|Originally Posted By TLWrench:
Originally Posted By Mryenko:
Originally Posted By luvpilot:
New engines and an LED tailight with a cockpit from the 60's.
And I have no illusions about who the customer is that "wants commonality with the 737NG cockpit."
What problems do you have with the NG cockpit?
Coincidentally, the major obstacle the 737 MAX/NE faces with respect to re-engining is its short landing gear, which (along with its dumbed-down cockpit) was insisted upon by Southwest when Boeing came out with the 737NG (-600, -700, -800, -900) in the late-90s. SWA wanted to maintain cockpit commonality with 737 Classic (-100 to -500)cockpits (see the overhead panels and the glass cockpit emulated steam gauges). Further, SWA insisted that the 737 remain low to the ground to ease ground handling, this was key for the airline as it keeps turnarounds tight. Hence, the 737NG is only slightly higher above the ground than its 737 Classic predecessors.
Now that Boeing has decided to refresh the 737, after dragging its feet on a narrow-body replacement for at least two years (in large part due to capital and engineering resources being consumed by the delayed 787 and 747-8), those aspects of the 737NG tailored for Southwest in the '90s that made the 737NG a best-seller are the ones (particularly the short landing gear) that are limiting the improvements that would enable it to better compete against the A320 NEO family.
Boeing did the same thing in the 1930s when it build aircraft for Boeing Speed Lines/United specs, and if anyone else found them useful, well great.