While Boeing’s Everett site is starting work on the 1,000th 777, the fuselage for the 7,000th 737 quietly entered the company’s Renton site three days ago. The aircraft is due to be delivered in mid-December to Middle East-based carrier FlyDubai.
The 737 is the most produced jet airliner in history and is on track to continue hitting the record books with 2,191 unfilled currently on order – not including the recently launched 737MAX re-engined derivative. Also noteworthy is the accelerating rate at which the milestones continue to fall. The 6,000th 737 (a 737-800 for ILFC/Norwegian Air Shuttle), was delivered on16 April 2009 – almost exactly 42 years after the first flight of the initial 737-100.
The 5,000th was a 737-700 for Southwest delivered on Feb 13, 2006, while the 4,000th was a -800 (believed to be to Air Algerie) in June 2001. The 3,000th ‘Classic’ airframe, a 737-400, was delivered to Alaska Airlines in early 1998. Interestingly the roll out took place on Jan 26, 1998 – almost exactly 31 years after the January 17, 1967 roll out of the first 737-100.
The 7,000th aircraft will be a sistership to this recently delivered FlyDubai example (Joe Walker)
The shrinking gap between the deliveries is a graphic illustration of the Next Generation production rate ramp-up which has continued over the bulk of this century at Renton. The period between the 4,000th and 5,000th deliveries was 4 years 8 months, while the gap between the 5,000th and 6,000th was 3 years and 2 months. The 7,000th delivery, on the other hand, will take place just 2 years and 8 months after the 6,000th. Total 737 production to-date includes 1,144 737-100/200s; 1,988 737-300/400/500s; and 3,811 737-600/700/800/900s.