Production of 737-500s in 400 scale has been very conservative and I can't help but feel this is mainly due to the lack of a strong European based maker of 400 scale models or much activity in retailer produced models in Europe. Certainly it was Europe that saw the lion's share of 737-500 operators although even major US operators like United are still missing.
There is some small hope for a few further 737-500s from JC Wings, since they have recently been active with the type, but it would probably take a new mould from a classics oriented brand to get much of the list below produced. Nonetheless, the list below illustrates the diversity of liveries available yet to be made.
The 737-500 partnered its larger series 300 and 400 brothers in several major European airline fleets and rarely appeared on its own. For a manufacturer with all three variant moulds there is plenty of scope for cheaper releases using nearly the same the artwork.
Although not a major component of British 737 fleets the series 500 still got into a decent number of schemes helped by the BA World Tails.
The 737-500 appears to have hit the sweet spot in Eastern Europe as a cheap aircraft with the right capacity to replace Tu-134s and Tu-154s. Initially part of the fleets of majors like CSA and Malev smaller airlines from former Soviet states added the type so it became a common sight in countries such as Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Georgia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Ukraine.
As in Eastern Europe many 737-500s gained a second life in Russia operating for major domestic airlines.
Although not a major fixture of US fleets the 500 served with Continental, Southwest (both made already) and United in some numbers. It also has found service in both Canada and Mexico.
The deregulated Indonesian market has proven another fertile ground for 737-500s and Nam Air, which has fitted winglets to its fleet, remains the largest seris 500 operator in 2021.
Rest of World
So it is clear that the 737-500, like the F100, One-Eleven 500 and others, is yet another narrowbody that has been largely ignored to date. For me the top 10 I'd like to see is:
I'm Richard Stretton, an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale model aircraft. This blog discusses ongoing events in the world of 400 scale.
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