All posts tagged: boeing
757-300 template side view white
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Have you ever been so busy that you start feeling hopeless and just stop trying to keep up anymore? That’s the way I’ve been feeling about some of my side projects lately (including this blog), so I do apologize for the lack of posts recently. I’m still here – up to my eyeballs in Maya and Form Z 3D work as a matter of fact, as well as chipping away on my side view airliner template project. Trust me – there’s a lot going on even though it may not look like it! That’s the problem with being so busy unfortunately. Many people think I’m slacking because I haven’t made an appearance in a while, but the truth is that I’m probably the most productive I’ve ever been in my life. I just haven’t had the time to post anything…

I’ve got three more airliner templates I need to make over the next several months, so I figured that I’d post these 757-300 side view templates before getting started with those. I completed these illustrations about 6 weeks ago, but my lack of free time has kept me from posting these here. My apologies. I don’t think that the 757-300 is a very popular aircraft anyway – heck, I think I’ve received only 1 request for it since I started this template project so I know there are very few of you who are salivating at the mouth for it. But I needed it for another project of mine (which is starting to become a pattern, I know) so it was necessary to roll up my sleeves and stretch the 757-200 template I created two years ago.

757-300 line drawing side view

A technical side profile line drawing of a Boeing 757-300 with winglets and rolls royce engines over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

Stretching an existing template is always an uncomfortable experience for me. It may seem like the easiest thing in the world to anyone who hasn’t done it before, but once I start pushing and pulling the pixels to fit the proportions of the real airframe, I always take a step back, scratch my head, and start to wonder if I’ve made a huge mistake. Especially for oddballs like the 757-300 (and the A340-600 I just completed). The proportions of this thing are downright weird, with it’s super-long forward section and relatively stubby rear-end. I couldn’t believe that was right, even after double-checking the dimensions and making sure I didn’t make a mistake by adding one too many fuselage sections. But everything checks out – it’s an accurate template. Well, I wouldn’t build a real aircraft off of these drawings, but they’re close enough!

Apologies again for the gap in posts. And as far as the next four templates, I have to get started on those relatively soon since the completion of another project depends on them. If you want to know, those three templates are: the Boeing 717, the ATR 74, and the Cessna Grand Caravan. Time to get busy!

boeing 737 MAX 7 side view
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I’m on a roll now! Or at least it seems that way. After nearly a three month break from working on my airliner template project, I’ve wrapped up three in the past week: the Boeing 737 MAX 8, the 737-900/ER with split scimitar winglets, and now this 737 MAX 7. It feels really good to be making progress again and I’m really excited about keeping this momentum going for a while.

The subject of this post is, of course, my latest illustrations featuring the MAX 7. All in all, the only thing I really had to do to create these templates was to shorten the fuselage of the 737-8 MAX a bit and reposition a few details. That’s not to say there wasn’t any heartburn along the way though. You see, about two weeks ago Boeing published an updated design for the 737-7 MAX which threw me for a loop (and required a lot of head scratching as I had to try and figure out what those changes were and how they affected the look of this airplane). Long story short, they increased the length of the airframe slightly in order to add two more seating rows. This was likely done in order to make it more competitive with the Bombardier CS300, and to be honest, I’m not really sure that was necessary. I’m hardly an expert in the field of commercial aviation, but the 737-700 has always been the “sweet spot” when it comes to performance vs payload. It’s an extremely versatile aircraft and I have no doubt it’s success would have continued with the MAX 7 even with the CS300 competing for the same customers. But what do I know? I’m just an illustrator.

737 MAX 7 line drawing side view

2d profile illustration of a wireframe line drawing of a 737-7 MAX over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

It’s always weird taking one of my existing templates and either stretching or shortening it. I spent many hours working on my 737 MAX 8 illustrations, and then spent a couple days updating my 737-900 – so yeah, 737’s with long fuselages have been burned into my brain pretty well over the past week. So when the time came to shorten up the 737-8 to make these templates, the stubby proportions of this shorter variant really caught me off guard. It almost looked comical and wrong to me once I had it all laid out, and I had to triple check to make sure I had the dimensions accurate. The 737-7 MAX really is a stubby little airplane, which is exaggerated no doubt by those huge new LEAP engines.

Anyway, so that’s it for 737 templates for a while. I need to go back and finish out my A340 series next, and what comes after that is still a bit fuzzy to me. I was planning on doing the 727 (finally!), but I’ve been getting a lot more requests for some other aircraft which might need to come first.

737-900ER split scimitar side view
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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

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.

737-8 MAX side view drawing
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Just when you thought I had abandoned my side view airliner template project all together, I present to you all these detailed illustrations of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 (aka 737-8). It’s been nearly three months since I posted my drawings of the A340-300 and I was fully committed at the time to finish out that series with the -500, -600, and -200 variants. Unfortunately, life got in the way and here I am three months later and none of them have been finished yet. But the good news is that I have the wireframe line drawings completed for each one of those, so now it’s just a matter of creating the fully shaded white versions. Soon!

Based on the number of requests I have been getting for the next-generation 737 variants, I decided to focus on those first before I go back and finish out the A340 series. I know that many of you have been patiently waiting for the 737-8 MAX (like, foreeeeeever!), and I am really sorry that it has taken so long. I will mention, however, that part of the reason for the delay was the lack of good reference material available for this aircraft. There are only a few frames built at the moment, and not very many detailed pictures which show all the changes very well. But I pieced together what I could and I think I’ve recreated this 737-8 fairly accurately. “I think” are the key words here – so please do let me know if you spot any errors in these drawings.

boeing 737-8 line drawing side view

2d profile illustration of a wireframe line drawing of a 737-8 MAX over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

The MAX is pretty much identical to the previous generation aircraft, except for a few bigger component upgrades: new (larger) engines, taller landing gear, a new tail cone, and a new wing with a beautiful new split scimitar winglet design. Other than that, I was able to leverage my existing 737-800 template for the fuselage and vertical stabilizer parts, along with a slew of little details that carry over to the MAX. And to be honest – once I finished out this template and stepped back to have a look, I was really amazed at how similar it is to the old 737-800. Only hardcore aviation nerds will be able to spot the differences between the MAX and previous generation 737’s, and I think Boeing missed an opportunity here to differentiate the design a bit more (which would amplify the “new and improved / cutting edge tech” aspect a bit). Of course larger changes would have meant a longer development time, so the practical side of me understands fully why they did what they did.

Next up will be templates of the 737 MAX 7 (737-7). As far as I can tell it’s just a shortened version of the 737-8 so I don’t expect it will take very long for me to put those together. I promise!

boeing 747-8F side view drawing
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The cargo version of the Boeing 747-8 is a really nice looking airplane from most angles, but I’ve got to admit that this side profile view isn’t very flattering. This is a very long and lean aircraft, and viewing it directly from the side like this only exaggerates those proportions to levels which seem a bit comical IMHO. The problem is no doubt caused by the shortened second-level “hump” just behind the cockpit windows. It sort of reminds me of a lump on the head, just like you used to see when Tom and Jerry beat the ever-living crap out of each other during after-school cartoons. It doesn’t look right at all from this angle, and the lack of windows down the side of the fuselage doesn’t help either. “Tubeliner” is a totally appropriate term here.

However, I personally think that this is one of the best looking airplanes when viewed from almost any other angle. Lean and long is a good thing – especially when viewed from a three-quarter front view! But nice angles like that don’t work well as template illustrations so all I’ve got for you today are these side view drawings. Maybe someday once I’ve created templates of every major commercial aircraft past and present will I venture into illustrating other views. But that’s a long way off, so don’t hold your breath…

747-8F line drawing side view

A technical side profile line drawing of a Boeing 747-8F over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

I just read yesterday that Boeing has slowed down 747-8 production once again to .5 airframes a month. That’s unfortunate considering how good of a commercial airliner this is. It’s even better in cargo configuration, but four-engine aircraft are quickly falling out of fashion these days thanks to how good (efficient/reliable) twin-engine competitors are becoming. The US government wants a 747-8 for the next Air Force One, and since interest from the airlines is drying up fast, it’s likely the two AF1 frames will be the last. That’s just my opinion of course, but the future isn’t looking good for the 747.

With this 747-8F, I’ve now got three 747 templates available (the 747-400 and 747-8i). The 747 has always been my favorite commercial aircraft, so I’m itching to fill in the blanks and create illustrations of all the other variants to make my collection complete. The 747-100 and -200 are similar enough that I could create both at the same time, and the -300 (with the stretched upper deck) shouldn’t be too difficult based on how much it shares with the -400. Famous last words I know. I always assume these things are going to be easy but it never really works out that way!

boeing 747-8i side view drawing
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One of these days I should put together a video or infographic of some kind to document some of the struggles I go through as I build my airliner template collection. I started this project four years ago (man, has it really been that long?) thinking that I’d quickly build up a large database of highly-detailed side view illustrations of the most popular commercial aircraft – past and present. It seemed like a simple and innocent enough project at the time, but…well, I’m here to tell you that I’ve “quit” three times already and each time I swore that I’d never draw another one of these darn things again. Yeah, I like airplanes, but creating these templates can be very tedious and draining at times especially when I’ve got a lot of other things to do. It also drives my short attention span crazy!

But no matter how discouraged I get, I always come back to it. Contrary to my annoying short attention span, I have a bit of OCD in me as well that can’t stand the thought of having an unfinished collection of illustrations on my to-do list. I suppose this means that I’ll be working on this little project for as long as I live – no doubt struggling all the while and quitting a time or two along the way.

And that leads me to my latest airliner illustration: the Boeing 747-8i (the “i” stands for Intercontinental). I started working on this one immediately after finishing my 747-400 template (more than two years ago), but…well…that was right about the time that I went through one of my “screw it, I quit!” periods and it was hurled into my archives presumably never to be touched again. But like I said – my OCD can’t let stuff sit like that forever, so I pulled it out last week and made a commitment to get it wrapped up and published.

747-8i line drawing side view

A technical side profile line drawing of a Boeing 747-8i over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

For those that don’t know, the Boeing 747-8i is the modern successor to the hugely popular 747-400, and most likely the final variant of the 747 ever. That’s especially true now since this airplane has proved to be less than popular and sales have been disappointingly weak since it’s introduction. There aren’t many airlines interested in four-engine aircraft these days, so it’s unknown at the moment how long the 747-8i program will live before Boeing pulls the plug on it.

All in all, creating this template wasn’t so bad. The wing was (by far) the most difficult part. I wanted to give it a nice “flexed” shape that would accentuate the new-style blended winglet, and it was a bit of a challenge to get it right. At first I drew the wing with a downward arch (simulating how it would look with a full load of fuel), but I didn’t think it was the right way to illustrate it since the winglet curves up slightly. Therefore, I decided to give the wing a bit of upward flex to simulate what it would look like in-flight.

Hope you like this one!

blank white 757-200 illustration
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These side view Boeing 757-200 templates have been on my to-do list forever, and I just couldn’t put them off any longer due to a personal side project of mine that required some illustrations of this aircraft. I’m really glad to have these done and out of the way! Well, sort of. You see, just like the Airbus A319/A320/A321, there are actually quite a few versions of the 757-200. There were two engine types (Pratt and Whitney and Rolls Royce) offered during it’s production run, with two different wingtips (with and without winglets). I only illustrated the Pratt and Whitney engined version for now, but I did create both versions of the wing. So I still have some work ahead of me…

I’ll attach the versions with the Rolls Royce engines to this post as soon as I complete them, but for now, here are some all white renderings and wireframe line drawings of the 757-200 with Pratt and Whitney engines – with and without winglets.

Here is the line drawing version of the aircraft at the top of this post (with winglets):

757-200 line art with winglets

Technical line drawing of a Boeing 757-200 with winglets

And here is the fully rendered blank white version and associated line drawing for the non-winglet version.

white 757 template

All white Boeing 757-200 template (without winglets)

757-200 line drawing without winglets

Technical line drawing of a Boeing 757-200 (without winglets)

The 757-200 is a good looking aircraft, isn’t it? The equivalent airliners of today (the Boeing 737-900 and Airbus A321) just don’t look as sleek and graceful as this thing does, so it’s going to be a major bummer when they retire these things for good. But now that I have these templates, I plan on creating many variations of it with some of the best airline liveries from all over the world.

blank side view 737-900
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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

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 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.

blank white 767-400
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Just when I thought things were getting easy, Boeing threw a curve ball at me. Did you know that the main landing gear of the 767-400 is different from the -200 and -300 variants? I sure as heck didn’t, and I didn’t realize my mistake until I was just about to call this template “done”. Yeah, for some reason or another the MLG (main landing gear) just didn’t look right to me, but I brushed it off thinking that things always look different in perfect side profile views such as this. But just to make sure, I did a bit more research to confirm my thinking. Drat! The MLG is actually quite a bit more advanced on this stretched version of the 767, and understandably so given how much more weight it needs to support. Back to the drawing board…

767-400 line drawing

Technical line drawing of a Boeing 767-400

Another main difference (that I already knew about) between this stretched version and the others is that the wings feature blended winglets. These winglets are not the same as the larger and more pronounced versions offered on the 767-300 – instead, they were actually designed to be an integral part of the wing. They look great – though they are very subtle and hardly noticeable to the untrained eye. The good news is that we’ll be seeing this design in the next generation versions of the 777 – I can’t wait to see that!

Anyway, I’m not really sure how popular this template is going to be considering the fact that there are very few airlines who fly this type. Delta and United have most of them, and there were very few other airlines outside the US who had any interest. Perhaps they’ll end up overseas once DL and UA let go of theirs, but for now, this is primarily a US-specific airplane. But still – I had to do it in order to make my 767 collection complete!

767-300 white with winglets
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Creating templates of every single version of the 767 together at one time actually worked out pretty well. Of course it was a lot of work to get everything done, but I did find that it really helped to keep things consistent from version to version since they were all being worked on in unison. If I noticed a mistake on one template, it was really easy to switch over to the other versions and correct it right then and there – as opposed to just adding it to my to do list (and possibly forgetting about it later).

The 767 has been around for a long time, and is pretty much at the end of it’s life. Boeing is still producing cargo (and military) versions of this aircraft, but the commercial airline orders have pretty much dried up due to more advanced and economical airplanes that have come on the market over the past 10 years or so. Anyway, that long production run has meant a lot of variation between the early builds and the latest ones off the assembly line. I discovered in my research that there were actually several versions of door and window configurations produced, as well as different sectioning methods on the fuselage. It’s heartburn inducing trying to create templates showing all that variance! But in the end, I decided that I couldn’t do it all – I’ll just make the modifications on a plane by plane basis as I apply different liveries to it in the future.

Anyway, on with the templates. Here is the wireframe version of the aircraft at the top of this post:

line drawing of a 767-300

Technical line drawing of a Boeing 767-300 with winglets

Now, here are fully rendered and wireframe line drawings of the aircraft without winglets:

no winglets 767-300 template

All white Boeing 767-300 template without winglets

line drawing 767-300 no winglets

Technical line drawing of a Boeing 767-300 without winglets

Finally, I even created cargo versions as well. So here are the illustrations of the cargo variant with and without winglets:

all white cargo 767-300 with winglets

All white Boeing 767-300F template with winglets

cargo 767-300 line drawing

Technical line drawing of a Boeing 767-300F with winglets

cargo 767-300 all white no winglets

All white Boeing 767-300F template without winglets

cargo 767-300 line drawing no winglets

Technical line drawing of a Boeing 767-300F without winglets

I really think that the addition of the winglets makes the 767-300 look great. It’s never been a extraordinarily good-looking airplane, but those winglets completely change the look (especially from a front 3/4 angle).