All posts tagged: 737 Original Series
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!