February 9

As we look back on Boeing’s first 100 years during our Centennial celebration, one date really stands out: February 9.

That’s the date three different Boeing airplanes took their first flight: the 727, the 747 and the Next-Generation 737.

No, we don’t deliberately fly airplanes for the first time in the middle of winter. But we sure do love to see them brighten the skies when Seattle weather is the gloomiest.


First flight of the 727: Feb. 9, 1963


First flight of the 747: Feb. 9,1969


First flight of the Next-Generation 737, a 737-700: Feb. 9, 1997

MAX Magic

Just about everything on the 737 MAX program has been right on time. Friday’s first flight was no exception— with takeoff a little ahead of schedule to get ahead of bad weather.


Wheels up for the maiden flight of the 737 MAX at Renton Field. Paul Gordon photo.


A spectacular view from Lake Washington as the MAX takes off. Matthew Thompson photo.

It was a proud moment for all of us at Boeing, including thousands of employees who turned out at Renton Field to watch takeoff.


Thousands of Boeing employees braved the rain to watch the takeoff of the first 737 MAX. The gloves, colored in MAX teal, sported a design mimicking the airplane’s new Advanced Technology winglet. Gail Hanusa photo.

The airplane performed just as expected, with the pilots staying up for just under 3 hours.


Air to air. Paul Weatherman photo.

We were also thrilled to share the moment with our airline customers and suppliers. Thanks to everyone for getting us to this milestone moment.


Landing at Boeing Field. Jim Anderson photo.


Left to right, Boeing Chief Test Pilot and Vice President of Flight Operations Craig Bomben. 737 MAX Chief Pilot Ed Wilson. Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager, 737 MAX program. Marian Lockhart photo.

Week of the 737

Our team in Renton got one good piece of news after another this week.

On Friday, we announced the first flight of the 737 MAX is now set for January 29. While that’s always subject to weather and a lot of other factors, it shows we’re right on track.


The first 737 MAX is ready for its first flight.

As the 737 MAX preps for its first flight, the Next-Generation 737 continues to add to its order backlog. United Airlines and Southwest Airlines announced orders for more of the airplanes during their earnings reports on Thursday.

United ordered 40 737-700s. We’re thrilled to continue adding Boeing airplanes to their fleet. As you know, Bombardier was aggressively positioning its C-Series jet in this campaign.

Southwest also announced its order for 33 737-800s, which was booked in December. We appreciate them for flying an all-Boeing fleet.


A 737-800 for Southwest makes its way down the line in Renton.

Thanks to all of our 737 customers for keeping us busy in Renton. I’m looking forward to seeing the MAX takes to the skies for the first time in the coming days.

Rate change

Today, we announced that the 747-8 production rate would be adjusted to 0.5 airplanes per month starting in September of this year. In the podcast below, I take a closer look at the factors driving that decision.

If you have a question or idea for a future podcast— send it to askrandy@boeing.com

Behind the numbers

You’ve probably read by now that Boeing won the deliveries race in 2015, while Airbus won on the orders side. But in my latest podcast, I wanted to take a deeper dive and see what’s going on behind the numbers. Click below to listen.

For our next podcast, we’ll be answering reader questions on a wide range of topics. If you have a question— send it to askrandy@boeing.com. I look forward to it!


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