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OMG WINGLETS: Why the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo are Awesome

July 17, 2012 at 10:22 AM | by | ()

Hey there traveler! Seen all the news recently about airlines ordering Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo planes, and wondering what that means for you on your flight, apart from getting to look at even more winglets?

Here's the skinny. Both the 737 and A320 are getting long in the tooth — 50 years old in the case of the 737, and nearly 30 for the A320. And since the planemakers decided that it's not yet time for the next generation of planes shaped like flying saucers or something, they're updating their venerable workhorses.

So what's new for when they start flying in three to five years?

First thing: faster to the "you may now use your Kindle" bing. The new winglets mean that the planes climb quicker to that all-important 10,000 feet so you can get back to your fifty shades of whatever.

Second thing: new engines! Quieter engines, meaning you don't have to blast your iPod quite so loud. Engines that burn less fuel. Engines that (in the case of the MAX) have awesome scalloped edges, which is one of the reasons how they do those things and also look really cool.

Third thing: DOUBLE WINGLETS. Seriously, the 737 MAX has double winglets, that go up as well as down. We're betting that's why the MAX is in ALLCAPS, because it's EXCITED about DOUBLE WINGLETS. No, really. We can't wait for the first double winglet Instagram shot out of a window over some really pretty scenery. Or even boring, boring clouds. DOUBLE WINGLETS.

Fourth thing: bigger bins for you to carry all your stuff on board. Unless you're a super-frequent flyer or you pay up for early boarding, you know what it's like playing musical overhead bins, only to find that you're the last one standing and have to send your stuff down into the hold. Both new jets are planning bigger bins, so you (and that idiot with the "personal item" the size of Kazakhstan) can store all your stuff happily.

Awesome, huh? Also, WINGLETS.

[Images: Boeing, Airbus]

Archived Comments:


Its Funny if you notice the Boeing 737 Max winglet looks like an A320 non-NEO winglet which in turn the A320-NEO Has the winglet of the NG and Classic 737. I think they traded some papers.

More like McDonnell-Douglas...

To me, it looks more like the double-winglet on a McDonnell-Douglas MD-11.

If I were a betting man, I'd have some money on Boeing deciding that it wanted all of the money for its winglets (currently it shares it with Aviation Partners) and using a design that evolved from one it acquired from McDonnell-Douglas when MD was bought by Boeing.

(And don't forget, the A320 non-winglets version has a wing fence, like the A380 -- not a wingletless version like the original 737s.)