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    America's newest jet airliner has made its official debut. The speedy short-range Boeing 737 was?

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    America's newest jet airliner has made its official debut. The speedy short-range Boeing 737 was christened (January 17) in Seattle.

    The 737 joined the Boeing jet family during a champagne ceremony in a new facility built especially for 737 production. Boeing president William M. Allen greeted visiting officials of 30 of the world's airlines. Stewardesses representing the 17 airlines which have ordered 737s were present to smash 17 bottles of champagne. The smartly attired girls wore the uniforms of airlines from the United States and Canada, Central and South America, Africa and Europe. Two of the carriers, Nordair of Canada, and Avianca of Colombia, announced their purchases at the christening. The new airplane soon will begin a flight testing and certification program by Boeing and the Federal Aviation Agency. First deliveries to airlines are expected late this year. The new planes will fly routs from 100 to 1,300 miles, carrying up to 113 passengers. A pair of Pratt and Whitney engines power the plane, which will cruise at about 580 miles an hour. Nearing completion just behind 737 Number One, is the first twinjet slated for Lufthansa-German airlines. Lufthansa, Boeing's first 737 customer, has purchased 21 of the aircraft. Some 737s are quickly convertible to carry passengers or cargo. Boeing has perfected the flight control systems on the 737 with this simulation device, which engineers have nicknamed the "Iron Bird."

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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