The 737 MAX is now widely in operation around the world. Here’s how to spot one.

Boeing 737 MAX, Booking, Differences
Airlines in the US were among the first in the world to begin offering perks to healthcare workers. Photo: Getty Images

The Boeing 737 MAX has had its fair share of troubles since it entered service but has been safely flying since December 2020, with hundreds of units in the sky every day. But what if you’re curious about what aircraft type you’re flying, whether it’s the MAX or one of the 737NGs (next generation) still prevalent? Here are some tips to identify the 737 MAX.

On your booking

The easiest way to find out your aircraft type is to check while booking. Airlines usually include the type operating a route while selling the ticket, so take a look at the ‘more information.’ Similarly, you’ll see the plane you’re flying in your app or manage booking after the reservation as well.

However, this is not always the case. Some airlines operate a mixed fleet and only indicate the aircraft category, such as Boeing 737 or Airbus A320. To visually or technically identify you’re plane, here’s what you need to do.

Use the flight number

If you can’t find your aircraft type, or the airline won’t tell you in advance, your flight number can do a lot. Enter the number online, and a number of flight tracking websites will tell you which plane flies the route. However, this method is not foolproof. Airlines change schedules often and might swap equipment for any number of reasons. Our example above, United Airlines UA1657 from Houston to Newark, was operated by a mix of A320s and MAX 8s, depending on the week. This is also why the type is not declared in advance.

This method does work on the day of, or the day before, your flight. Airlines have to assign the plane before departure, so flight tracking software usually has the registration available. If none of this works, here are the visual queues to see the MAX.

United Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 landing at LAX

Photo: Lukas Souza | Simple Flying

How to spot if your aircraft is the 737 MAX

The best way to spot the 737 MAX is the engine covers. Unlikely any other variant, the engines are serrated and have a saw-tooth pattern on the back. These are distinct from the 737-800 and any other variant, so if you’re on a MAX 8 or 9 (or the MAX 7 and 10 in the future), watch the engine. Here are the MAX and 737NGs side by side for comparison

If this looks familiar, it’s because the Boeing 787 and 747-8 also feature the serrate engine covers, but you’re unlikely to mistake them for a MAX due to their size and two extra engines, respectively.

There are some subtler hints as well, like the fact the tail cone on the MAX is longer than the last 737s and the wider engines onboard. The winglets are another giveaway, but it can be hard to differentiate, given 737NGs can also come with them.

There are some airline-specific qualifiers as well. For example, Ryanair’s 737-800s features a simple, upward-pointing winglet, while all 737 MAXs have a split scimitar wing at the edge. However, United has also upgraded its 737NGs to include this design, so this should only be used if you can’t see the engine covers.

Have you used any of these tips to identify the 737 MAX before? Are there others you like to use? Let us know in the comments!


Napsat komentář

Vaše e-mailová adresa nebude zveřejněna.

You May Also Like

Airbus Helicopters Posts Strong Medevac Order Intake

Airbus Helicopters announced continuing strong sales into the U.S. medical market at…

The Complex Art of Aircraft Utilization

DALLAS – Aircraft are the most important and valuable assets of an…

Why Don’t Planes Use Reverse Thrust To Push Back?

When a plane departs an airport, its first movement will be to…

Quiz: 6 Questions To See How Well You Know Aircraft Systems

How’s your systems knowledge? 1) You’re performing an engine run-up before takeoff.…