Prototype Boeing 737 short-range passenger jet makes its maiden flight on April 9, 1967.

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 9/14/2001
  • Essay 3569
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On April 9, 1967, the first 737 takes off from Boeing Field. The so-called "Baby Boeing" is designed to fill the gap between optimum 727 and 707 markets, but initial sales are slow in competition with the first Douglas DC-9s. It is, in fact, the first Boeing plane to be launched with orders from a foreign airline (Lufthansa) rather than a domestic carrier. However, the 737 and its many Renton-built variants and descendents will have the last laugh by becoming the world's most successful jet airliner with more than 4,000 orders to date (2001) and new generations still rolling out or on the drawing board.


Peter M. Bowers, Boeing Aircraft Since 1916 (London: Putnam, 1989); Boeing Historical Archives, Year by Year: 75 Years of Boeing History (Seattle: Boeing, 1991); Harold Mansfield, Vision: The Story of Boeing (New York, Popular Press, 1966); Robert Redding and Bill Yene, Boeing: Planemaker to the World (San Diego: Thunder Bay Press, 1997); Robert Serling, Legend & Legacy: The Story of Boeing and Its People (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992); Boeing historical chronology, (

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