The Boeing 737 is the best selling commercial aircraft design in history. More than four thousand have been delivered. It has gone through several different versions, all of which have made airlines and passengers quite happy:

Boeing 737-100

The first model of the 737 was developed in the mid-1960's as a short-range counterpart to the medium-range Boeing 727 and long-range Boeing 707. Lufthansa and United Airlines were the launch customers, but United wanted a larger version of the aircraft than what Boeing was offering, and ultimately opted to buy the 200 series. Thirty 737-100's were built, 21 of them for Lufthansa. The 100 series carries 99 passengers up to 2,160 miles at 575 mph, and is powered by twin Pratt and Whitney JT8D engines rated for 14,500 lb of thrust.

Boeing 737-200

The 200 series, first delivered in 1968, was the most popular: 1,114 737-200's were delivered. In 1971, Boeing revised its design and relaunched the aircraft as the Advanced 737-200, filling orders until the series was discontinued in 1988. The 200 series carries 95 (two-class) or 120 (economy class) passengers up to 3,050 miles at 575 mph, and is powered by twin P&W JT8D engines rated for 14,500 to 16,000 lb of thrust.

Boeing 737-300

The 300 series was launched in 1981 and entered airline service with USAir and Southwest Airlines in 1984. While its basic design was very similar to the 100 and 200 series, the 300 series used radically different engines, which were suspended on underwing pylons instead of nacelles. It carries 128 or 149 passengers up to 2,595 miles at 495 mph, and is powered by twin General Electric-Snecma CFM56-3 engines rated for 22,000 lb of thrust.

Boeing 737-400

The 400 series is a stretched version of the 300 series. Pilots who are qualified to fly the 300 are automatically qualified to fly the 400. It first flew in 1988 for Piedmont Airlines, and carries 146 or 168 passengers up to 2,370 miles at 495 mph. It is powered by twin CFM56-3 engines rated for 22,000 lb of thrust.

Boeing 737-500

The 500 series was intended as a quieter and more efficient replacement for the wildly popular 200 series. It uses the same engines as the 300 and 400 series, but has a shorter fuselage for increased range, and incorporates many of the technologies that Boeing developed for the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767. It first flew for Southwest Airlines in 1990. The 500 series carries 110 or 132 passengers up to 2,730 miles at 495 mph, and is powered by twin CFM56-3 engines rated for 22,000 lb of thrust.

Boeing 737-600

The 600 series went into service in 1998 with Scandinavian Airlines. It is the smallest of the "next generation" 737 series, and was intended as a replacement for the 200 and 500 series. It carries 110 or 132 passengers up to 3,510 miles at 530 mph, and is powered by twin CFM56-7B engines rated for 22,700 lb of thrust.

Boeing 737-700

The 700 series went into service in 1993 with Southwest Airlines. It was intended as a replacement for the 300 series. It carries 126 or 149 passengers up to 3,752 miles at 530 mph, and is powered by twin CFM56-7B engines rated for 24,200 lb of thrust.

Boeing 737-800

The 800 series went into service in 1998 with Hapag-Lloyd. It was intended as a replacement for the 400 series, and is the first 737 to come with optional winglets for increased performance. It carries 162 or 189 passengers up to 3,383 miles at 530 mph, and is powered by twin CFM56-7B engines rated for 27,300 lb of thrust.

Boeing 737-900

The 900 series went into service in 2001 with Alaska Airlines, and is the largest Boeing 737 produced to date. It carries 177 or 189 passengers up to 3,159 miles at 530 mph, and is powered by twin CFM56-7B engines rated for 27,300 lb of thrust.
Information from www.boeing.com

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