The incredible history of the Boeing 737, the best-selling airliner of all time (BA)

Boeing 737 MAX 7

  • The Boeing 737 is the best-selling airliner of all time.
  • Through May, Boeing has taken 14,725 orders for the plane.
  • Since 2011, the new 737 MAX has won more than 4,500 orders, making it the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history.
  • Since its debut in 1967, the 737 has become a mainstay for airlines around the world in a number of roles, ranging from short-haul flights to transatlantic airliner.
  • The 737 is also deployed as a freighter and in military applications.

The Boeing 737 is ubiquitous. If you’ve taken a commercial flight in the past 50 years, there’s a good chance it was on a Boeing 737.

That’s because Boeing has sold a whole lot of them. Since 1965, the American aviation giant has taken orders for a whopping 14,725 737s. In April, Boeing delivered the 10,000th 737, a new MAX 8 model, to Southwest Airlines.

To put that into perspective, Boeing’s second-best-selling plane, the wide-body 777, has received a little fewer than 2,000 orders. But it should be noted that the long-haul Boeing 777 costs several times more than the 737 and is used in different segments of the airline market.

Over the years, the Boeing 737 has proved itself to be a faithful workhorse for airlines around the world. Its versatility is nothing short of astounding. What debuted in 1967 as a 50-seat regional jet has now spawned 220-plus-seat variants capable of transatlantic travel.

With the introduction of the MAX, Boeing’s long-serving 737 is set to fly on well past its 70th birthday.

Yet the Boeing sales team will have to work hard for the 737 to maintain its crown. The rival Airbus A320 is nipping at its heels. Through May, Airbus has orders for 14,228 A320 family jets.

Here’s a closer look at the incredible history of the Boeing 737.

In 1964, Boeing began work on a 50-to-60 seat narrow-body airliner designed for trips between 50 and 1,000 miles. It would also be roughly half the size Boeing’s smallest jet at the time, the 727.

Source: New York Times

At the time, Boeing was best known for its larger jets like the 707 and …

The eight-engine B-52 bomber.

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