On this day in history, April 9, 1967, the Boeing 737 took off on its maiden flight, piloted by Brien Wygle and Lew Wallick. The first six prototypes of the 737-100 rolled out in December 1966. The commercial twinjet aircraft has become the best-selling jet airliner in aviation history.
Yesterday: First Aerosol Dispenser Patented
The first 737 was the last new aircraft to be built at Plant 2 on Boeing Field in Seattle. The assembly building wasn’t tall enough for the 737’s tail, which was attached in the parking lot using a crane. The airplane was then brought to the close by Thompson Site plant. It was there that Boeing set up the first production line for the 737.
Boeing’s 737 used the same upper lobe fuselage as the 707 and 727 so that the same upper deck cargo pallets could be used in the same three jets. The aircraft also later took on some of the 727’s cargo convertible features. This allowed the inside to be converted from passenger to cargo use in the 737-200 series.
On December 15, 1967, the FAA certified the 737-100 for commercial flight. On December 28, Lufthansa took a delivery of the first production 737-100 model, in a ceremony at Boeing Field. The 737 series has delivered 8,263 aircraft, with 4,037 orders yet to be fulfilled as of October of last year.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense