Features

July 2019 Issue

Power And Pitch

Using them together means understanding how they affect each other, and that can depend on the airplane.

If you’re like me, you’ve been watching the ongoing saga of Boeing and its 737 MAX. The gist of it for our purposes is that the new MAX versions of the 737 are powered by larger-diameter engines than the type was originally designed to accommodate. Since the 1980s—when Boeing switched from the type’s original low-bypass Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines to the CFM International CFM56—the reduced ground clearance when mounting high-bypass powerplants featuring improved fuel economy has required flattening the bottom of the cowlings. It was cheaper and easier than redesigning the landing gear, which is too short to accommodate the larger engines.

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