Boeing is one of the largest aircraft manufacturers. Besides Boeing, Boeing planes are also very popular. As aircraft nerds, we know the Boeing 737, 747, 787, and more. But how exactly are they named? Let's solve the mystery today.
Let's take a closer look at the name of Boeing's civilian aircraft. You can see that most Boeing planes are called 7X7. This means that the name starts with 7 and ends with 7.
The first Boeing plane named 7X7 was the Boeing 707. There are many theories as to where the Boeing 707 got its name. Mathematicians and engineers used to say that the 707 got its name because the Boeing 707 sweep angle sine was 0.707. It was not. Some superstitious people said the Boeing plane was called 707 because the number 7 is lucky. But none of that was true. So what is the truth?
At first, Boeing was just a manufacturer of military aircraft. However, William Allen decided to expand into commercial aviation and pursue new areas of missiles and spacecraft. To support this diversification strategy, the engineering department divides the model number into blocks of 100 for each new product category. 300 and 400 always represent aircraft, 500 is used for turbine engines, 600 is used for rockets and missiles, and 700 is reserved for transport aircraft.
But it's not over yet!
Boeing names the aircraft 7X7-ABC (eg Boeing 747-400). where ABC is any three-digit number. ABC is Boeing's customer code.