I’ve always asked this question when hearing an American talking about aviation and it’s always confused me for a few reasons. Americans saying “seven thirty seven” instead of “seven three seven” when talking about a Boeing 737. Its also done to the 747, 757, 767 and 787. In Europe where I’m from, we’d say “seven three seven” 90% of the time but someone with a lot of exposure to American aviation enthusiats might say “seven thirty seven”.
The first reason why I think this is weird as a European is because its an American company that designs and manufactures the aircraft. The company writes it as a 737 but says “seven thirty seven”. It might make a bit more sense if it was a foreign company and Americans said it wrong but its their own plane.
The second reason is that aviation is famous for going out of its way to make communication more clear and universal. Examples of this might be English being the universal language of aviation, saying “niner” instead of “nine” giving each letter a word etc. So for Americans to write an aircraft name one way and say it another is very unusual to me.
I’d really appreciate if anyone could give me an insight as to why this happens because its very difficult to find any meaningful information online.
I believe that Boeing (and Americans as a result) calling it a 7-30-7 or 7-40-7 etc. comes down to the way it sounds for marketing purposes. If you try saying both versions of B737 or B747 out loud, you will find that 7-30-7 sounds a lot mightier or exciting, which could be a marketing strategy Boeing decided to go for.