Boeing 737-300 vs 737-500

Boeing 737-300 vs 737-500 : Which One Takes Flight?

When it comes to air travel, the Boeing 737 series is a name that often takes the spotlight. Among its various models, the Boeing 737-300 vs 737-500 stand out as popular choices for airlines around the world. But what sets these two aircraft apart? Let’s take a closer look at the key differences between the Boeing 737-300 and 737-500 to help you decide which one might suit your needs better.

Boeing 737-300 vs 737-500

The Boeing 737-300 vs 737-500 are two popular narrow-body aircraft manufactured by Boeing. Both planes have fixed wings positioned low on the fuselage and regular tails set mid-way. They belong to the same weight category (WTC: M) and have similar engine configurations, with multi-engine setups mounted under the wings. The 737-300 is slightly larger, with a longer length, wider wingspan, and higher maximum takeoff weight compared to the 737-500. It also has more powerful engines, providing greater thrust per engine and higher total thrust. However, despite its larger size, the 737-300 has a shorter takeoff distance and can carry more passengers than the 737-500. Check out our comparison of the BOEING 737-200 vs 737-800 to see how they differ.

BOEING 737-200 vs 737-800
Boeing 737-300 vs Boeing 737-500

In terms of performance, both aircraft have similar cruising speeds, ceilings, and ranges. While the 737-300 offers a higher initial climb rate, the 737-500 has a slightly better descent rate. Overall, both planes are reliable and efficient options for short to medium-haul flights, with the 737-300 better suited for higher capacity and the 737-500 offering advantages in terms of shorter runways.

Boeing 737-300 vs 737-500

Boeing 737-300


The Boeing 737-300 is a narrow-bodied aircraft made by Boeing. It’s part of the second generation of the Boeing 737 family, also known as the “classic” series. This plane has been in service since 1984 and was designed with more powerful engines and improved aerodynamics compared to earlier models. It has a low-wing configuration with a regular mid-set tail and retractable tricycle landing gear. With a wingspan of about 28.90 meters, length of 33.44 meters, and height of 11.10 meters, it’s a medium-sized aircraft. Powered by two CFM International CFM56 engines, it has a maximum takeoff weight of 56,470 kilograms and a range of about 1600 nautical miles. The 737-300 has impressive performance capabilities, including a cruising speed of 429 knots and a maximum ceiling of 370. It’s a reliable short-range airliner suitable for various commercial flight operations.


Boeing 737-500

The Boeing 737-500 is a narrow-bodied aircraft manufactured by Boeing. It’s been in service since 1990 and is essentially a shorter version of the 737-300. This plane is designed for short-range flights and offers improved field and climb performance compared to its predecessor. With a wingspan of 28.80 meters, length of 31.06 meters, and height of 11.13 meters, it’s a compact aircraft suitable for various commercial flight operations. The 737-500 is powered by two CFM International CFM56 engines, which can generate thrust ranging from 82 to 89 kilonewtons. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 52,390 kilograms and a range of about 1600 nautical miles. With a cruising speed of 430 knots and a maximum ceiling of 370, the 737-500 delivers reliable performance for short-haul flights.

Boeing 737-500 Fuel Capacity Range Speed Passengers Engines
Boeing 737-300 Fuel Capacity Range Speed Passengers Engines

1. Boeing 737-300 vs 737-500 Size Comparison

When comparing the Boeing 737-300 vs 737-500, one of the main differences lies in their sizes. The 737-300 is slightly larger than the 737-500 in various dimensions. For instance, the 737-300 measures approximately 33.40 meters (109 feet 7 inches) in length, while the 737-500 is shorter at around 31.00 meters (101 feet 8 inches). Similarly, the wingspan of the 737-300 spans about 28.88 meters (94 feet 9 inches), just a tad wider than the 28.88 meters (94 feet 9 inches) of the 737-500. Moreover, the 737-300 has a higher maximum takeoff weight of approximately 62,800 kilograms (138,000 pounds), compared to the 60,000 kilograms (132,000 pounds) of the 737-500. These differences in size contribute to variations in their capacities and performance capabilities, making each aircraft suitable for specific operational needs and preferences.

2. Boeing 737-300 vs 737-500 Range Comparison

When looking at the Boeing 737-300 vs 737-500, one big difference is how far they can fly. The 737-300 has a longer range compared to the 737-500. Specifically, the 737-300 can cover a distance of around 5,000 kilometers (2,700 nautical miles), while the 737-500 has a slightly shorter range of approximately 4,444 kilometers (2,400 nautical miles). This means that the 737-300 can fly farther without needing to refuel, making it suitable for routes that require longer distances to be covered. On the other hand, the 737-500 is better suited for shorter-haul flights where a slightly shorter range is sufficient. These differences in range capabilities allow airlines to choose the aircraft that best fits their specific route requirements and operational needs.

3. Boeing 737-300 vs 737-500 Performance Comparison

When comparing the performance of the Boeing 737-300 vs 737-500, there are a few key differences to consider. The 737-300 generally climbs to higher altitudes faster than the 737-500, reaching 5,000 feet in a minute compared to the 737-500’s rate of 3,000 feet per minute. However, the 737-500 is better at descending quickly for landing. Additionally, the 737-300 needs a longer runway to take off, requiring about 1600 meters, while the 737-500 can take off in a shorter distance of around 1500 meters. These differences affect how well each aircraft performs during takeoff, climb, and descent phases of flight.

4. Boeing 737-300 vs 737-500 Cost Comparison

When comparing the costs of the Boeing 737-300 vs 737-500, there are a few important differences to consider. The 737-300 typically has a higher purchase price compared to the 737-500, which means it costs more to buy initially. Additionally, due to its larger size and potentially higher operating expenses, the 737-300 may incur greater maintenance and fuel costs over time. On the other hand, the 737-500 might have lower upfront costs and could be more fuel-efficient, leading to potential savings in operating expenses. However, these differences in costs can vary depending on factors such as market conditions, aircraft condition, and individual airline operations.


In summary, both the Boeing 737-300 vs 737-500 are reliable and popular aircraft choices for airlines worldwide. The 737-300 offers a larger seating capacity, longer range, and higher performance, making it suitable for airlines with greater demand and longer routes. On the other hand, the 737-500 is more economical in terms of operating costs and may be better suited for airlines looking to minimize expenses. Ultimately, the choice between these two aircraft depends on your specific needs and priorities.

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