BaliMorris
Topic Author
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 3:43 am

737 Clamshells

Sun Dec 23, 2001 12:06 pm

Just came across this picture.


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Photo © Mel Lawrence



It says the aircraft was delivered 07/69, and yet here it is back at Boeing Field in May 1971 having some work done on an engine. Could this have been the retro-fitting of the original engines with the modified 'clamshell' thrust reversers?

I'm quite pleased to have finally found some pictures of the original 737 engines after having only heard about them. These are the one's I've seen on a.net:


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Photo © John P. Stewart



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Photo © John P. Stewart



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Photo © John P. Stewart




Does anyone know of others? I'd be very interested in seeing them.

 
Guest

RE: 737 Clamshells

Sun Dec 23, 2001 2:05 pm

From what I've read, the thrust reversers were modified because the clamshell reversers actually had the tendency to lift the airplane off the runway when they were activated due to the extremely low height of the engines.
 
BaliMorris
Topic Author
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 3:43 am

RE: 737 Clamshells

Mon Dec 24, 2001 6:12 am

Actually, it's kind of the opposite. The clamshells are what the 737-1xx & -2xx now use. They were implemented because the old pneumatically activated thrust reversers had the tendency to lift the aircraft off the runway (according to some comments I've read on this site). You'll notice that the engines on the aircraft pictured on the main post above do not have the clamshell reversers that are now used on the classic 737s.
 
BaliMorris
Topic Author
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 3:43 am

RE: 737 Clamshells

Mon Dec 24, 2001 6:27 am

Lufthansa was the launch customer of the 737, so I figured there might be some pictures of LH 737s with the original thrust reversers. Here's what I found:


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Photo © Fritz Gratenau



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Photo © Nils Rosengaard



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Photo © Chris Banyai-Riepl


 
Rick
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 1999 9:37 am

RE: 737 Clamshells

Mon Dec 24, 2001 10:46 pm

Actually, the first ?? number of 737's of the line did not have the clam shell reversers, rather the engine operated and looked just like the 727's engines. Boeing engineers did not realize that those 727 type engines would not work to slow the plane down on this new 737. I believe Lufthansa was the launch customer for the original 737 (100), so that would explaine why the aircraft in the picture above does not have the clamshell buckets on the engines. As the 737 entered service, several operators reported trouble with not being able to slow down very well after landing. This really hurt the 737's short field performance early on. Boeing engineers went back to the drawing board and redesigned the engine with the clamshell system at a cost of several millions of dollars including the cost of retrofitting existing 737 already built. The great expense of engine redesign on the first generation 737's made it one of the most costly models for boeing to produce, and that is why it took boeing so long to finally turn a profit on this plane.

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