Boeing’s 737 factory at the Renton, Wash., site leads the industry as the most efficient airplane factory in the world. More than 14,500 commercial airplanes (707, 727, 737, and 757) or about 30 percent of the worldwide fleet flying today were built in Renton. According to Guinness World Records, the 737 is the “most produced large commercial jet” in aviation history. Covering 1.1 million square feet of factory space, the 737 program has rolled out over 10,600 of the jets since the program began in 1967. More than 7,000 Next-Generation 737 airplanes were produced in Renton from 1997 to 2019. In 2015, the factory began producing the 737 MAX family of airplanes. The P-8, a Navy submarine hunter and maritime patrol aircraft, and a military derivative of the 737-800, is also built at Renton.
The Renton site is synonymous with aviation history, with roots dating back to World War II. Originally built by the Navy in 1941 to manufacture the XPBB-1 Sea Ranger patrol bomber, the Air Force acquired the site in 1943 and constructed the adjacent Renton airfield to build the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. In 1954, the factory produced one of the most important airplanes in aviation history – the Boeing 367-80, nicknamed the “Dash 80.” The Dash 80 led to the KC-135 Stratotanker – the U.S. Air Force’s first jet-powered tanker, and the 707 – the world’s first successful commercial jet. The 707 ushered in the Jet Age and opened the gateway to international travel; it also paved the way for Boeing’s most successful commercial jet – the 737. Renton went on to manufacture all variants of the 737 and continues to produce the 737 MAX family of aircraft and the P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft – a modified 737-800 in service with naval forces across the globe. The Renton site also built the 727 from 1962 to 1984, and the 757 from 1981 to 2004.
*As of November 2019