The 727-200 can make it... but I don't know if it will have enough reserve fuel.
The 737-200 can make it without passengers and/or rough weather. Although, I don't believe it would make it with a full load of passengers. I also seriously doubt it would have enough reserve fuel, even if it was empty.
The distance between JFK and LAX is 2475 miles. (note: not nautical miles)
The 727-100 could make it, it has a max payload range of 2700 nm. The -200 has a max payload range of 2140nm.
I know that Reeve Aleutian Airways flew their 727-100s from Alaska to Japan with only one fuel stop en route. Often they flew from Anchorage to Fairbanks, then Fairbanks to Cold Bay and Cold Bay to Yhuzino Sakalinsk on Sakalin Island as well as on to Japanese destinations on oil company charters. Fairbanks, despite being north of Anchorage is closer than Anchorage on the great circle route between Europe and Asia.
Anyway, it looks like a 727-100 could do the trip as well as West Coast to Honolulu with a few hundred miles to spare.
I would think that they could just make it with a minimal cargo, but as stated above, there would be little or no reserves left. I would also like to add that if it could be done, it would almost certainly be eastbound only.
With the prevailing headwinds westbound, there is no way it could be done.
Back in December of 1999, America West retired its lone 737-100 (N708AW) and three 737-200s (N141AW, N145AW and N147AW). They had their decals stripped and were then flown nonstop from Phoenix to Opa Locka, Florida (near Miami) to be broken up.
727-200's can be outfit with auxillary fuel tanks in addition to the three main tanks, which would give it enough fuel to make it JFK - LAX, although reserves would be slim. Also, those state-of-the art 727's would have to use the Jet Routes instead of GPS direct which would add precious miles to it.
Final Answer: the -200 could make it, but would be weight restricted.
Are you saying that flying High-Altitude Airways composed of ground-based VORs is MORE efficient than GPS direct? No way! The whole point of GPS D> is just that...direct. Input your waypoints, couple the A/P and you fly a great circle route to your destination. That would require the least amount of distance. Not flying a straight line for 75 miles, then turning right 10* for another 100, and then turn left 18* and so on and so forth.
Bottom line, i guess they could both do it, but it would HAVE to be one of those great circle routes and you can guarantee they would be pretty much outta breath by the time they landed.
if the largest size 737 is about the same size as a 757...what is the biggest diffence between them? they look similar, both having the same fuselage with and twin engines. is it the range or power that is different? if they were similar, couldn't airlines uses the largest 737 (would that be the -800 series?) for 757 routes like LAX-JFK?