The Boeing 737 is the most highly produced and utilized airliner in the entire world. Most frequent flyers can tell you that they’ve logged in their share of hours aboard the countless commercial flights that these magnificent airliners have made. It was made with a solid design that met the needs of commercial airline companies who placed massive orders for the comfortable jet. It made a lot of money in profits for Boeing as well as for the carriers that stocked their fleets with a generous supply of them. With this in mind, here are ten interesting facts about the Boeing 737 that you probably didn’t know.
1. The First 737 flew before we even landed on the moon
This is a novel piece of trivia about the Boeing 737. The maiden flight of the 737 took place on April 9th of 1967. It would be well over two years until the astronauts would make their historical space flight that resulted in mankind’s firsts landing on the moon’s surface.
2. The 737 is an iconic and historical airliner
The 737 has earned its place in history. It is the best selling airline in history. The Boeing aeronautics plant built and sold more than 8,500 737s. It was their most successful production airliner and there was no shortage of orders from large commercial airline carriers around the world.
3. The 737 is everywhere you look
We already knew that the Boeing 737 was a popular commercial airliner, but what we didn’t realize is that there are so many of them occupying the skies at any given time. The estimates suggest that at any point in time, there is an average of over 1,250 737s in the air. This is an impressive number for an airplane that has been around since the late 1960s.
4. The First 737 customer wasn’t a US airline company
We had always taken it for granted that the Boeing made 737, being an American made aircraft would have found its first commercial home with a domestic company. The first orders for the impressive airliner were placed by the German based airline Lufthansa. We’re certain that Boeing didn’t mind quickly agreeing to fill as many requests as they were willing to place for the new craft. Lufthansa Airlines is the official launch customer of the 737.
5. The 737 was redesigned to make it more fuel efficient
Not many people who are outside of the aeronautics industry are aware of the fact that Boeing made some changes to the 737 in 2014. Their original intention was to find a way to increase fuel savings. They accomplished this by installing Split Scimitar winglets on the craft and this gave them an extra fuel economy of 2.2 percent. Although they weren’t going for a particular aesthetic, it improved the appearance and was a welcomed addition to the airliner.
6. Every time you blink your eyes another 737 becomes airborne
This may sound a bit cheeky, but it’s really the truth. Somewhere in the world, there is a 737 airliner that is leaving the ground and becoming airborne every 5 seconds. This is the average that was determined by analysts who track the number of flights made by the craft per day, so every time you blink, another one leaves the ground. It kinda sounds like fairy magic doesn’t it?
7. This aircraft that take off and land in gravel
The Boeing 737-200 model was made with what is called an optional gravel kit. This enables the craft to safely take off and land in more remote locations that do not have paved runways. This was not a feature that was available at the time that the original was made in 1967, but it’s a nice addition for unexpected situations that could arise.
8. Boeing nearly ended the 737 program in 1970
Just three years after the 737 had made its maiden flight, Boeing was considering a cancellation of the program. The reason for their decision was because they had only 37 orders for thee craft. Wisely, the manufacturer instead, cut back on the 747 and cancelled the Boeing Supersonic Transport which gave them the additional funds that were needed to keep the 737 program going and it’s a good thing that they did because it became their best seller.
9. A quarter of the commercial airliners in the world are Boeing 737s
This is a bold statement to make, but it’s true. Twenty five percent of the commercial airliner fleet in the world are made up of Boeing 737 aircraft. That’s an amazing number and it’s something that Boeing is no doubt very proud of.
10. The Early 737s had eyebrows
Not all, but many of the earlier 737 models were made with what they called eyebrow windows. These made it easier for the pilots to use star navigation and it gave them better visibility when they were making turns with the aircraft.