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Boeing 737-200

Boeing 737-200 Adv G-CEAH

Boeing 737 Arrival


If judged by numbers sold, the Boeing 737 is the world’s most successful jet airliner which can be found in service in nearly every country of the world. Boeing led the way for jet travel with the classic 707 which entered service in October 1958, opening up intercontinental air travel to the masses. It was followed by the smaller Boeing 727 which was for international routes, both types selling in large numbers. Boeing then proceeded with a jet for short haul routes, although it retained the fuselage diameter of the 707/727. First flown in April 1967, initial orders for the Pratt & Whitney JT8D powered 737 were placed by Lufthansa and United. Entering service with Lufthansa in February 1968 only a few of the initial Series 100 aircraft were built, with United and other airlines operating the lengthened Series 200.  Seeking to improve on their successful design, Boeing produced the Series 300 which flew in February 1984. The major change was the fitting of more economical CFM56 engines which proved much quieter and more fuel efficient. A number of airframe changes were also made to improve the 737’s performance. The introduction of this new version soon brought an increase in sales. In order to give airlines a greater choice the Series 400 and 500 were also introduced which had longer and shorter fuselages respectively. Having been in successful service for twenty-five years, Boeing decided that further updates were required in order to retain the 737’s leading market position. This led to the Next Generation 737, which again was offered in a variety of fuselage lengths, resulting in the Series 600, 700, 800 and 900. An improved version of the CFM engine was introduced, along with a new advanced technology wing design.  As at summer 2013 sales of 737s had reached 11,000. In 2011 Boeing announced the 737MAX which would replace the Series 700, 800 and 900 from 2017. Among the many improvements are ‘greener’ CFM LEAP engines which will reduce emissions and reduce noise levels. Further improvements also made to the wing design. 


Our aircraft


The Museum’s Boeing 737 is one of a batch of fifteen Series 200 ordered by Belgian airline Sabena in 1973 to replace their fleet of Sud Caravelle and supplement their Boeing 727’s. Their first 737 – OO-SDA - was delivered in April 1974.


Our 737 - OO-SDG - first flew in May 1975 and was delivered to Sabena in Brussels in June. It entered service on the airline’s routes across Europe, which expanded over time, leading to further 737’s being ordered. At the time the majority of major European airlines were operating 737s, although some operated the rival Douglas DC-9. Sabena decided to supplement its 200 series aircraft with a mix of 300/400/500 series aircraft which were ordered in 1988. Later Sabena switched to a fleet of Airbus A.320/321’s which entered service in the mid 1990’s. The remaining fleet of thirteen 737-200 aircraft were sold to European Aviation of Bournemouth in May 1998. However, along with some of the other aircraft, OO-SDG continued in use with Sabena for a while longer. Finally taken out of service in January 2000, OO-SDG had all Sabena markings removed and was initially stored at Brussels. In July it flew to Paris Le Bourget for maintenance prior to being delivered to European in October 2000.


OO-SDG was re-registered as G-CEAH and was overhauled for use by European Aviation Air Charter. Along with their other Boeings, G-CEAH replaced European’s aging fleet of BAC One-Elevens which no longer met worldwide noise regulations. After delivery to Bournemouth in October 2000 G-CEAH initially remained in an all white colour scheme. It later received EAL house colours until 2007 when it was returned to it’s original white.  Frequently G-CEAH operated ACMI charters around Europe (frequently out of Manchester) for a variety of airlines including Palmair, Jet2 & Bmi Baby.


G-CEAH was one of four 737’s still flying with European Aviation when the company went into administration at the end of November 2008. Along with the majority of their fleet it was stored at Bournemouth, but did not find a new buyer. After slowly deteriorating, it was broken up at the end of March 2013 with the main fuselage section saved and moved to the Museum in December 2013. Repainted with Palmair titles and name The Spirit of Peter Bath.


Technical Data


Wingspan:  28.35m
Length 30.53m
Height: 11.23m 
Max takeoff weight:  58,100kg
Service Ceiling: 35,000ft 
Max Speed:  544mph
Range:  2,200-2,600 miles
Powerplant: x 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D