Boeing 737-900 Reaches Firm Design Configuration

The Boeing Company announced today it has reached firm design configuration of the 737-900, a key milestone in the development of the longest Next-Generation 737 model.

Measuring 138 feet 2 inches in length, the 737-900 model surpasses the 737-800 by nearly nine feet. The increased size will accommodate about 18 percent more cargo volume and about nine percent more passenger cabin area than the 737-800.

"Since the 737-800 and 737-900 airplanes are both limited to 189 passengers, the additional passenger space will be particularly useful in a dual-class passenger configuration," said Jack Gucker, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president - 737/757 Derivative Programs. "This model also will offer more comfort for all-tourist cabin arrangements."

For airlines, the added size translates into new service opportunities and better economic performance. The 737-900 will provide the lowest dual-class seat-mile costs available in a single-aisle airplane, rivaled only by the Boeing 757.

Today's milestone indicates that Boeing and its airline customers have completed critical configuration decisions for the 737-900 model. Engineers now can release design information to manufacturing departments and suppliers, who will proceed with additional engineering and fabrication of parts, tools and assemblies.

The airplane is scheduled for its initial flight in August 2000, followed by first delivery in April 2001. To date, 40 of the new 737-900 models have been ordered by four carriers - Continental Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Airlines and launch customer, Alaska Airlines. The 737-900 is the newest of the Next-Generation 737s, a family of airplanes designed to offer superior performance and commonality. These airplanes have become the fastest-selling jetliners in commercial aviation history.