There are 6 models in the Boeing 737 Next Generation: the 737-600, -700, -700ER, -800, -900 and -900ER. Like the Classic generation, the Next Generation uses CFM56s, but a more efficient type called the CFM56-7B. Models in the Next Generation have a longer range than their predecessors, have a higher capacity and possess winglets (the little gills on the edge of the wings that reduce drag [only some jet planes have winglets, especially new models]). Production of the Next Generation began in 1996 and SAS received the 1st plane, a -600, 2 years later. The -600, the 1st model in the Next Generation, measures 31.1 meters, has a capacity of 132 passengers in a single class (110 in 2 classes) and was the replacement of the 737-500 (see “Boeing 737 (part 2)” for more details). Funnily enough, the -600, unlike the other models in the Next Generation, doesn’t have any winglets. 69 -600s were produced and the last aircraft was delivered to WestJet (a Norwegian airline that uniquely flies in Norway [apart from 1 or 2 destinations]) in 2006. The -700, the 2nd model of the NG, measures 33.6 meters, has a capacity of 149 passengers in a single class (126 in 2 classes) and has winglets, like most other models in the NG. It was launched with Southwest Airlines in 1997. 1128 -700s were produced plus 22 -700Cs (the Combi version [cargo and passenger]) and 17 -700Ws (early warning and control aircraft). There are 3 unfilled orders, all of them -700Ws. The 737-700ER, the 3rd model (Extended Range), is very similar to the -700, but it has an increased payload and is more powerful, as it burns more fuel. It was launched in 2006 with All Nippon Airways.
The -800, the 4th model of the NG, was launched with Hapag-Lloyd Flug (now TUIfly [a German charter airline]) in 1998, measures 39.5 meters and has a capacity of 189 passengers in a single class (162 in 2 classes). 5166 -800s have been produced, 48 of which haven’t been delivered. In 2016, Boeing started to produce a BCF (Boeing Converted Freighter) version of the -800. Originally there were only 50 orders, but that went up to 80 after the 2018 Farnborough Airshow. The -900, the 5th model of the NG, was launched with Alaska Airlines in 2001, measures 42.1 meters and has a capacity of 189 passengers in a single class (177 in 2 classes). It has the same dimensions as the -800, the only difference being the length. 52 were ordered and all aircraft have been delivered. The -900ER, the 6th and last model of the NG, was launched in 2006 with Lion Air (the Indonesian flag carrier) and can accomodate up to 220 passengers in a single class (180 in 2 classes). 505 -900ERs have been produced and there are no unfilled orders. Delta Airlines (the 2nd biggest airline in the USA) is a big operator of this model, possessing 130. So, as we can see, there is a ridiculous amount of models in the NG (I haven’t listed all of them [-_-, I know, it’s crazy]) and it has not only been been very successful, but also a proof of how far technology can go. I didn’t talk about the 737 NG BBJs (Business jets), otherwise it would have been overwhelming. As of January 2020, all passenger models of the 737 NG have stopped being produced. Thank you for reading this article. McCloud. 29th of April 2020.