Half a century ago the Boeing 737 made its first flight and has gone on to become the best-selling jet airliner in aviation history. This year the manufacturer will deliver the first of a new family of variants and as Bruce Hales-Dutton discovers, it looks set to continue the success story, having secured over 3,600 orders already.

Boeing is currently offering three versions of the 737 MAX to potential airline customers.
Boeing/Paul Weatherman

The Boeing 737 MAX family is a development of the famous twin-jet airliner. The US manufacturer might have taken a different path if it had been able to follow its initial inclinations and produce a clean-sheet design to replace the long-lived 737. In fact, Project Yellowstone, also known within the company as Y1, was launched in 2005 as a scaled-down version of the 787 Dreamliner; featuring that aircraft’s composites construction and twinaisle body.


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