Boeing has made 8000 737s

Boeing’s 737 jet isn’t just popular, it’s wildly popular.

Boeing, and Spirit Aerosystems ( a separate company spun off from Boeing a while back) have delivered the 8000th 737.

Boeing celebrated delivery of the 8,000th 737 single-aisle commercial airliner to come off the production line on Wednesday, which also marks a milestone for Spirit AeroSystems.

Spirit, and Boeing’s Wichita commercial airline division before it, have built the fuselages for all 8,000 planes.

Spirit builds the fuselage, pylons and thrust reversers in Wichita and wing components in Tulsa.

It’s taken Boeing 46 years to reach this point. That’s an average of roughly 175 planes a year.

You see, when Boeing first launched the 737, it was, in effect, half a 707. And it had fairly poor sales, enough so that Boeing considered dropping the product line. The short haul 727 was doing quite well in sales.

But the 737 proved itself to have a great deal of room for improvement and growth. The 737 not only effectively replaced the 727 in service, it also replaced its (then) main competitor, the DC-9/MD-80 series. It even has pretty much replaced the plane designed to replace it, the 757.

The  NEXGEN 737s set for introduction in 2017 share little in common with the original 737-100 series beyond the diameter of the fuselage. The engines, interiors, wing and many of the systems are new. But the layout and underlying structure are so sound, there are no plans to replace the 737 in production.

Boeing has another 3,700 737s on order, meaning the Renton plant will be turning out jets for quite a while.

11 thoughts on “Boeing has made 8000 737s”

  1. I use to work near LaGuardia airport in New York. I think I have seen 8000 737 flyovers! Likewise DC-9/MD80/MD90 types. In the old days it was 727s, which airports hated because of the dents they made in the runways.

    Funny thing about the 737. The smaller the engine the bigger the noise. Well actually not funny. The early models had narrow cross-section low bypass fanjets – LOUD. The later models use high bypass, which are merely Loud.

    The 747 is nearly as old and also still in production, though not is such stupendous numbers. But the 747 is destined for replacement. The 737 shows no sign of production slowdown.

    While we are in the Boeing realm, a trivia question. What model number did Boeing use twice – for two different aircraft?

    1. More Boeing trivia?

      At the first public demo of the 707, what did the pilot do that almost gave Boeing execs heart attacks, and why did he do it?

      We all know the Boeing 247 and its place in aviation history. What was the 347 and what place did it have in a history that did not happen?

      Who made the only purchase of a DC-5 (a DC what???) and why? And yes, this is a Boeing question.


    2. Correction: I meant to say the “first” purchase of a DC-5, not “only”.

      And concerning the 347, I am looking for a detail not mentioned in the Wiki article.

    3. THe DC-5 Mr Boeing made it his personal plane until WWII.

      347: You mean the aft-looking gondola under the helo, with the flight controls? Why did the Army want one?

      707: The barrel rolls were in the Boeing 367-80 “Dash-80”, the prototype for the 707. I’ve seen it a number of times at the Udvar-Hazy Center. They did not show video of the 2 barrel rolls there.

    4. Very good!

      Douglas had beaten Boeing to the punch with the DC-8. The barrel rolls were a publicity stunt dreamed up by the pilot to focus public attention on the 707. (Boeing was using the marketing name at the demo, not the prototype designation.) When called on the carpet later the pilot explained that in a properly executed barrel roll the plane always experienced only 1g in the direction of the pilot’s feet, the same as in level flight. (A bit of a simplification, but close enough.)

      William Boeing simply wanted a more modern replacement for his aging personal 247. Despite this being the opening of Boeing’s ‘golden age’, Mr. Boeing was pretty much removed from the business by that time, so ‘brand loyalty’ was not a real factor. Even if Boeing had made anything comparable at the time.

      The 347 was a technology demonstrator based on the CH-47 Chinook. It featured 4-blade rotors, a stretched fuselage, and removable wings to offload the rotors – higher speed and/or better range. When the Army asked Boeing for a new Heavy Lift Helicopter, one of the reqs was the ability to deliver or pickup large payloads quickly without landing. The gondola was to be the crane operator’s station. The already existing 347 was adapted to test this feature. The HLH itself would have been a larger aircraft somewhat like the Sikorsky Skycrane. But that history never happened.

  2. Ok, for those of us who are not up on Boeing trivia, which aircraft and when?


    1. The answer is….717!

      717 was Boeing’s designation for the design that would later be the C-135 family. Despite the visual similarity to the 707, the 717 was a different airframe. There was a proposed civilian variant but it did not happen.

      In 1997, when Boeing took over, ahem, ‘merged’ with McDonnell Douglas there were still MD-95 orders outstanding. These were re-designated 717 to reflect the fact that the new super company was named just plain Boeing and not a string of past merger names.

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