Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Congratulations to Boeing!

The Boeing Company has achieved a very significant milestone. Flight Global reports:

The Boeing 737 has reached an historic milestone with the delivery of the 6,000th aircraft, almost exactly 42 years after the twinjet first took to the air. The delivery makes the 737 by far the most produced jet airliner in history.

Boeing 737-100

Cockpit of Boeing 737-100

The 6,000th 737, an -800 (LN-NOL), was handed over to International Lease Finance on 16 April for onward lease to Norwegian Air Shuttle. The original 737-100 flew on 9 April 1967 and the first deliveries (a -100 to Lufthansa and -200 to United Airlines) took place in December that year. Shipments of the updated 737-300 model began in November 1984 while the first of the current Next Generation variants (a -700) was delivered 12 years ago to Southwest Airlines. With over 2,200 on order, 737 production is on course to surpass 8,000 aircraft.

Boeing 737-800

Cockpit of Boeing 737-800

Total production comprises 1,144 737-100/200s; 1,988 737-300/400/500s; and 2,868 737-700/800/900s.

All photographs courtesy of Wikipedia.

That's a heck of an achievement in modern aviation. I don't know how many miles I've flown in 737's, but it's got to be in the high five figures at least. I daresay there'll be many more before all of them are replaced by whatever will be their successor - and at my age, there'll probably be lots of 737's still in service when I make my last take-off, so to speak.

Congratulations to Boeing on a great plane, with a magnificent 41 years in airline service and many more decades to come.



aepilot_jim said...

It may very well deserve a place next to the DC-3 for what it has done for airlines.

Anonymous said...

My powerplant instructor firmly maintianed that just as only a DC-3 can replace a DC-3, only a 737 can replace a 737. They are functionally perfect for the job they do, and they are pilot friendly. Or so I'm told.


Cybrludite said...

And the Navy has selected it to be the airframe for the P-3 Orion's replacement, so even after it's gone the way of the Electra in civvie service, it'll probably still be flying with a haze grey paintjob.

lettermachine said...

Joe Sutter was the chief engineer on this project and has a book out
on the 747 and 737.