a travel blog as well. It’s a lot to juggle! So much to do, and so little time…

And for those of you (still) waiting patiently for my templates of the 737 family, don’t worry – as I said earlier, I’m still working on them and I will begin posting what I’ve got fairly soon (starting with the 737-600). Get yourselves ready – they’re coming!

Douglas DC-8-61 side view

For all of you out there who have been hoping and wishing (and praying) that I would create templates of some of the classics, today is your lucky day. This DC-8-61 falls solidly into the “classics” category, and I’m thinking that it will fit in nicely beside my existing L-1011 and 727 templates over on my online store. It’s a template that I’ve been looking forward to creating for quite some time, and I’m really excited to have it finished and posted here to the blog.

And I know – you’re probably just dying to know why I started with the -61 series first since the entire DC-8 line is so extensive with many other interesting variants, but the honest truth is that there has been somebody who has been waiting patiently (over a year at least) for me to create this specific version. Basically, I just felt really bad for making him wait for so long, so I decided to roll up my sleeves and get it done. And I’m really glad that I did, because just like the 727 template that I created earlier this year, this one brought back waves of nostalgia that I didn’t know that I had in me anymore.

Sadly, I never had the chance to ride on Douglas DC-8 and it still bugs me a little to this day. Though as a child from the 70s, I still remember when they were very popular aircraft! My best DC-8 memory? I was 15 years old when our entire family flew from Detroit to Boise, Idaho on United airlines (with a connection in Denver), and it was amazing to see an entire concourse filled with DC-8’s and DC-10’s during the connection at Stapleton Airport. I remember walking from gate to gate looking at all those cool looking DC-8’s up close, wishing that we would get to fly on one of those instead of the crappy little 727 we would have for all four legs of our round-trip journey on this trip.

I wasn’t fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to fly very much in my childhood years, though any flying that I was lucky enough to do was on run of the mill 737 and 727‘s. Oh how I wish I could’ve squeezed in a 707 or DC-8 here and there! Oh well.

Douglas DC-8-61 blueprint

Technical side profile line drawing of a McDonnell Douglas DC-8-61

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As I was browsing Wikipedia to search for interesting things to talk about in this post, I came across something that sent chills up and down my spine. According to the numbers that are posted over there as of the time of this writing, there were 559 of these things built and delivered from 1959 to 1972. What so chilling about that, you may ask? Well, with only 559 DC-8’s produced, there have been 146 recorded incidents, with 83 complete hull losses. The really chilly part is the fact that there have been 2,256 fatalities as a result of those incidents.

I don’t mean to point that out as a way of saying that the DC-8 was an unsafe aircraft or anything, but it’s just a stark reminder of how far the aviation industry has come over the years and how many sacrifices we’ve had to make in order to get to the point where we are today. The Douglas DC-8 was designed and built in a time when we still had so much to learn about jet-propelled aviation (and the science behind it), and it’s very sobering to think back on all of the crashes and other incidents that have occurred in commercial aviation in those early days. It’s the kind of thing that isn’t very much fun to think about, but the good news is that we’ve learned so much from each and every one of those incidents that flying has evolved into one of our safest modes of transportation today.

Sorry for going down in such a dark and dreary path for this post, but as I said, the DC-8 brings back waves of memories for me and it’s hard not to think back on how significant of an aircraft this was and how important of a role it had for shaping the look (and tech) of modern aviation.

And the best part? Those waves of memories and nostalgia are flowing through me so fiercely at the moment that I think now is the time for me to go back and build out the entire 737 series – all the way back to the -100. So for all of you who have been patiently asking for me to create templates of the entire 737 line, your wish has been granted because that’s what I’m starting on next week. Get ready for an influx of 737 posts!

all white fokker 100 side view

Just when I think that I’ve finally grown up and that I have elevated myself to “sensible adult status”, along comes this Fokker 100 template and the realization that I’m still the same immature 12-year-old that I’ve been all along. I mean, I just can’t say the name “Fokker” without giggling hysterically as my mind goes to very immature (but hilarious) places. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s just the way that I am.

For those of you there who don’t speak English as your primary language, and you don’t quite understand what I’m talking about, it’s best that we keep it that way. Trying to explain why I like the word “Fokker” so much would probably end badly since I’m not mature enough to explain it in an eloquent way which wouldn’t have me censored by Google or something. I ‘m going to try my hardest to keep this as mature and professional as I can from here on out, because hey – this is a family-friendly blog after all and my goal is to scare as few people as possible!

Launched on April 3, 1988 with Swissair, the Fokker 100 (F-28-0100) is the evolution and replacement of the Fokker 28 – a small regional aircraft which was introduced way back in 1969 (and I’m still giggling hysterically every time I type that). By the end of its production in 1997, 283 airframes had been delivered, which solidifies the 100 as a significant aircraft in the world of commercial aviation.

Unfortunately, fierce competition in the regional jet space from other manufacturers such as Embraer and Bombardier put tremendous pressure on Fokker in the 1990s, and they found themselves not being able to compete with those newer, more technically advanced and fuel-efficient regional jets such as the ERJ-135 and CRJ-200. Fokker went out of business for good in 1997, and I can only imagine the embarrassment that the management team must’ve felt to realize that they had been defeated by a crappy little CRJ-200. Those of you who follow my travel blog will know exactly how much I despise those little pieces of crap (as I described in the trip report for a recent SAN to LAX United Express flight), and it pains me to think that it was responsible for killing off one of history’s neatest little aircraft.

fokker 100 technical drawing

Technical side profile line drawing of a Fokker 100 (F-28-0100)

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So what’s so neat about the Fokker 100 you might ask? The answer to that is probably different for everyone, but for me, it’s the exclusivity. I began traveling very frequently in 1997, and one of my very first flights was on an American Airlines Fokker 100 from Dayton Ohio (DAY) to Dallas Texas (DFW). At that time, I had no idea what a Fokker was since I was still an aviation newbie at that point, and all I really knew was Boeing and Airbus. And as much as I hate to admit this, the words “What the Fockk?” were indeed what came out of my mouth when I stepped onboard that flight and sat down.

The F100 was never very popular here in the US (compared to Boeing and Airbus at least), but they weren’t a complete rarity since American Airlines, Midway, and US Airways all had sizable fleets of these things over the years. As I mentioned earlier, my only encounter with this aircraft was on American Airlines way back in 1997, and I remember exactly nothing from that experience other than the fact that we arrived at DFW 10 minutes early and we had to sit and wait for a gate open up.

And sorry, I can’t tell you about the really interesting AvGeek things – you know, such as how stable it felt, what it smelled like inside, and what color the fabric pattern was on the seats. All of that juicy info has been obliterated from my brain entirely, likely replaced by all of those silly and very immature jokes related to the name “Fokker” and how best to use it in a sentence at fun parties when you’re trying to impress the ladies.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these side view templates as much as I enjoy saying “Fokker”. It was actually relatively easy to create compared to some of my other templates, and I’m happy that I was able to get it done a lot faster than I had originally planned.

As far as what’s next, well, I think it’s time that I finally get started on the McDonnell Douglas DC-8. Those of you who have been hanging out in the comments section of all my recent posts will know that there’s been a certain person who’s been requesting this one for months, and I feel bad for not doing it sooner. Sorry for making you wait so long (and thanks for being patient)! I’m going to get started on it very soon…