Another big milestone passed today for the ubiquitous Boeing 737 – the delivery of the 7,370th aircraft. Lion Air of Indonesia flew the 737-800 from Seattle on Nov 5 following a customer acceptance flight on Nov 2. Coming around 11 months after the delivery of the 7,000th 737 to FlyDubai, the rapid succession of milestones marks not only the surging production ramp up of this remarkable twinjet but its continued record setting achievement as the most produced jet airliner in history. Current undelivered backlog for the 737 is 2,845 of which 739 are listed as the upcoming MAX model.
Total 737 production to-date includes 1,144 737-100/200s; 1,988 737-300/400/500s; and 4,238 737-600/700/800/900s.
You have to go all the way back to 2000 for the delivery of the 737rd 737 Next Generation. Fittingly it was a 737-700 which was delivered to launch customer Southwest. The 737rd 737 of all models was a 737-300 ‘Classic’ for long-vanished UK carrier Orion Airways, all the way back in February 1981.
The 7,370th 737 departs Boeing Field on a customer acceptance flight (Boeing)
For the other Boeing product families – who ‘merely’ rack up numbers in the 1,000s, the milestones are slightly easier to plot. The 707th 707, for instance, was delivered to Qantas in May 1968. That particular 707 went on to enjoy a second career with the Royal Australian Air Force until the 2000s. The 727nd 727 was a -200 model delivered to Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) in June 1969. The aircraft was actually the 727nd in terms of line number, so in strict deliver terms may not be the particular milestone aircraft as measured by the other models. The 747th 747 was a very early -400 version delivered to Lufthansa in August 1989. The 757th 757 was an ILFC-owned aircraft for TWA, and was delivered in May 1997. The 767th 767 was a -300ER owned by GECAS and delivered in Oct 1999 to Aeroflot. The 777th 777, a -300ER, was delivered to Air France in April 2009.