Boeing 737 At The Gate
Thanks to Gary Newman of Squadron/Signal Publications and to IPMS/USA for giving me the opportunity to review this delightful overview of one of the standard airliners flying today. The book is written by Robert W. Tidwell and is lavishly illustrated with wonderful examples of 737s around the world. Each page has one or more color photos, superb Don Greer renderings, line drawings by Melinda Turnage, or aircraft version specs. I reviewed the softcover edition. The photography is excellent throughout and they are all color. The “At the Gate” series concentrates on commercial or private aircraft and is similar to the “Walk Around” series, also by Squadron/Signal.
- Hardcover 978-0-89747-652-2, $28.95
- Softcover 978-0-89747-651-5, $18.95
An introduction and subsequent sections covering 737-100 through 737-900 and special models will give the reader a particularly good visual overview of the development and evolution of this airliner. Considering that the 737 concept started in 1964, and the 737-900 is still in demand today, this longevity is a great story of careful and thoughtful engineering design. The introduction describes how two of Boeing’s principal engineers tapped into a variety of experiences with the earlier B-47, 707 and 727 to establish a versatile and enduring design. The remaining sections covering each 737 model start with 3-view drawings, aircraft model specifications, and a brief narrative. A wealth of additional information is contained in the abundance of figure and photograph captions. I found it particularly interesting to see how the cockpit and instrument arrangements changed through the years. I also learned what “gravel kit” and deflector plate functions are. Both are simple concepts designed to minimize foreign object damage to the engines and the underside of the aircraft when operating on less-than-optimal airports.
While much technical information is included and well described, the true strength of this book lies in the photographs that show an amazing variety of airline paint schemes. One could spend a significant chunk of time building, painting, and decaling replicas of 737s in various colors. But what a great time and challenge! My favorite of all is the last photo on p. 96 of a beautiful Alaska Airlines “Salmon-Thirty-Salmon”. A quick search turned up about 60 or so decal or kit options in 1:100, 1:144, and 1:200 scales.
A bit of nostalgia crept over me looking at the pictures, as many of them are taken in places familiar to me. Back in the 70’s, someone told me that only Boeing aircraft were allowed to land at Sea-Tac!
This will be a great library addition for any airliner fan. I recommend it highly.
Again, I truly appreciate the generosity of Gary Newman of Squadron/Signal Publications and IPMS/USA for giving me the opportunity to review this book.