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Boeing 737 (ePub)

The World's Most Controversial Commercial Jetliner

Aviation > Civil Aviation Colour eBooks Photographic eBooks

By Graham M. Simons
Imprint: Air World
File Size: 32.0 MB (.epub)
Pages: 288
Illustrations: 200 colour
ISBN: 9781526787248
Published: 8th January 2021


£6.99 Print price £25.00

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The Boeing 737 is an American short- to medium-range twinjet narrow-body airliner developed and manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes, a division of the Boeing Company. Originally designed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from the 707 and 727, the 737 has grown into a family of passenger models with capacities from 85 to 215 passengers, the most recent version of which, the 737 MAX, has become embroiled in a worldwide controversy.

Initially envisioned in 1964, the first 737-100 made its first flight in April 1967 and entered airline service in February 1968 with Lufthansa. The 737 series went on to become one of the highest-selling commercial jetliners in history and has been in production in its core form since 1967; the 10,000th example was rolled out on 13 March 2018.

There is, however, a very different side to the convoluted story of the 737’s development, one that demonstrates a transition of power from a primarily engineering structure to one of accountancy, number-driven powerbase that saw corners cut, and the previous extremely high safety methodology compromised. The result was the 737 MAX. Having entered service in 2017, this model was grounded worldwide in March 2019 following two devastating crashes. 

In this revealing insight into the Boeing 737, the renowned aviation historian Graham M. Simons examines its design, development and service over the decades since 1967. He also explores the darker side of the 737’s history, laying bare the politics, power-struggles, changes of management ideology and battles with Airbus that culminated in the 737 MAX debacle that has threatened Boeing’s very survival.

With 10,000 Boeing 737s made since 1967, the chances are if you have flown short haul, you will have flown on at least one of these! This book tells the story of the 737 from the start of the project, to the present including an analysis of the lead up to the 737 Max, the accidents, its aftermath and whether Boeing can survive.
In-between the author takes the reader through all of the many versions of the 737 including the military ones, as well as some of the earlier accidents suffered by the type. The book is illustrated throughout, mostly in colour, it is interesting to see that some of the earlier airline schemes are now being seen again, this time as 'heritage' schemes.
It is fair to say that in 1/144 scale or indeed 1/200, you could create a very colourful line up of 7373 models, which would take up a similar amount of space as smaller 1/32 scale fighters! An online search shows that there are many kits available of the various versions, including the US Military ones, so there is plenty of scope, to build a collection.
If you are a fan of civil aviation and you are looking for some inspiration for your next 737 build, then look no further.


"A wonderful book".

JP4 Aviation Monthly

As featured by

VFR Aviation, August 2021

An exceptionally detailed, impressively informative, expertly written, organized and presented study.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

An exceptionally detailed, impressively informative, expertly written, organized and presented study, "Boeing 737: The World's Most Controversial Commercial Jetliner" is an especially timely and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college and university library Contemporary Aviation collections. A critically important study for anyone with concerns over the safety of the 737 MAX.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

There can’t be any reader who isn’t familiar with this controversial jet airliner, especially after the recent 737 MAX debacle and grounding, but the author takes us right back to the beginning when the aircraft was first proposed as a short-tomedium range spin off from the larger 707 and 727 airliners of the 1960s.

Entering service in 1968 the 737 family went on to become one of the highest-selling commercial jetliners in history, with over 10,000 produced by 2018 and including both civil and military examples. Graham Simons covers then all and in addition examines the politics of Boeing and the internal transition that saw the accountants taking the power from the engineers, that inevitably led to the 737 MAX downfall. A salutary lesson for all.

Helicopter International

"...handsomely published on coated paper that allows the amazing number of Boeing 737 photographs to look their best."

The New York Journal of Books.

Video review on Scale Modelling Now

Scale Modelling Now

As featured by

Website of the Royal Aeronautical Society

Reading early chapters is a joy, as it helps you discover the innovation and foresight Boeing had in producing this jet. It would sell well and prove very popular, reliable and cost effective in a variety of roles.

The book looks in detail at the variants, how they came about, and what made each different.

Read the full review here

Airport Spotting
 Graham M. Simons

About Graham M. Simons

GRAHAM M. SIMONS was one of the founders of the world-famous aviation museum at Duxford near Cambridge where his interest was piqued watching the making of the film Battle of Britain there in the late 1960s. From this, and with an engineering background, he progressed to membership of a number of aviation societies, including sitting on the British Aviation Preservation Council, eventually taking the position of Engineering Director with one group. Graham combines his love of writing with his skills in production to create and publish aviation histories focused on a variety of subjects.

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