Aviation Insights: Distinguishing Between Boeing 737 and Boeing 757 Aircraft

Boeing 737 and Boeing 757 are single-aisle, twinjet aircraft manufactured by Boeing Company. Boeing- 737 came into service in 1965, whereas Boeing 757 completed its first maiden flight in 1982. It is not easy to differentiate between both aircraft; however, some technical aspects make them separable from each other.

On the other hand, capacity and range are other factors that draw a line between these air jets. Boeing-737 had four generations, while Boeing 757 had two variants. Therefore, it is better to compare the variants of aircraft.

Boeing 737

Boeing 737 is a single-aisle aircraft that originated in the United States, manufactured by Boeing Company at its Renton Factory in Washington. Before it, the name Boeing was inseparable from enormous multiengine stream planes; therefore, in 1965, the organization declared its new advertisement twin jet, the Boeing-737, the more modest twinjet; designed to boost the 727 and 707 aircraft on shorter and narrower routes.

To save creation time and get the plane available quickly, Boeing gave the 737 a similar upper projection fuselage as the 707 and 727, so similar upper deck freight beds could be utilized for each of the three planes.

This twinjet includes the 707-fuselage cross-section and nose with two underwings turbofans engine. Because it was as long as it was wide, the 737 was dubbed the “square” plane from the start.

The initial 737-100 was developed in 1964, sent off without precedent in April 1967, and entered administration with the Lufthansa in 1968. By April 1968, the 737-200 was broadened and placed into administration. It had more than four generations, with various varieties obliging 85 to 215 travelers.

The 757 can accommodate more passengers
The 757 can accommodate more passengers

Seating in Boeing 737

The Boeing 737 had six side-by-side seating- a selling point this way, it could accommodate more travelers per load. The number of seats was increased by mounting the engines under the wings.

This proper arrangement of motors cushioned a portion of commotion, declined vibration, and made it simpler to keep up with the plane at ground level.

Generations of Boeing 737

  • Pratt and Whitney JT8D low-sidestep motors powered the 737-100/200 variants, which had seating for 85 to 130 passengers and were launched in 1965.
  • The 737 Classic – 300/400/500 variants, were sent off in 1980 and displayed in 1984, were renovated with CFM56-3 turbofans, and offered 110 to 168 seats.
  • Launched in 1997, the 737 Next Generation (NG) – 600/700/800/900 models feature updated CFM56-7 engines, a larger wing, a redesigned glass cockpit, and seating for 108 to 215 passengers.
  • The most recent age, the 737 MAX, 737-7/8/9/10 MAX, controlled by further developed CFM LEAP-1B high detour turbofans and obliging 138 to 204 individuals, entered administration in 2017. The more productive fundamental layout of the 737 MAX, reduced motor push, and the less required upkeep are designed to save customers money on their initial investment.

Technical Specifications of Boeing-737

Commercial Transport 737

  • The first flight took place on April 9, 1967.
  • 737-100/-200 is the model number.
  • Classification: Commercial transportation
  • Length: 93 feet
  • Width: 93 feet and 9 inches
  • 111,000-pound gross weight
  • The cruise speed is 580 mph, and the range is 1,150 miles.
  • Ceilings: 35,000-foot
  • Two P&W JT8D-7 engines with 14,000 pounds of thrust each
  • Accommodation: 2 crew members, up to 107 passengers.
Both airplanes are similar to some extent.
Both aeroplanes are similar to some extent


Compared with the previous 727 jetliners, the medium-range Boeing757 twinjet was designed with the specification of 80% more fuel-efficient. It replaced 727 while retaining the short-field performance of 727.

The 757-200 had a range of about 3,900 nautical miles and could accommodate up to 228 passengers (7,222 kilometers). This prototype rolled off the assembly line in Renton, Washington, and completed its first official flight on February 19, 1982.

On March 29, 1991, a 757 lifted off, orbited, and landed at the 11,621-foot-high (3542-meter-high) Gong Gar Airport in Tibet, fueled by only one of its motors. Despite the runway being in a deep gorge surrounded by mountains more than 16,400 feet (4998 meters) high, the plane flew flawlessly.

The Boeing 757-300 was sent off by the organization in 1996. It could accommodate 280 passengers and had a 10% cheaper seat-mile operating cost than the 757-200. In 1999, the first Boeing 757-300 was delivered. Boeing had transported over 1,000757 jets by that time.

Boeing agreed to terminate production of its 757 aircraft in late 2003 because the improved capabilities of the most current 737s and the new 787 met the needs of the 757 market. On April 27, 2005, Boeing delivered the final 757-passenger plane to Shanghai Airlines, capping a remarkable 23-year service.

The following video will further shed light on the differences between the two.

737 Vs 757

Generations of Boeing 757

  • Eastern Air Lines took delivery of the 757-200, the first variant of the plane, in 1983. The type had a maximum capacity of 239 passengers.
  • UPS Airlines began flying the 757-200PF, the production freight variant of the 757-200, in 1987. The freighter, aimed at the overnight package delivery sector, can transport up to 15 ULD containers or pallets on its main deck for a capacity of up to 6,600 ft3 (190 m3)and 1,830 ft3 (52 m3) of bulk cargo in its two lower holds. It was a cargo jet that did not carry passengers.
  • In 1988, Royal Nepal Airlines introduced the 757-200M, a convertible variant capable of hauling cargo and passengers on its main deck. 
  • The Boeing 757-200SF is a passenger-to-freighter conversion designed in response to a DHL contract for 34 aircraft plus ten options.
  • Condor began flying the 757-300, an extended variant of the plane, in 1999. This type is the longest single-aisle twinjet globally, measuring 178.7 feet (54.5 meters).

Technical Specifications of Boeing-757

  • The first flight took place on February 19, 1982
  • 757-200 is the model number.
  • Span: 124 feet and 10 inches
  • Length: 155 feet and 3 inches
  • Gross weight: 255,000 pounds
  • Speed: 609 mph top speed, 500 mph cruise speed
  • 3200-to-4500-mile range
  • 42,000-foot ceilings
  • Power: Two 37,000- to 40,100-pound-thrust RB.211 Rolls-Royce or 37,000- to 40,100-pound-thrust 2000 series P&W engines
  • Passengers can be seated in groups of 200 to 228.

What are the differences between the Boeing 737 and Boeing 757?

Since Boeing 737 had four generations and the 757 had two variants, it’s complicated to compare both. However, a comparison of variants of both aeroplanes is possible. Both are single-aisle and 3-by-3 seating planes.

Structural Differences between two planes

The Boeing 737 is smaller, shorter, and has engines that are smaller, thicker, and rounder. It has a cone-like snout.

A Boeing 757 is significantly longer. It features a narrower, more pointed nose, as well as more extended, thinner engines that grow smaller as they go back.

The Boeing 757 is bigger in size.
The Boeing 757 is bigger than the 737

Boeing 737 vs Boeing 757: Which one is bigger?

Even though the 737 has expanded in size over time, the 737 and 757 are still in distinct size classifications. ETOPS certification is possible for both aircraft, although the 757 is more commonly utilized for lengthy trips.

Comparison between variants of Boeing 737 and Boeing 757

When the Boeing 757 was introduced, the classic variant of the 737 was current.

Boeing 737-400Boeing 757-200
146 passengers200 passengers
119 feet in length155 feet in length
Wingspan;95 feet125-foot Wingspan
1135 sq. ft. of wing space1951 sq. ft. of wing space
MTOW (maximum take-off weight): 138,000 lb. MTOW (maximum take-off weight): 255,000 lb
Eight thousand feet is the maximum take-off distance.Six thousand five hundred feet is the maximum take-off distance
2160 nm is the wavelength range.4100 nm is the wavelength range.
2x 23,500 lbs. thrust2x 43,500 lbs. thrust
Maximum fuel capacity: 5,311 US gallons.Maximum fuel capacity: 11,489 US gallons.
Comparison of both planes

The Boeing 757 was 35 feet more in length than the Boeing 737, accommodated 50 more travelers, and flew twice farther.

The first variant of the Boeing 757 was bigger and had a greater capacity to accommodate more passengers than the classic variant of the Boeing 737.

Analyze the maximum departure load (MTOW) of the planes. Although the 757-200 just conveyed a 33% more significant number of individuals than the 737-400, it had an 85 % more noteworthy MTOW, permitting it to convey over two times more fuel. The Boeing-737 is much more valuable for shorter and busy routes, while the Boeing-757 can be utilized on longer distances, busier routes.

The Boeing 757 quickly takes edge over the 737 in terms of range and passengers. It easily crosses oceans and seas. The Boeing 737 is slowly encroaching on the market of the 757, trying to compete in the range and number of passengers, but the 737 stays behind the 757 in terms of distance.

Both versions were upgraded in the 1990s. The 737 was considerably improved, with new wings and a new engine, resulting in enhanced efficiency.

Boeing 737 vs. Boeing 757: Detailed Specifications Comparison

The following table shows a comparison between the two.

Boeing 737 (NG)Boeing 757-300
180 passengers243 passengers
138 feet in length178-foot length
117-foot wingspan125 feet wingspan
MTOW(maximum take-off weight): 187,700 lbs.Maximum take-off weight: 272,500 lbs.
Distance to take-off: 9,843 feet.Distance to take-off: 7,800 feet
3235 nm(nanometers) is the wavelength range3595 nm is the wavelength range
2×28,400 lbs. thrust2×43.500 lbs thrust
Maximum fuel capacity: 7,837 US gallonsMaximum fuel capacity: 11,489 US gallons.
Comparison between the two

Although the Boeing 737’s increased efficiency brings its range closer to the 757, the 757 remains much bigger.


  • Boeing 737 Design and Purpose:
    • A smaller twinjet was designed as an enhancement to the 727 and 707.
    • Intended for shorter and narrower routes.
  • Boeing 757 Fuel Efficiency:
    • Medium-range twinjet designed to be 80% more fuel-efficient.
    • Aimed at replacing the 727 while maintaining short-field performance.
  • Primary Difference – Distance and Routes:
    • Boeing 737 for shorter routes.
    • Boeing 757 for busier routes, capable of traveling overseas and oceans.
  • Size and Engine Variances:
    • Boeing 737 is smaller, and shorter, with smaller, thicker, and rounder engines.
    • Boeing 757 is significantly longer with more pointed noses and extended thinner engines.
  • Market Dynamics and Competition:
    • Newer generations of Boeing 737 have taken over the market from Boeing 757.
    • Boeing 737 competes in terms of efficiency, but Boeing 757 excels in range and capacity.
  • Choosing Between 737 and 757:
    • Decision factors include cost, efficiency, range, and passenger capacity.
    • The Boeing 737 is cost-effective for shorter flights, while the Boeing 757 is suitable for longer, busier routes.

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