Originally conceived in 1965 as a short-ranged compliment for the long ranged 707 and medium ranged 727, the 737 is Boeing’s most popular jet airliner, and the world’s best selling jet airliner. The original 737-100 model was initially ordered by Lufthansa as a 103 seater. Powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney JT-8D turbofan engines with 14,000 pounds of thrust, the 737 -100 entered service in Europe on February 10, 1968. The -200 became the standard model of the 737, with a 6 foot fuselage stretch to enable it to carry between 115 and 130 passengers. It entered service with United Airlines, earning an unsurpassed reputation for economy and operations. A total of 1,114 of the -200s were delivered by August 1988.
Boeing continues to evolve the basic 737 design, changing its engines, wing design, avionics,and flight control systems to produce the -300, -400, -500, -600, -700, -800 and -900 series with gradually increasing passenger layout. The latest versions produce a 30% fuel savings over their predecessors and are capable of intercontinental ranges of better than 3,700 miles.
This aircraft was Ship 102 that flew operational trips with Southwest Airlines until its retirement in 2004. The aircraft was dismantled and its nose section was preserved and extensively restored by the airline prior to being placed on display in the museum.
This aircraft was restored and donated by the men and women of Southwest Airlines.