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- The Boeing 737 is the best-selling airliner of all time with more than 15,000 aircraft ordered.
- Boeing has introduced four distinct generations of the 737 since the 1960s. The latest is the 737 Max that entered service in 2017.
- Two nearly brand new Boeing 737 Max airliners have crashed since October with the latest being Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 on Sunday.
- Airlines and safety regulators around the world have grounded the 737 Max. However, the FAA and Boeing standby the airworthiness of the plane.
- Here’s a closer look at the history of the Boeing 737 and its latest Max variant.
This week, airlines made the decision to ground their fleets of Boeing 737 Max airliners. Some safety regulators have outright banned the plane from entering its airspace.
This reaction to one of the most popular airliners in history stems from the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 on Sunday. The Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. The incident killed all 157 passengers and crew on board the four-month-old plane.
It’s the second nearly brand new Boeing 737 Max 8 airliner in recent months to be involved in a fatal crash. In October, Lion Air Flight JT610 crashed in the Java Sea shortly after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board.
Boeing, the US Federal Aviation Administration, and its US operators stand by the airworthiness of the plane.
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 15,000 737s. In April 2018, 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, Boeing has introduced four distinct generations of the 737. The latest is the 737 Max that entered service in 2017. Thus far, Boeing has sold roughly 5,000 737 Max jets, making it the fastest selling plane in company history.
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.
At the time, Boeing was best known for its larger jets like the 707 and the eight-engine B-52 bomber.
As a result, the plane that launched in January 1967 became known as the Baby Boeing. The original 737 is what we would today call a regional jet.
- The US government says it has no reason to ground the Boeing 737 MAX that has crashed twice since October
- These airlines will likely take the biggest hit after the Boeing 737 Max was involved in two deadly crashes
- Boeing is going to update the control software on the 737 Max that may cause the plane to nosedive