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.
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.
I flew on many Dan Air London Boeing 737-200s in the 1980s to holiday destinations and have some happy memories of the type.
bmibaby were one of the many low-cost airlines to use the 737-300.
LOT Polish Airlines will soon be replacing its 737-400s with -800s. This picture was taken at London Heathrow’s Renaissance Hotel.
A Royal Air Maroc Boeing 737-500 approaching Marrakech.
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
Which is your favourite model of Boeing 737? Leave a comment below!