All posts in: Aircraft Templates
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. 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 from one other.

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

buy DC-8-61 source file airliner template

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)

buy source file Fokker 100 airliner template

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…

ATR 42-600 side view

Would it be impolite for me to say that I don’t think at the ATR 42 is a good looking airplane? There’s just something about it’s stubby little nose and low hanging belly that I don’t like, especially since I’ve just spent the past few weeks illustrating comparably sleek A330NEO’s. I’ve been so used to looking at large and beautifully designed aircraft lately that it was a bit of a shock to switch gears and crank out this chunky little ATR 42.

If you’re a huge fan of this aircraft and have been completely offended by what I just said, you might appreciate knowing that no, I do not think that this is the worst aircraft design ever. As a matter fact, it’s not even the worst looking aircraft in the ATR series. The king (queen?) of ugliness just so happens to be the ATR 72 in my opinion, and I’m not afraid to say it out loud. I just don’t like it. I don’t even like flying on them, and my last flight on an ATR 72 had me reaching for the barf bag – even though it was a short 40 minute flight from Kona to Honolulu. And don’t even get me started on the fact that the interior layout is very awkward with a solid bulkhead wall separating the main cabin from the cockpit (due to the cargo space occupying that area). It’s just weird.

As you can see, the ATR 42 that I chose to illustrate is the -600 variant. Launched in 2007, it’s the largest and most technically advanced of the entire ATR 42 lineup. And while I don’t necessarily like the styling of this aircraft, I can certainly appreciate its heritage – which goes all the way back to the early 80s (just like me). This is an aircraft which is been around for a very long time, and it has served many airlines well and has proven to be a dependable workhorse in many areas around the world. See? Even though I’m not a fan it’s not hard to point out it’s good points.

Launched into service in 1985 with Air Littoral, this is a significant aircraft in the history of commercial aviation and it totally deserves to be part of the Norebbo aircraft template collection. Even though it’s ugly as hell.

ATR 42-600 blueprint line drawing

Technical side profile line drawing of an ATR 42-600

buy source file airliner template

To be honest, I feel like part of the reason for my lack of fondness for this aircraft may be due to the fact that it was never very popular here in the United States. American Airlines had a significant fleet of them for a long time, but they were the only major operator here in the US with only a handful of other airlines dipping your toes into the ATR 42 waters. As a matter fact, I tried doing a little bit of research to see if I could find an accurate list of both current and past operators of this type but didn’t have much luck. The best source I could find was Wikipedia, but it conflicts with some of the other data that I found elsewhere so I’m not really sure what to believe. Wikipedia says that there were about 230 still in commercial operation in 2017, which is a respectable number for an aircraft at this type. If you’re curious, the only current US operator is FedEx.

At the moment, I’m not planning on creating any other variants of the ATR 42. And no, it isn’t because I can’t stand looking at it – I’m just not sure how much demand there would be for templates of all of the others, so please do reach out to me if you need some of the other variants templated. I’ll see what I can do about fitting it into my schedule.

I mentioned in my last post, the next template on my list is the Fokker 100. As a matter of fact, I’ve already started and I’m making pretty good progress on it! Oh – and if it makes you feel any better, I’m starting to think that it may actually be even uglier than the ATR 42. I bet you can’t wait for that post, can you?

Airbus A330-800NEO white side view

Well, here it is. The side view airliner template that nobody asked for! Don’t worry, I’m not going to feel bad at all if nobody downloads it – after all, it was super easy to create since it’s basically just an A330-900 NEO with a shortened fuselage (the same as the A330-200 actually). Chances are pretty good that I never would’ve created it in the first place if it wasn’t a simple variant of a template that I just created, so it wasn’t that big of a deal to crank it out and get it here posted to the blog and my online store.

Remember in my last post when I mentioned that I had a few suggestions for the Airbus Board of Directors? One of the most important would have to be the elimination of the -800 series of aircraft across the entire Airbus lineup. I mean, think about it. Every single -800 variant they have created so far has been a dud. We all know that the A380 started out as the A380-800, and sales of that aircraft never lived up to expectations. If it weren’t for Emirates and their conquest to be the world’s most obnoxiously over-the-top airline, it would’ve been a complete failure and likely not even existing at all anymore here in 2018.

Then there was the A350-800, which never even saw the light of day. The only airline that was somewhat interested in it was Hawaiian, but they backed out of thier initial order which left Airbus in a difficult position. With zero orders on the books and not a single other airline interested in making a deal, they were forced to cancel development and focus all of their efforts on the -900 and -1000 instead. Orders for both of those variants have been quite strong by the way.

Interestingly enough, I am seeing the same lack of support for the A350-800 here on the blog as well. It’s one of my least-download templates to date, and I haven’t even sold a single high-resolution version of it on my online store. Nobody (and I mean nobody) was interested in that bird.

And here we are with the A330-800 NEO in 2018. Total orders so far: zero, with none on the horizon. Compare that with the -900 variant, which has a solid backlog of 214 confirmed orders so far, and you can probably guess where things are headed with this. The only question now is when (not if) they will cancel the development of the -800 program altogether to focus on the larger variants only. I’ve got to admit that I find this all very fascinating since it’s the smaller variants which typically have the better performance numbers (overall range, fuel efficiency, etc) and you would think that there would be a lot of airlines interested in that sort of thing. But I guess not. In the real world, it all comes down to cost per seat and it’s only the aircraft with more seats which are economically viable. I don’t really understand it, but that’s just the way things work.

Airbus A330-800NEO blueprint

Side profile line drawing of an Airbus A330-800 NEO

buy source file A330-800 NEO airliner template

I guess what I’m trying to say here is simple: Airbus, I think it’s time to give up on aircraft with the -800 extension. It’s proving to be the mark of bad luck for you, so from now on just start with the -900s and don’t even waste your time with anything else. Gosh I’m smart, and I can’t wait to check my email tomorrow morning and see an official email from Airbus offering me a position on their Board of Directors!

OK, so, now that I’ve wasted my time writing a complete blog post for an aircraft template that nobody is going to download, it’s time to get back to work and do something more productive. The ATR 42 is next, driven by the fact that I’ve got a paying client who needs it for a project he’s working on. Look for that one soon!

Airbus A330-900 NEO side view

Does anybody know how I could apply for a position on the Airbus Board of Directors? You see, I’ve got a lot of opinions about the A330 NEO (both good and bad) and I’d love to sit down and chat with the people who made the decision to go ahead with this next-generation variant of the A330. I’d also like to offer a few suggestions as well, and I know that the only way that anybody at Airbus would ever listen to me is if I had a seat on the board. Hold on a second while I check Craigslist to see if there’s an opening…

My biggest issue with the A330 NEO is how much overlap there is with the A350, and I can’t help but to wonder if Airbus is competing against itself and driving customers away from the more expensive aircraft (one that I assume has higher profit margins). But then again, my assumptions could be totally off base and perhaps it’s the A330 NEO that generates more revenue?

But what about all the development costs that went into revamping this old airframe? It couldn’t have been cheap, and I’m still scratching my head as to why they would spend all that effort and money putting lipstick on a pig when they could’ve used those resources to drive more sales to the A350.

The A330-900 NEO is basically an A330-300 with larger Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engines and A350-style blended winglets. The cockpit windows are all new as well, and are very similar to what’s on the A350 – black bandit paint included (which looks totally cool by the way). These changes were significant enough to make the creation of this template very time-consuming, and in order to get the blended winglet looking correct I basically had to re-draw the entire wing. And as I’ve mentioned before, the wings are the most complicated part of any of my templates. The rest cake.

A330-900 NEO blueprint

Technical side profile line drawing of an Airbus A330-900 NEO

buy source file airliner template

Speaking of the Rolls Royce Trent 7000, all I can say to that is: wow! The A330 never really looked right to me from any angle, but this huge new engine gives the aircraft a completely different look and it’s really impressive to see the size comparison of this engine compared to some of the older variants. I’m still not sure what I think about the blended winglet, but this new engine is enough for me to consider the A330 NEO to be one of the best looking commercial airplanes available at the moment.

Despite my reasoning to question the existence of the A330 NEO, it seems as if Airbus has a hit on their hands and they made the right decision to go forward with the program. A quick check of Wikipedia reveals that there are 214 confirmed orders for the -900 at the time of this writing, which is very respectable and solid proof that it’s a viable product that the airlines want. Malaysia Airlines is leading the demand at the moment with 66 firm orders. Delta and Iran Air are number two and three, but each of them are way back with roughly 25(ish) orders each. Oh – and a quick check of the A350 reveals that there are 847 confirmed orders at the time of this writing, which is impressive, but I would bet that number would be much higher if the A330 NEO didn’t exist.

Do I even have to tell you what my next template is going to be? Most of you should be able to figure it out without any hints from me, but I’ll say it anyway. It’s the A330-800 NEO! Yes, I know that Airbus has exactly 0 orders for that variant so far, but I’m going to template it anyway just so that I can have it as part of the full collection. It’ll be posted in just a few days!

737 MAX 9 all white side view

I know that there are many of you out there who have been wondering why the hell it is taken me so long to create a template of the 737 MAX 9. After all, I’ve already done the MAX 7 and 8, so it seems logical that a simple stretch my existing templates wouldn’t seem like such a big deal, right? In theory, that is correct. There isn’t anything significantly different about the max 9 over the max 8 other than fuselage length (and a few other minor details), so what was the problem?

In order to answer that, I need to take you back to 2012 when I first started creating side view airliner templates. Back then, I really had no idea what I was doing, and I was just trying to figure out how to draw airplanes. The very first template I created was the McDonnell Douglas DC-10–30, and I followed that up quickly with the Boeing 737–800. I was a bit disorganized still, as I was so excited to draw those airplanes that I wasn’t really thinking about how to develop a process for creating these templates. Basically, that’s just a long-winded way of saying that my first templates were a bit rough and there were some unfortunate discrepancies between my line drawings and the fully rendered all white versions.

To make matters worse, I’ve based every single one of my 737 templates on that original 737–800 illustration. That means that all of those inconsistencies have been growing as I continued to build up my entire 737 series, and it has been bothering me quite a bit. You should all know by now that I am a total perfectionist, so before I could go and create new variants of the 737 (everything from the classics to the latest versions), I really needed to go back and redo my base 737 template from scratch. That’s what I’ve been working on in my spare time for the past few months.

737 MAX 9 line drawing blueprint

Technical side profile line drawing of a Boeing 737-9 MAX

buy source file 737 MAX 9 airliner template

You probably didn’t even notice, but I have recently updated my posts about the MAX 7 and 8 with all new illustrations. And now that those have been updated, it allows me to post these templates of the MAX 9 without worrying that it would be inconsistent with them.

This also means that I will be updating all of my other 737 template posts with updated illustrations (yay!). I don’t have an exact time frame for that, but I’m planning to have everything updated over the next few weeks. My best suggestion is to check back a month from now, and I can pretty much guarantee that all my 737 templates will be updated by then and you’ll know that you’ll have the latest and greatest versions. Those of you who have purchased the high-resolution source files on my online store will also have access to the new versions. You’ll get an automated email notifying you of the update as soon as it happens.

Additionally, this also means that I am now able to start working on some of the 737 classics. I’ve been holding off doing those for a very long time now because of how much work needed to go into fixing my base 737 template, but now I’m free to forge a head with those and eventually I’m going to have the entire 737 family of aircraft templated and posted here to the blog. I’m looking forward to that as much as you are!

McDonnell Douglas MD-11 side view

I’m actually really glad that I spent the last week or so working on this MD-11 template, because it has reminded me just how much I’ve always liked this big McDonnell Douglas three-holer.

I’m pretty sure that it all started way back in the 1980s with the DC-10, because I vividly remember drawing pictures of them during class and getting in trouble for it. It was totally worth it though, because drawing was the only thing that could hold my attention and it was also a perfect way to let my crazy imagination run loose. I occasionally added missiles and machine guns to the bottom of the wings, and seriously considered writing McDonnell Douglas a letter to propose the idea of a top-secret fighter version. Back then, I was totally convinced that was a brilliant idea. But now, 30 years later, I’m starting to think my obsession with the A-Team and Blue Thunder on TV greatly distorted my perception of reality. Wasn’t 1980’s television awesome?

Interestingly enough, the DC-10 was the very first aircraft template I created way back in 2012. I can’t quite recall exactly why I wanted to start illustrating airplanes, but starting with the DC-10 was the obvious choice since it was one of my all-time favorites and I thought it would be fun to see if I could do it. I did it of course, and the rest is history. Unfortunately, since it was my first ever aircraft template, there is a lot that is wrong with it and a big part of me has been wanting to go back and redo the entire thing to bring it up to my current standards. It’s been on my mind for a while now, but it all came to a head last week when I tried to base this MD-11 template on that old illustration. It wasn’t until I started modifying that old DC-10 that I realized that there was too much wrong with it and I was going to have to start over from scratch.

MD-11 blueprint

Side profile line drawing of a McDonnell Douglas MD-11

buy source file MD-11 airliner template

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the MD-11, it was essentially the second-generation version of the DC-10. Although it shares a vast majority of structural components from that old bird, there are actually some very significant visual differences which essentially made it an all new design:

  • The fuselage was lengthened by 18 ft 7 in (5.66 m) over the DC-10-30
  • It has an all new screwdriver-style tail cone
  • The wingspan was increased by 4 ft 2 in (1.27 m) over the DC-10-30
  • Winglets were added to the wings
  • The airfoils under the wings are slightly modified
  • It features all new engines (General Electric or Pratt & Whitney)
  • The new engine options necessitated a slight redesign of the number two engine housing attached to the vertical stabilizer. This actually started with the DC-10-40, but it carries over to the MD-11 as well.

There are also a huge number of other little minor visual differences, such as the size and location of the smaller aerodynamic fins on the top and the bottom of the fuselage. Access panels and sensors (such a static ports) are also quite different compared to all DC-10 versions. The landing gear is slightly different as well but visually it’s almost the same.

Anyway, thanks all of you out there who suggested the MD-11 as my next template! I had a lot of fun with it, even though I had to build it from scratch (something that I wasn’t planning on doing). FYI, there will be a slight two-week pause on my airliner template production, as I’m going to be traveling over the next week which is going to cause a backlog on all the projects that I’ve got going on at the moment. As of right now, I’m tempted to do the A330NEO next – but I’ve got a long list of illustrations that I need to do so I’m not really sure which one it’s going to be yet…