Behold the Boeing 737

Other commercial aircraft, such as the Boeing 747 or the Airbus A380 and even Concorde, may get more publicity, the commercial jet that is most used by airlines is the Boeing 737, of which 7,100 have already been delivered to airlines since the plane’s first commercial flight in 1967.

The Boeing 737 is a short-to-medium range twin engine, narrow-body plane that is a true workhorse of the skies. The statistics surrounding the aircraft are phenomenal as over 339 airlines in 117 countries use the 737. It is estimated that there about 1,700 737s in the air at any one time, and that a 737 lands or takes off every two seconds somewhere in the world and they comprise about one quarter of all large commerce aircraft flying today.

Throughout its history the 737 has undergone change as it has become more economical, cleaner and safer to fly.

Originally designed to be a longer version of the Boeing 727, only 30 of the 737-100, all of which went to Lufthansa, were produced, as Boeing immediately started producing the larger 737-200 series which increased passenger capacity from 124 to 136 and well over 1,000 of these aircraft, with slight variations, were built and are known as the original, and also the Jurassic, series.

Next came the classic series, which included the 737-300, -400 and -500 series which eventually increased capacity to 189 passengers of which nearly 2,000 aircraft were built, with the last one being delivered in 1999 just after the first deliveries of the 737 Next Generation series.

These were built in response to the popularity of the Airbus A320 and represented an almost complete re-build of the aircraft with an emphasis on fuel efficiency as the cost of fuel soared and many airlines retired the fuel guzzling classic series of jets.

There are four series of Next Generation 737s the -600 -700 -800 and -900 each with a variety of configurations which were geared towards individual airlines needs. This proved to be a popular aircraft with over 3,500 units sold.

Boeing has also started taking orders for the next variation which is called the 737 MAX. Despite it being based on an aircraft that has been flying for well over 45 years, the 737 MAX will be revolutionary being powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines which reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions by an additional 13 percent over today’s most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplanes. It will also have a new interior design which will lead to more openness and comfort.

Already over 1,000 orders have been placed for the new aircraft, ensuring that the Boeing 737 should continue flying well into the middle of this century.

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