The Boeing 737-400 Is a remarkable aircraft and was one of the great innovations of Boeing, increasing capacity yet keeping a relatively small and economic size. Announced in 1986, it is a twin-engine, short to medium range aircraft that has a capacity of 189 passengers. The 737-400 has had a wide popularity amongst markets regardless of its Airbus competitors.

United States
1981 to: 2000
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
2x CFM56-3C-1
23,500 pound-force
Max Cruise Speed:
473 knots
876 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
139 knots
Travel range:
2,060 Nautical Miles
3,815 Kilometers
Fuel Economy:
Service Ceiling:
37,000 feet
Rate of Climb:
3000 feet / minute
15.24metre / second
Take Off Distance:
2540 metre - 8,333.23 feet
Landing Distance:
1540 metre - 5,052.43 feet
Max Take Off Weight:
68,039 Kg
149,999 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
56,245 Kg
123,998 lbs
Max Payload:
18,253 Kg
40,241 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
5,311 gallon
20,104 litre
Baggage Volume:
31.1 m3 / 1,098 ft3
Seats - Economy / General:
188 seats
Seats - Business Class:
Seats - First Class:
Cabin Height:
2.159 metre - 7.08 feet
Cabin Width:
3.5 metre - 11.48 feet
Cabin Length:
25.14 metre - 82.48 feet
Exterior Length:
36.4 metre - 119.42 feet
Tail height:
11.15 metre - 36.58 feet
Fuselage Diameter:
3.76 metre - 12.34 feet
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter:
28.9 metre - 94.82 feet
Wing Tips:
No Winglets


The Boeing 737-400 sat in the lineup of the 737-200 to 500 range, which were created to compete with replace the less efficient 737-200 Boeing line. Piedmont Airlines initially ordered 25 of them from Boeing in June of 1986. It was a more lengthened design of the powerful 737-300 and the first one was in the air in February 1988 and entered actual service for Piedmont in September.


The Boeing 737-400 has a maximum cruising speed of 912 km/hour. It weighs over 38 tons when empty, and a maximum takeoff weight of 138,500 pounds. With a wingspan of over 94 feet, and a height of 36.5 feet, the 737-400 is a formidable aircraft. It is manned by a flight crew of 2 and has two powerful turbofan engines and a maximum range of around 3,500 kilometers. It can hold over 20 thousand liters of fuel.

The interior of the airplane is spacious, with larger compartments than many of its competitors. With reduced seating from the maximum, the 737-400 can offer more spacious room than some of its competitors, as well as its predecessors. This does not increase the cost of flights however, marking an innovation in the aviation technology.


It is currently flown by Alaska Airlines and PEOPLExpress in the U.S. However, internationally the 737-400 is still a widely popular airline, used in countries like Poland, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Iceland, and many other nations around the world.


The main competitor to the 737-400 is the Airbus A320, which has more weight but also a longer range. The 737-400 also competes with the McDonnell Douglas MD-81. However, there are several key differences between the 737-400 and its predecessors. The 737-300 fuselage was 3.05 meters shorter than the 400, thus the newer model could seat more passengers, making it much more economical and cost-efficient. It stretched the previous 737-300 a total of over 10 feet. There are other smaller innovations as well such as a strengthened wing spar and a customized tail bumper to prevent rotation and bounce during the plane’s movement.

Uses and Variations

The 737-400 has been used both for civilian and freight, being an incredible aircraft in both respects. As a cargo airplane for Alaska Airlines, it can fit 9 large pallets, and one medium-to-large pallet, and has a range of 2,370 miles. The vast majority of the 737-400s employed in civilian air travel have a range of 144 to 147 seats. Most of the 737-400 airliners now sell for between 2 and 4 million and are used around the world for travel and freight.

Want More of This?
We'll send you our latest and best content straight to your inbox
Featured Image

All Boeing Aircraft

More Like This
Airbus A318
Mid Size Passenger Jets
Airbus A318
Airbus A330-200
Mid Size Passenger Jets
Airbus A330-200
McDonnell Douglas MD-90
Mid Size Passenger Jets
McDonnell Douglas MD-90
Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 500
Mid Size Passenger Jets
Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 500
Tupolev Tu-204
Mid Size Passenger Jets
Tupolev Tu-204
Fairchild Dornier 728 Family
Mid Size Passenger Jets
Fairchild Dornier 728 Family