Seattle, Washington - Boeing marked the end of an era with the delivery of the last Boeing 737NG aircraft. The last aircraft of the NG series was delivered to the Singapore-based lessor BOC Aviation.
BOC's newest and the latest Boeing 737-800 will enter into service with the Japanese carrier Skymark Airlines.
The NG (Next Generation) family of the type refers to the third generation 737s of the manufacturer. Boeing launched the 737 NG program in 1993 to compete with the Airbus's A320, which was launched in 1988.
The first developed variant of the series (737-700) made its first flight on February 9, 1997, and entered into service with Southwest Airlines in December the same year after a nine-month certification campaign.
Boeing 737-700 roll-out ceremony
After the 737-700, Boeing also developed the -600, -800 and -900 variants, including the long-range -800ERs and -900ERs. Over the last 22 years, Boeing delivered 7,031 NG series jets. Of these, more than 5,000 copies were the best-selling 737-800.
Boeing also developed and delivered executive (BBJ1, BBJ2, and BBJ3) and military (737 AEW & C and the Poseidon P-8) versions of the 737NG.
Compared to the previous generation 737 Classic, the wing surface of the airplane was expanded by 25%, which also allowed the manufacturer to increase the total fuel capacity by 30%.
In 2011, Boeing announced the 737 MAX program as a replacement for the NG program. The major changes to the aircraft were improved aerodynamics, including the new winglets, the use of composite materials in the construction and new generation, bigger and more efficient engines reducing the kerosene consumption by almost 20%.
The 737 MAX accumulated more than 5,000 orders in a very short time and became the fastest selling aircraft in the Boeing's History.
Boeing has so far delivered 387 MAX series jets to its customers around the world. But due to the two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, they are all grounded by International regulators.
Boeing is currently working to fix the aircraft's stall prevention system (MCAS) which was believed to cause both crashes.