All posts tagged: 737 Next Generation Series
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!

737-900ER split scimitar side view

Sometimes I really wonder if starting this airliner template project was a good idea or not. Of course I really enjoy working on these highly detailed side-profile illustrations, but the sheer number of aircraft on my “to do” list has been overwhelming for much too long and the reality is that I’ll probably never get around to doing them all. That’s not a very comfortable feeling for me, primarily because having too much to do sends my anxiety levels through the roof (lol) and I never really feel satisfied that I’m making progress. But as long as I just focus on on aircraft at a time, things are more manageable and I can keep moving forward.

Today’s area of focus is squarely on the 737-900/ER. I created my original 737-900/ER template way back in 2014, but that one had the normal-style winglets and some missing details that I never got around to adding. The way that I shaded the all-white version had been bugging me as well (the shadows were much too dark IMHO), so I finally decided to dig it up from my archives and make some of those much-needed updates.

737-900ER split scimitar side view

A technical side profile line drawing of a Boeing 737-900/ER with split scimitar winglets over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

buy source file 737-900 scimitar airliner template

The biggest change is the addition of the split scimitar winglets. Most airlines seem to be opting for these over the older-style winglets, so I thought it was important to have this version in my collection for anyone needing it (which is a lot of you, since I’ve been getting a lot of requests for it). I’ve also added a few details, like the satellite communications dome on the top of the fuselage, as well as adding some window “blanks” to make it more realistic.

Finally, I spent some time adjusting all the shading and shadows, fixing all the problem areas which made the original template much too dark and muddy. It’s really hard to create a single style of shading for all my templates – my personal tastes and styles change over the years, and back then (when I first created this template), I was into very exaggerated and “strong” imagery. These days, I’m all about simplicity and cleanliness. I’d love to go back and fix all my earlier illustrations to bring them up to date with my current lighter style, but unfortunately, there aren’t enough hours in the day to take on a project that big!

Hope you enjoy this little update. The Boeing 737-7 MAX is on the drawing board and will be available soon.

blank side view 737-900

I’ve had a lot of requests to make a side view template of a Boeing 737-900, so I decided to go ahead and scratch that one off my list. It was a bit more involved than simply stretching my existing 737-800 drawing, as there were some minor wing and engine modifications that needed to be made – but for the most part it wasn’t that bad. At least I didn’t have to modify the fuselage (other than just stretching it). I’m still amazed that this same basic airframe first went into service in 1968. That’s over 40 years ago! Of course all the inner bits are not the same, but the 737 has truly stood the test of time.

side view line drawing 737-900

Technical line drawing of a Boeing 737-900

buy source file 737-900 airliner template

One minor difference between this -900 variant and all the others is that it needs a skid plate attached to the bottom section of the rear fuselage for protection from tail strikes. It’s not a significant piece of equipment, but you can see it clearly here on my drawings (at the very rear, right under the horizontal stabilizer). This is a very long airplane with very short landing gears, so there is a greater chance of scraping during rotation. I guess adding a little extra piece to the airframe was significantly cheaper than increasing how high this aircraft sits off the ground!

Other than that, there aren’t any major modifications that I had to make to convert my -800 template into the -900. Personally, I think that it looks too long, reconfirming my feeling that the 737-700 is the best size for this airframe (IMHO of course). Boeing has stretched the 737 as far as they can, and it would require major modifications to increase capacity any further. It would basically have to be an all new airframe at that point, and it seems to me like it would me much easier to start from scratch with an all new narrow body.

So now that I’ve created templates of all the current (“Next Generation“) 737s, it’s time to go back in time and take care of the earlier generations. That’s a bit lower on my priority list though – I need to take care of the Boeing 757 first.

boeing 737-700 side view illustration

I’m on a roll now. It wasn’t very long ago that I finished my Boeing 787-9 illustrations, and I had enough enthusiasm left over in me to go ahead and tackle yet another much-needed variant: the Boeing 737-700. I’ll tell you what, I like doing these variants a whole heck of a lot better than creating templates of an aircraft from scratch – it takes hardly any time at all (comparatively) and there’s no need to mentally psych myself up for a huge project. So I took my existing template of a 737-800 of and started chopping…

Compared to it’s bigger brothers (the 737-800 and -900), I like the look of the -700 series the most. It has a perfect wing to fuselage ratio (IMHO) that makes it look well balanced from all angles. And a bit stout and muscular too, which can’t be said for larger versions of this same airplane.

outline line drawing boeing 737-700

Boeing 737-700 technical line drawing

buy source file 737-700 airliner template

Because I like the looks of it so much, I drew this template at a slightly wider angle than most of my other ones. Doing this puts a bit more emphasis on the winglets, which I like, and I don’t think it’s extreme enough that it makes these drawings too artistic to be used for technical reference. Whereas all of my other templates are drawn as you’d see them through a 55mm camera lens (roughly), this -700 is drawn at more like 45mm. So, not so much of a difference but I think it creates a nice look.

So now that I have the -700 and -800 variants of the 737 complete, I’m probably going to do the -900 before I go back and do some of the classics such as the -100 through -500 series. Those older versions will take longer to do because of differences in engines and wing structure, and I’m in no mood to psych myself up to tackle that kind of thing right now!

September 2018 edit: I’ve got good news for all of you 737-700 fans who have been refreshing this page every 5 seconds for the past 4 years or so waiting for updates. At long last, I’ve finally added additional versions of this aircraft with split scimitar winglets and no winglets at all! Yeah, I know I can be slow at times, and I greatly apologize that it’s taken me this long to build out the entire 737-700 lineup. But enough of me yappin’ – here they are:

737-700 with split scimitar winglets side view all white

2d side profile illustration of an all white Boeing 737-700 with split scimitar winglets

737-700 with split scimitar winglets blueprint

Wireframe line drawing of a 737-700 with split scimitar winglets

737-700 without winglets side view

2d side profile illustration of an all white Boeing 737-700 without winglets

737-700 without winglets blueprint

Wireframe line drawing of a 737-700 without winglets

737-800 side view all white

Right off the heels of my DC-10-30 blank template illustrations, I’m proud to say that I just finished blank templates of the Boeing 737-800! I was actually planning on doing the 777-200 next, but I’m currently working on an unrelated project where I need a drawing of a 737-800 – so there was a real need to make this set.

Just like that DC-10 set, I made a wireframe drawing and an all white version of this 738 – both with winglets. I’m going to hold off on doing a bare metal version for now, as I don’t need it and there are very few airlines these days with exposed-aluminum in their livery. Except for American Airlines – wow…they certainly have one of my favorite color schemes at the moment, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Bare metal is a very difficult texture to recreate!

Technical line drawing

Technical line drawing

buy source file 737-800 airliner template

I’d also like to take a moment to mention that I’m actually learning quite a bit about aircraft design by creating these templates. In order to illustrate accurate representations of these aircraft, I have to pour over hundreds of photos and illustrations to make sure I’m getting everything as correct as possible. And the frustrating part is that there are still things in my drawings that aren’t totally accurate! Believe me, the perfectionist in me is not proud, so please don’t send me email reminding me about the little errors you spot. 🙂

August 16, 2014 Edit: I just finished up reworking this template to include a version with split scimitar winglets, so I thought I’d add it to this existing post instead of creating a new one. Here’s it is:

737-800 split scimitar winglets side view

All white version with split scimitar winglets

And here’s the line drawing version of the split-scimitar wing. This is the way the 737-800 was supposed look IMHO, as it looks killer with these aggressive winglets:

737-800 with split scimitar winglets blueprint

Wireframe line drawing of a 737-800 with split scimitar winglets

Also, we can’t forget about the version without winglets either. This is by far my least-favorite 737-800 of them all, as it looks downright naked without anything on the wingtips:

737-800 without winglets side view

2d side profile illustration of an all white Boeing 737-800 without winglets

737-800 without winglets blueprint

Wireframe line drawing of a 737-800 without winglets