The Boeing 737-500 is the final and shortest variant of the Boeing 737 Classic produced by the American manufacturer Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It has a range of 2,950 nautical miles, and the 737-500 can accommodate up to 132 passengers.
In 1979, the Boeing company developed the Boeing 737 Classic, the second generation of the original Boeing 737 narrow-body aircraft. The company aims to develop an aircraft with longer range and increased capacity, including some enhancements with the latest specifications at the same time keeping commonality with the 737 previous versions.
The 737 Classic family has three variants, the 737-300, the 737-400, and the last variant 737-500.
In May 1987, the 737-500 was launched by Southwest Airlines, the world’s largest low-cost carrier based in Dallas, Texas. The airline placed an order of 20 aircraft.
On June 30 1989, the 737-500 took its maiden flight.
On February 28 1990, the first 737-500 was delivered to Southwest Airlines. On the same year, it entered into service.
The 737-500 became popular in Russia, having some of its airlines purchase second-hand models of the aircraft. Several airlines include Nordavia, S7 Airlines, UTair, Sky Express, Rossiya Airlines, Yamal Airlines and Transaero. These airlines purchased second-hand 737-500 in replacement of the old aircraft built by Soviet and also to enlarge their fleets. Aerolineas Argentinas, the flag carrier of Argentina also acquired second-hand 737-500 in replacement of their 737-200.
Production of the Boeing 737 Classic took place from 1984 to 2000. There were 1,988 recorded deliveries, 389 of those were for 737-500.
The 737-500 is equipped with new engines for an improved fuel economy and has modernized avionics. The engines were placed ahead of the wing with the engine accessories on the sides of the engine pods.
The aircraft has the longest range among the 737 Classic variants and has the smallest dimension. The aircraft has an exterior length of 31.01 meters, height of 11.12 meters, and has a fuselage diameter of 4.01 meters.
The wing is designed to enhance the aerodynamics. It has a wingspan of 28.88 meters and a 23-centimeter extended wingtip. The leading edge slats that allows the aircraft to fly at a high angle of attack were adjusted. The trailing edge flaps that aims to increase the maximum lift coefficient that a wing can produce were also repositioned.
The 737-500 was designed to replace the previous 737-200.
737-500 Cabin and Cockpit
The 737-500 flight deck has an optional Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) and the cabin is enhanced with certain upgrades same of those on the Boeing 757. An older style mechanical cockpit and a glass cockpit configuration were accessible.
The 737 Classic is also equipped with Speed Trim System (STS), an electrical stabilizer trim input that controls certain aircraft attitude conditions automatically while going through large thrust changes in the lower speed region like take-off and go-around.
These certain conditions need high thrust settings and mainly present with a low weight aircraft and a comparatively aft center of gravity where the aircraft ought to nose up. The STS also aids the crew when controlling the aircraft manually on these conditions without engaging the autopilot by using an opposite stabilizer trim, and using an autopilot trim to command a nose down force.
The cabin of the aircraft has a height of 2.13 and width of 3.54 meters. Its height is the same as of the original 737-200. It can accommodate up to 132 passengers.
737-500 Engine and Performance
The engine of the 737 Classic does not have circular inlets unlike other aircraft. The 737-500 is powered by CFM56-3B1 made by CFM International. The CFM56-3B1 is a high-bypass turbofan engine with a maximum thrust of 20,100 pounds. It is a two-shaft engine, a high-pressure and a low-pressure rotating shaft that were individually powered by its own turbine section.
The engine has a single-annular combustor, high-pressure compressor, unmixed exhaust nozzle, single-stage high-pressure turbine and is equipped to support various reverse thrust system that aids to stop and slow the aircraft after it landed.
The Boeing 737-500 has a maximum take-off distance of 2,650 meters and 1,400 meters landing. It can fly up to 37,000 feet. It has an extended range of 2,950 nautical miles and a maximum cruise speed of 492 knots. The aircraft is equipped with 5,311 fuel US Gal fuel tank capacity. Its maximum take-off weight and landing weight are 6,8000 kg and 49,895 kg respectively.