The Boeing 737, the most popular commercial plane ever built got a 50th birthday celebration last Sunday at Seattle's Museum of Flight, attended by the veteran pilot who took it on its maiden flight.
Brien Weigle, now 92, told The Seattle Times that when he flew the first 737, "we had no idea...We were hoping to eventually sell enough to break even.” As it happens, Boeing has delivered over 9400 737s in a variety of models. More than 1000 are on order now, including many of the new 737 MAX which is expected to enter commercial service this summer.
For the celebration, Boeing and the Museum rolled out both the first and the newest MAX. The original plane continued as a test plane for Boeing for several years, and was then sold to NASA, which donated it to the museum in 1997. It's since been restored to its original configuration.