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October 9, 2018

Can you guess the 5 Best-Selling Commercial Jets in History?

Roughly 100,000 commercial flights are scheduled around the globe every day. Over 25,000 commercial jets make up the global fleet, and that number is expected to grow to 35,000 over the next ten years.

Which begs the question: What jets make up the majority of the global fleet? What are the best-selling commercial jets?

Boeing 737

Taking first place is the Boeing 737, a short- to medium-range twinjet narrow-body commercial jet that first went operational in 1967.

Earlier this year, the 10,000th Boeing 737 rolled off the line in Renton, Washington. Today 47 737-family aircraft leave the facility every month — a pace that’s only increasing with each passing year.

It took 40 years to manufacture the first 5,000 737s. The second 5,000 only took 12 years.

The 737 will likely remain the best-selling commercial jet for the foreseeable future; there’s a backlog of over 4,500.

Airbus A320

The Airbus A320 is a short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial twin-engine jet that first went into operation in 1988.

Airbus currently manufactures 50 A320s a month, and that number is expected to increase to 60 a month by 2019.

Jets in the A320 family carry between 100 to 240 passengers. It’s engines, twin Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G geared turbofans, were designed specifically for the A320.

A320s, which take off or land somewhere in the world every 1.6 seconds, are currently manufactured in France, Germany, China and the United States.

Boeing 747

The Boeing 747, the first aircraft to be dubbed a “Jumbo Jet,” is a wide-body, 410-seat commercial jet and cargo aircraft that’s prized by commercial carriers as a big money-maker on high-volume routes.

Until the advent of the A380 in the 2000s, the 747 was the largest commercial transport aircraft.

The U.S. Air Force recently announced that the 747-8 will replace the two 747-200s that serve as the presidential Air Force One fleet. The Global Supertanker, a modified 747 airliner, is the largest aerial firefighting aircraft in the world.

Boeing 777

The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet with a typical seating capacity of 314 to 396 passengers and a range of 5,240 to 8,555 nautical miles. It’s the largest twin-engine jet in the world.

As of 2018, a total of 1,534 aircraft have been delivered, but production has slowed to a trickle of 5 per month.

Boeing will go in a new direction with the 777X, which will be “the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet in the world, unmatched in every aspect of performance” when it goes into service in 2020.

Airbus A330

The Airbus A330 is a medium- to long-range wide-body twin-engine jet with a range of 2,700 to 7,250 (depending on the model) that seats between 247 to 406 passengers.

Since 1991, a total of 1,393 A330s have been produced. The largest operator of the A330, Turkish Airlines, has 65 in its fleet.

Considered ulta efficient for its size, some of its longest routes include: Dubai-London, Paris-Singapore, and Paris-Los Angeles.

(One of the biggest dangers for A330s — and commercial jets of any size? Bird strikes. You can read all about an innovative new approach to preventing them in the AMI blog.)

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