The Boeing 737 at 50 – in Pictures

Today marks another remarkable milestone for Boeing as its best-selling 737 aircraft has reached the 50th anniversary of its first flight.

This short- to medium-haul airliner has arguably transformed air travel for millions of passengers the world over and through its many variants has proven a reliable, economic and capable workhorse.

My earliest memories of flying are on Boeing 737-200s in the 1980s, and today the majority of the flights I take seem to be on 737-800s since they can be found everywhere.

In this post I thought I’d share my own pictures of the different Boeing 737 variants to have flown over the years, culminating in the new 737 MAX which I was lucky enough to have a tour of last year.

 

Boeing 737-100

Boeing 737-100

The Boeing 737 prototype – a -100 model – is on display in NASA colours at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. It has been moved under cover since this picture was taken.

 

Boeing 737-200

Boeing 737-200-Dan-Air

I flew on many Dan Air London Boeing 737-200s in the 1980s to holiday destinations and have some happy memories of the type.

 

Boeing 737-300

Boeing-737-300-bmibaby

bmibaby were one of the many low-cost airlines to use the 737-300.

 

Boeing 737-400

LOT-Boeing-737-400

LOT Polish Airlines will soon be replacing its 737-400s with -800s. This picture was taken at London Heathrow’s Renaissance Hotel.

 

Boeing 737-500

Boeing-737-500

A Royal Air Maroc Boeing 737-500 approaching Marrakech.

 

Boeing 737-600

SAS-Boeing-737-600

Although the Boeing 737-600 was one of the least successful variants, it could still be found in significant numbers operated by Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).

 

Boeing 737-700

KLM-Boeing-737-700

The Boeing 737-700 model has proven itself as a reliable replacement for the -300 variant. It is used by many airlines on trunk routes, such as KLM.

 

Boeing 737-800

Ryanair Boeing 737-800

Anyone who has flown in Europe recently will probably have encountered a Ryanair Boeing 737-800 somewhere along the way. The airline has hundreds of examples in its fleet, operating from many bases. The reliability and capacity of the aircraft is perfect for low-cost airlines.

 

Boeing 737-900

Delta-Boeing-737-900

The 737-900 is the largest variant to date, and has found a niche operating for airlines such as Alaska Airlines, Delta, KLM, Turkish and Lion Air. This Delta example was photographed in New York JFK’s Terminal 5.

 

Boeing 737 MAX

Boeing 737 MAX

The latest incarnation is the Boeing 737 MAX which will begin flying for Lion Air, Norwegian and Southwest Airlines in 2017. Here one of the prototypes puts on a display at the Farnborough Air Show.

[See the pictures from our visit on board the new Boeing 737 MAX]

 

Which is your favourite model of Boeing 737? Leave a comment below!

 

 

 

 

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