737, the world's most widely used jetliner, has become the first jetliner in history to soar beyond 100 million flight hours - a testament to the jetliner's popularity and to The Boeing Company's continuing commitment to enhance the airplane's design, performance, comfort and value.
"The secret of product leadership is to design a superior product, then continually improve it to increase its value to customers," said John Hayhurst, vice president and general manager, 737 Programs. "With the Next-Generation 737 family, Boeing has created a superior product that is the newest, and most advanced in its class."
The Next-Generation family, which entered service in 1998, inaugurated the third generation of Boeing 737s. The Next-Generation 737 family consists of the 110-passenger 737-600, the 128-passenger 737-700, the 162-passenger 737-800, and the 177-passenger 737-900. The Next-Generation airplanes feature a new wing - the most aerodynamically efficient in its class; new, more powerful yet quieter engines; a new, more spacious and comfortable interior and a state-of-the-art flight deck. They fly higher, further and more economically than their predecessors and their competition.
The overwhelming market success of the Boeing 737 is one of the ironies of aerospace history. When the program was launched in 1965, the 737's prospects looked questionable. Competitors were two years ahead of the 737, with 300 orders between them. The 737 had to compete for product-development budget and engineering talent with several other major programs in development - the 747, a "stretched" 727, the C5 transport and the supersonic transport. But compete it did, leading to the most successful jetliner program of all time.
Customers worldwide have placed orders for nearly 4,500 Boeing 737s - including 1,360 of the new Next-Generation 737s.