In an unique aviation milestone, Boeing has just delivered the 7,370th 737 airliner to be manufactured - a 737-800 model, to be precise - to Lion Air of Indonesia. It's shown below (image courtesy of Boeing) on a test flight.
Boeing adds that total orders for the 737 now exceed 10,100, including over 700 for the new Max models (which are still under development). I'm sure those who designed the first 737, back in the 1960's, never thought it would go on to become such a mainstay of commercial aviation.
Aviation Week's 'Things With Wings' blog provides the following significant model number anniversaries for Boeing:
- The 707th Boeing 707 was delivered in May 1968.
- The 727nd Boeing 727 was delivered in June 1969.
- The 737th Boeing 737 was delivered in February 1981.
- The 747th Boeing 747 was delivered in August 1989.
- The 757th Boeing 757 was delivered in May 1997.
- The 767th Boeing 767 was delivered in October 1999.
- The 777th Boeing 777 was delivered in April 2009.
I've flown aboard all those models. The only 'Boeing' I've never boarded is the 717, which isn't really a Boeing airplane at all. It's the model number Boeing assigned to the McDonnell Douglas MD-95 (the third generation of what began as the Douglas DC-9, a contemporary of the early Boeing 737) when it bought the latter company in 1997.
Congratulations to Boeing on yet another milestone. I have no idea how many 737's will eventually be sold, but if it reaches 20,000 someday, I won't be surprised.