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Boeing 707

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Boeing 707

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National origin

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First flight

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Primary users

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Number built

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US$4.3 million (in 1955)[3]

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Developed from

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Developed into

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The Boeing 707 is a mid-size, long-range, narrow-body four-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes from 1958 to 1979. Its name is commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". Versions of the aircraft have a capacity from 140 to 189 passengers and a range of Script error: No such module "convert"..[4]

Developed as Boeing's first jet airliner, the 707 is a swept-wing design with podded engines. Although it was not the first jetliner in service, the 707 was the first to be commercially successful. Dominating passenger air transport in the 1960s and remaining common through the 1970s, the 707 is generally credited with ushering in the Jet Age.[5][6] It established Boeing as one of the largest manufacturers of passenger aircraft, and led to the later series of airliners with "7x7" designations. The later 727, 737, and 757 share elements of the 707's fuselage design.

The 707 was developed from the Boeing 367-80, a prototype jet first flown in 1954. A larger fuselage cross-section and other modifications resulted in the initial production 707-120, powered by Pratt & Whitney JT3C turbojet engines, which first flew on December 20, 1957. Pan American World Airways began regular 707 service on October 26, 1958. Later derivatives included the shortened long-range 707-138 and the stretched 707-320, both of which entered service in 1959. A smaller short-range variant, the 720, was introduced in 1960. The 707-420, a version of the stretched 707 with Rolls-Royce Conway turbofans, debuted in 1960, while Pratt & Whitney JT3D turbofans debuted on the 707-120B and 707-320B models in 1961 and 1962, respectively.

The 707 has been used on domestic, transcontinental and transatlantic flights, and for cargo and military applications. A convertible passenger-freighter model, the 707-320C, entered service in 1963, and passenger 707s have been modified to freighter configurations. Military derivatives include the E-3 Sentry airborne reconnaissance aircraft and the C-137 Stratoliner VIP transports. Boeing produced and delivered 1,011 airliners including the smaller 720 series; over 800 military versions were also produced. There were 10 Boeing 707s in commercial service in July 2013.


Model 367-80 origins

Main article: Boeing 367-80

During and after World War II, Boeing was known for its military aircraft. The company had produced innovative and important bombers, from the B-17 Flying Fortress and B-29 Superfortress, to the jet-powered B-47 Stratojet and B-52 Stratofortress. The company's civil aviation department lagged far behind Douglas and other competitors, the only noteworthy airliners being the Boeing 314 Clipper and 307 Stratoliner. During 1949–1950, Boeing embarked on studies for a new jet transport, realizing that any design must be aimed at both the military and civil markets. At the time, aerial refueling was becoming a standard technique for military aircraft, with over 800 KC-97 Stratofreighters on order. With the advent of the jet age, a new tanker was required to meet the USAF's fleet of jet-powered bombers; this was where Boeing's new design would potentially win military orders.[7]

Boeing studied numerous wing and engine layouts for its new transport/tanker, some of which were based on the B-47 and C-97, before settling on 367–80. The "Dash 80" took less than two years from project launch in 1952 to rollout on May 14, 1954, then first flew on July 15, 1954. It was powered by the Pratt & Whitney JT3C turbojet engine, which was the civilian version of the J57 used on many military aircraft of the day, including the F-100 Super Sabre fighter and the B-52 bomber. The prototype was a proof of concept aircraft for both military and civilian use. The United States Air Force was the first customer, using it as the basis for the KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refueling platform.

It was far from certain that the passenger 707 would be profitable. At the time, Boeing was making nearly all of its money from military contracts: Its last passenger transport, the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, had netted the company a $15 million loss before it was purchased by the Air Force as the KC-97 Stratofreighter.[8] In a demonstration flight over Lake Washington outside Seattle, on August 7, 1955, test pilot Tex Johnston performed a barrel roll in the 367-80 prototype.[9]

The Script error: No such module "convert". wide fuselage of the Dash 80 was large enough for four-abreast (two-plus-two) seating (in the manner of the Stratocruiser). Answering customers' demands and under Douglas competition, Boeing soon realized that this would not provide a viable payload, so it widened the fuselage to Script error: No such module "convert". to allow five-abreast seating and use of the KC-135's tooling.[10] Douglas Aircraft had launched its DC-8 with a fuselage width of Script error: No such module "convert".. The airlines liked the extra space and six-abreast seating, and so Boeing increased the 707's width again to compete, this time to Script error: No such module "convert"..[11]

Production and testing

File:Boeing 707 Cockpit flight test on 4-15-1958.jpeg
Members of the joint FAA and Boeing team performing test flight on the Boeing 707 during certification process in April 15, 1958. From left to right: Joseph John "Tym" Tymczyszyn (FAA), Lew Wallich (Boeing), unknown, unknown.

The first flight of the first production 707-120 took place on December 20, 1957, and FAA certification followed on September 18, 1958.[12] Both test pilots Joseph John "Tym" Tymczyszyn and James R. Gannett were awarded the first Iven C. Kincheloe Award for the test flights that led to certification.[13] A number of changes were incorporated into the production models from the prototype. A Krueger flap was installed along the leading edge between the inner and outer engines on early 707-120 and −320 models.[3][14]

Further developments

File:Boeing 707-329 Sabena short fin 1960.jpg
Early production Boeing 707–329 of Sabena in April 1960 with the original short tail-fin and no ventral fin

The initial standard model was the 707-120 with JT3C turbojet engines. Qantas ordered a shorter body version called the 707-138, which was a −120 that had six fuselage frames removed, three in front of the wings, and three aft. The frames in the 707 were each 20 inches (500 mm) apart, so this resulted in a net shortening of 10 ft (3 m) to Script error: No such module "convert".. Because the maximum takeoff weight remained the same 247,000 lb (112 t) as that of the −120, the 138 was able to fly the longer routes that Qantas needed.[14] Braniff International Airways ordered the higher-thrust version with Pratt & Whitney JT4A engines, the 707-220. The final major derivative was the 707-320, which featured an extended-span wing and JT4A engines, while the 707-420 was the same as the −320 but with Conway turbofan engines. British certification requirements relating to engine-out go-arounds also forced Boeing to increase the height of the tail fin on all 707 variants, as well as add a ventral fin, which was retrofitted on earlier −120 and −220 aircraft. These modifications also aided in the mitigation of dutch roll by providing more stability in yaw.

Though initially fitted with turbojet engines, the dominant engine for the Boeing 707 family was the Pratt & Whitney JT3D, a turbofan variant of the JT3C with lower fuel consumption and higher thrust. JT3D-engined 707s and 720s were denoted with a "B" suffix. While many 707-120Bs and 720Bs were conversions of existing JT3C-powered machines, 707-320Bs were available only as newly built aircraft, as they had a stronger structure to support a maximum take-off weight increased by Script error: No such module "convert"., along with modifications to the wing. The 707-320B series enabled non-stop westbound flights from Europe to the US west coast and from the US to Japan.

The final 707 variant was the 707-320C, (C for "Convertible"), which had a large fuselage door for cargo. It had a revised wing with three-section leading-edge flaps, improving takeoff and landing performance and allowed the ventral fin to be removed (although the taller fin was retained). 707-320Bs built after 1963 used the same wing as the −320C and were known as 707-320B Advanced aircraft.

Production of the passenger 707 ended in 1978. In total, 1,010 707s were built for civil use, though many of these found their way to military service. The 707 production line remained open for purpose-built military variants until 1991, with the last new build 707 airframes built as E-3 and E-6 aircraft.

Traces of the 707 are still found in the 737, which uses a modified version of the 707's fuselage, as well as the same external nose and cockpit configuration as the those of 707. These were also used on the previous 727, while the 757 also used the 707 fuselage cross-section. The Chinese government sponsored development of the Shanghai Y-10 during the 1970s, which was a near-carbon-copy of the 707; however, this did not enter production and only three prototypes were built.



File:Boeing 707 landing gear.JPG
The 4 wheel landing gear bogies on a 707–120

The 707 wings are swept back at 35 degrees and, like all swept-wing aircraft, displayed an undesirable "Dutch roll" flying characteristic that manifested itself as an alternating yawing and rolling motion. Boeing already had considerable experience with this on the B-47 and B-52, and had developed the yaw damper system on the B-47 that would be applied to later swept wing configurations like the 707. However, many new 707 pilots had no experience with this phenomenon, as they were transitioning from straight-wing propeller-driven aircraft such as the Douglas DC-7 and Lockheed Constellation.

On one customer acceptance flight, where the yaw damper was turned off to familiarize the new pilots with flying techniques, a trainee pilot's actions violently exacerbated the Dutch roll motion and caused three of the four engines to be torn from the wings. The plane, a brand new 707-227, N7071, destined for Braniff, crash-landed on a river bed north of Seattle at Arlington, Washington, killing four of the eight occupants.[15]

In his autobiography, test pilot Tex Johnston described a Dutch roll incident he experienced as a passenger on an early commercial 707 flight. As the aircraft's movements did not cease and most of the passengers became ill, he suspected a misrigging of the directional autopilot (yaw damper). He went to the cockpit and found the crew unable to understand and resolve the situation. He introduced himself and relieved the ashen-faced captain who immediately left the cockpit feeling ill. Johnston disconnected the faulty autopilot and manually stabilized the plane "with two slight control movements".[16]


File:Boeing 707 engineviewedit.jpg
View of number 1 (top left) and 2 (center) Pratt & Whitney JT3D engines on the port side of a Boeing 707-320C. The number 1 engine mount does not have the "hump" for a pressurization turbocompressor.

The 707s used engine-driven turbocompressors to supply pressurized air for cabin pressurization. On many commercial 707s, the outer port (#1) engine mount is distinctly different from the other three, as this is the only engine not fitted with a turbocompressor. The turbocompressors fitted on engines 2 through 4 provide the required triple redundancy for the aircraft's cabin pressurization and air-conditioning system.

The P&W JT3D-3B engines are readily identifiable by the large gray secondary air inlet doors in the nose cowl. These doors are fully open (sucked in at the rear) during takeoff to provide additional air. When the engines are throttled back to cruise, the doors are shut.

The 707 was the first commercial jet aircraft to be fitted with clamshell type thrust reversers on each of the four engines.[17]

Upgraded engines

Omega Air's 707-330C testbed for the 707RE program takes off from the Mojave Airport

Pratt & Whitney, in a joint venture with Seven Q Seven (SQS) and Omega Air, has selected the JT8D-219 as a re-engine powerplant for Boeing 707-based aircraft, calling their modified configuration a 707RE.[18] Northrop Grumman has selected the −219 to re-engine the United States Air Force's fleet of 19 E-8 Joint STARS aircraft, which will allow the J-STARS more time on station due to the engine's greater fuel efficiency. NATO also plans to re-engine their fleet of E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft. The −219 is publicized as being half the cost of the competing 707 re-engine powerplant, the CFM International CFM56, and is 40 dB quieter than JT3D engines that are being replaced.[18]

Operational history

The first commercial orders for the 707 came on October 13, 1955,[19] when Pan Am committed to 20 707s and 25 Douglas DC-8s, a dramatic increase in passenger capacity over its existing fleet of propeller aircraft. The competition between the 707 and Douglas DC-8 was fierce. Several major airlines committed only to the DC-8, as Douglas Aircraft was a more established maker of passenger aircraft at the time. To stay competitive, Boeing made a late and costly decision to redesign and enlarge the 707's wing to help increase range and payload. The new version was numbered 707-320.

Pan Am was the first airline to operate the 707; the carrier inaugurated 707 service with a christening at National Airport on October 17, 1958, attended by President Eisenhower, followed by a transatlantic flight for VIPs (personal guests of founder Juan Trippe) from Baltimore's Friendship International Airport to Paris.[20] The aircraft's first commercial flight was from Idlewild Airport, New York to Le Bourget, Paris on October 26, 1958 with a fuel stop in Gander, Newfoundland. In December, National Airlines operated the first U.S. domestic jet airline flights between New York/Idlewild and Miami, using 707s leased from Pan Am; American Airlines was the first domestic airline to fly its own jets, on January 25, 1959. TWA started domestic 707-131 flights in March and Continental Airlines started 707-124 flights in June; airlines that had ordered only the DC-8, such as United, Delta, and Eastern, were left without jets until September and lost market share on transcontinental flights. Qantas was the first non-US airline to use the 707s, starting in 1959.

The 707 quickly became the most popular jetliner of its time. Its popularity led to rapid developments in airport terminals, runways, airline catering, baggage handling, reservations systems, and other air transport infrastructure. The advent of the 707 also led to the upgrading of air traffic control systems to prevent interference with military jet operations.[21]

As the 1960s drew to a close, the exponential growth in air travel led to the 707's being a victim of its own success. The 707 was now too small to handle the increased passenger densities on the routes for which it was designed. Stretching the fuselage was not a viable option because the installation of larger, more powerful engines would in turn need a larger undercarriage, which was not feasible given the design's limited ground clearance. Boeing's answer to the problem was the first twin-aisle airliner—the Boeing 747. The 707's first-generation engine technology was also rapidly becoming obsolete in the areas of noise and fuel economy, especially after the 1973 oil crisis.

File:B707 Saha Airlines EP-SHV THR March 2011.jpg
Saha Airlines Boeing 707 landing at Tehran-Mehrabad in 2011. Saha Airlines was the last commercial operator of the 707.

In 1982, during the Falklands War the Argentine Air Force extensively used 707s for long-range maritime patrol, with some of them being intercepted and shepherded away by Royal Navy Sea Harriers,[22] it also led to the conversion of British Nimrods to carry Sidewinder air-to-air missiles after a casual encounter.

Trans World Airlines flew the last scheduled 707 flight for passengers by a US carrier on October 30, 1983,[23] although 707s remained in scheduled service by airlines from other nations for much longer. Middle East Airlines (MEA) of Lebanon flew 707s and 720s in front-line passenger service until the end of the 1990s. Since LADE of Argentina took its 707-320B from regular service in 2007, Saha Airlines of Iran was the last airline to keep 707s in scheduled passenger service until April 2013.[24]

Operations of the 707 were threatened by the enactment of international noise regulations in 1985. Shannon Engineering of Seattle, Washington developed a hush kit with funding from Tracor, Inc, of Austin, Texas. By the late 1980s, 172 Boeing 707s had been equipped with the Quiet 707 package. Boeing acknowledged that more 707s were in service then than before the hush kit was available.[25] Most remaining 707s are in freighter form, or as Business Jets.[26]


Although certificated as Series 100s, 200s, 300s, etc., the different 707 variants are more commonly known as Series 120s, 220s, 320s, and so on, where the "20" part of the designation is Boeing's "customer number" for its development aircraft.


Main article: Boeing 720

The 707-020 was the original designation for what ultimately became the Boeing 720. Launch customer United Air Lines was a Douglas DC-8 customer and preferred not to be seen as buying the competing 707 hence the 720 designation. American Airlines always referred to its 720s as 707s.


The 707-120 was the first production 707 variant, with a longer, wider fuselage, and greater wingspan than the Dash-80. The cabin had a full set of rectangular windows and could seat up to 189 passengers.[27] It was designed for transcontinental routes and often required a refueling stop when flying across the North Atlantic. It had four Pratt & Whitney JT3C-6 turbojets, civil versions of the military J57, initially producing 13,000 lb (57.8 kN) with water injection. Maximum takeoff weight was 247,000 lb and first flight was on December 20, 1957. Major orders were the launch order for 20 707-121 aircraft by Pan American and an American Airlines order for 30 707-123 aircraft. The first revenue flight was on October 26, 1958.[28] 56 were built, plus 7 short body −138s; the last −120 was delivered to Western in May 1960.

The 707-138 was a −120 with a fuselage ten feet shorter than the others, with 5 feet (3 frames) removed ahead and behind the wing, giving increased range. Maximum take off weight was the same 247,000 lb as the standard version. It was a variant for Qantas, thus had its customer number 38. The seven −138s were delivered to Qantas June–September 1959 and first carried passengers that July.

707-120B (VC-137B) wing, showing the new inboard leading edge like the 720's. British Airways Concorde at right.

The 707-120B had Pratt & Whitney JT3D-1 turbofan engines, which were quieter, more powerful, and more fuel-efficient, producing Script error: No such module "convert". each, with the later JT3D-3 version giving Script error: No such module "convert".. (This thrust did not require water injection, eliminating both the system and the 5000–6000 lb weight of the water itself.) The −120B had the wing modifications introduced on the 720 and a longer tailplane; a total of 72 were built, 31 for American and 41 for TWA, plus 6 short body −138Bs for Qantas. American had its 23 surviving −123s converted to 123Bs but TWA did not convert its 15 -131s. The only other conversions were Pan American's 5 surviving −121s and one surviving −139, the 3 aircraft delivered to the USAF as −153s and the 7 short body Qantas −138s. The first flight of the −120B was on June 22, 1960 and American carried the first passengers in March 1961; the last delivery was to American in April 1969. Maximum weight was 258,000 lb (117,025 kg) for both the long and short body versions.


The 707-220 was designed for hot and high operations with more powerful 15,800 lb (70.80 kN) Pratt & Whitney JT4A-3 turbojets. Five of these were produced, but only four were ultimately delivered with one being lost during a test flight. All were for Braniff International Airways and carried the model number 707-227; the first entered service in December 1959. This version was made obsolete by the arrival of the turbofan-powered 707-120B.


The 707-320 Intercontinental is a stretched version of the turbojet-powered 707-120, initially powered by JT4A-3 or JT4A-5 turbojets producing 15,800 lb (70.1 kN) each (most eventually got 17,500 lb (78.4 kN) JT4A-11s). The interior allowed up to 189 passengers due to an Script error: No such module "convert". fuselage stretch ahead of the wing (from Script error: No such module "convert". to 145 ft 6 in), with extensions to the fin and horizontal stabilizer extending the aircraft's length further.[29] The longer wing carried more fuel, increasing range by Script error: No such module "convert". and allowing the aircraft to operate as true transoceanic aircraft. The wing modifications included outboard and inboard inserts, as well as a kink in the trailing edge to add area inboard.[14] Takeoff weight was increased to Script error: No such module "convert". initially and to Script error: No such module "convert". with the higher-rated JT4As and centre section tanks. First flight was on January 11, 1958; 69 turbojet 707-320s were delivered through January 1963, the first passengers being carried (by Pan Am) in August 1959. No −320 Intercontinental models were re-engined with fan engines in civil use, but around year 2000 the Israeli Air Force re-engined two ex-Sabena −320 based military tankers.


File:BOAC Boeing 707-436 Wheatley.jpg
Conway-powered BOAC 707-436 at Sydney Airport in 1970.

The 707-420 was identical to the −320 but fitted with Rolls-Royce Conway 508 (RCo.12) turbofans (or by-pass turbojets as Rolls-Royce called them) of 18,000 lb (79 kN) thrust each.[30] First announced customer was Lufthansa. BOAC's controversial order was announced six months later but the British carrier got the first service-ready aircraft off the production line. The British Air Registration Board refused to give the aircraft a certificate of airworthiness, citing insufficient lateral control, excessive rudder forces and the ability to over rotate on take off, stalling the wing on the ground (a fault of the de Havilland Comet 1). Boeing responded by adding 40 inches to the vertical tail, applying full instead of partial rudder boost and fitting an underfin to prevent over rotation. These modifications became standard on all 707 variants and were retrofitted to all earlier 707s. The 37 -420s were delivered to BOAC, Lufthansa, Air-India, El Al and Varig through November 1963; Lufthansa was the first to carry passengers, in March 1960.


The 707-320B saw the application of the JT3D turbofan to the Intercontinental but with aerodynamic refinements. The wing was modified from the −320 by adding a second inboard kink, a dog-toothed leading edge, and curved low drag wingtips instead of the earlier blunt ones.[14] These wingtips increased overall wingspan by three feet. Takeoff gross weight was increased to Script error: No such module "convert".. The 175 707-320B aircraft were all new-build; no original −320 models were converted to fan engines in civilian use. First service was June 1962, with Pan Am.

The 707-320B Advanced is an improved version of the −320B, adding the three-section leading-edge flaps already seen on the −320C. These reduced takeoff and landing speeds and altered the lift distribution of the wing, allowing the ventral fin found on earlier 707s to be deleted. From 1965 -320Bs had the uprated −320C undercarriage allowing the same Script error: No such module "convert". MTOW. These were often identified as 707-320BA-H.


The 707-320C has a convertible passenger–freight configuration, which became the most widely produced variant of the 707. The 707-320C added a strengthened floor and a new cargo door to the −320B model. The wing was fitted with three section leading edge flaps which allowed the deletion of the underfin. Three hundred thirty-five of these variants were built, including a small number with JT3D-7 engines (19,000 lb or 84.6 kN takeoff thrust) and a takeoff gross weight of Script error: No such module "convert".. Ironically, most −320Cs were delivered as passenger aircraft, airlines hoping that the cargo door would increase second hand values. The addition of two additional emergency exits, one on either side aft of the wing raised the maximum passenger capacity to a theoretical 219. Only a few aircraft were delivered as pure freighters. One of the final orders was by the Iranian Government for 14 707-3J9C aircraft capable of VIP transportation, communication, and in-flight refuelling tasks.


The 707-700 was a test aircraft used to study the feasibility of using CFM International CFM56 engines on a 707 airframe and possibly retrofitting existing aircraft with the engine. After testing in 1979, N707QT, the last commercial 707 airframe, was restored to 707-320C configuration and delivered to the Moroccan Air Force as a tanker aircraft via a "civilian" order. Boeing abandoned the retrofit program, since it felt it would be a threat to the Boeing 757 program. The information gathered from testing led to the eventual retrofitting of CFM56 engines to the USAF C-135/KC-135R models, and some military versions of the 707 also used the CFM56. The Douglas DC-8 "Super 70" series with CFM56 engines was developed and extended the DC-8's life in a stricter noise regulatory environment. So there are more DC-8s in service than 707s now.[citation needed]

Other variants

The 707-620 was a proposed domestic range-stretched variant of the 707-320B. The 707-620 was to carry around 200 passengers while retaining several aspects of the 707-320B. It would have been delivered around 1968 and would have also been Boeing's answer to the stretched Douglas DC-8 Series 60. Had the 707-620 been built, it would have cost around $8,000,000 in US currency.[31] However, engineers discovered that a longer fuselage and wing meant a painstaking redesign of the wing and landing gear structures. Rather than spend money on upgrading the 707, engineer Joe Sutter stated the company "decided spending money on the 707 wasn't worth it". The project was cancelled in 1966 in favor of the newer Boeing 747.[32]

The 707-820 was a proposed intercontinental stretched variant of the 707-320B. It was to be powered by four Pratt & Whitney JT3D-15 turbofan engines and would have had a Script error: No such module "convert". extension in wingspan. Two variations were proposed, the 707-820(505) model and the 707-820(506) model. The 505 model would have had a fuselage Script error: No such module "convert". longer than the 707-320B and would have carried 209 passengers in mixed-class configuration and 260 passengers in all-economy configuration. The 506 model would have had a fuselage Script error: No such module "convert". longer than the 707-320B and would have carried 225 passengers in mixed class configuration and 279 passengers in all economy configuration. Like the 707-620, the 707-820 was also set to compete with the stretched DC-8s. The design was being pitched to American, TWA, BOAC and Pan Am at the time of its proposal in early 1965.[33] The 707-820 would have cost $10,000,000 in US currency.[31] Just like the 707-620, the 707-820 would have required a massive structural redesign to the wing and gear structures. The 707-820 was also cancelled in 1966 in favor of the 747.[32]


USAF E-3 Sentry in flight
File:Tucson05 AMARCTailsMissing.jpg
Boeing 707s at AMARG being used for salvage parts for the KC-135s.

The militaries of the United States and other countries have used the civilian 707 aircraft in a variety of roles, and under different designations. (Note the 707 and U.S. Air Force's KC-135 were developed in parallel from the Boeing 367–80 prototype.)

The Boeing E-3 Sentry is a U.S. military airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft based on the Boeing 707 that provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications.

The VC-137C variant of the Stratoliner was a special-purpose design meant to serve as Air Force One, the secure transport for the President of The United States of America. These models were in operational use from 1962 to 1990. The two aircraft remain on display: SAM 26000 is at the National Museum of the United States Air Force near Dayton, Ohio and SAM 27000 is at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

The Canadian Forces also operated the Boeing 707 with the designation CC-137 Husky (707-347C) from 1971 to 1997.


Boeing 717 was the company designation for C-135 Stratolifter and KC-135 Stratotanker derivatives of the 367-80. The designation was later re-used in renaming the McDonnell Douglas MD-95 to Boeing 717 after the company was merged with Boeing.


Boeing's customer codes used to identify specific options and livery specified by customers was started with the 707, and has been maintained through all Boeing's models. In essence the same system as used on the earlier Boeing 377, the code consisted of two digits affixed to the model number to identify the specific aircraft version. For example, Pan American Airlines was assigned code "21". Thus, a 707-320B sold to Pan Am had the model number 707-321B. The number remained constant as further aircraft were purchased; thus, when Pan American purchased the 747-100 it had the model number 747-121.

In the 1980s, the USAF acquired around 250 used 707s to provide replacement turbofan engines for the KC-135E Stratotanker program.[34]

The 707 is no longer operated by major airlines. A total of 10 aircraft were in commercial service with Saha Airlines (3), Hewa Bora Airways (2), and operators with one aircraft as of July 2013.[35] American actor John Travolta owns an ex-Qantas 707-138B, registration N707JT; he is also qualified to fly it as second in command.[36][37] Meraj Airlines has two Boeing 707s in their fleet as a VIP aircraft.[citation needed]

Orders and deliveries


 Total   1994   1993   1992   1991   1990   1989   1988   1987   1986   1985   1984   1983   1982   1981   1980   1979   1978   1977   1976 
1010 1 0 5 14 4 5 0 9 4 3 8 8 8 2 3 6 13 8 9
 1975   1974   1973   1972   1971   1970   1969   1968   1967   1966   1965   1964   1963   1962   1961   1960   1959   1958   1957   1956 
7 21 11 4 10 19 59 111 118 83 61 38 34 68 80 91 77 8 0 0

707 Model summary

Model Series Orders Deliveries
707-120 56 56
707-120B 72 72
707-138 7 7
707-138B 6 6
707-220 5 5
707-320 69 69
707-320B 174 174
707-320C 337 337
707-420 37 37
707-E3A 61 61
707-E3D 7 7
707-E6A 17 17
707-KE3 8 8
720-000 65 65
720-000B 89 89
707 Total 1010 1010

Boeing [38]

Accidents and incidents

As of May 2011, the 707 has been in a total of 170 hull-loss occurrences[39] with 2,739 fatalities.[40]

Aircraft on display

File:Boeing 707 Qantas (VH-XBA).jpg
Ex-Qantas Boeing 707-138B VH-XBA undergoing taxi tests at Sydney International Airport prior to its delivery to the Qantas Founders Outback Museum
  • VH-XBA Model 707-138B (No. 29) one of the first 707s exported, and the first civilian jet registered in Australia (to airline Qantas in 1959), is on display at the Qantas Founders Outback Museum in Longreach, Queensland, Australia.[citation needed]
  • 4X-BYD Model 707-131(F), (No. 34) ex-Israeli Air Force and TWA aircraft is on display at the Israeli Air Force Museum near Hatzerim, Israel.[citation needed]
  • 4X-JYW Model 707-328 (msn. 173617, no. 110)) Former Air France (F-BHSE) aircraft sold to the Israeli Air Force, aircraft on display at the Israeli Air Force Museum, Beersheba – Hatzerim (LLHB).[citation needed]
  • G-APFJ Model 707-436 (msn. 17711, no. 163). Forward fuselage on display at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune in BOAC livery.[citation needed]
  • D-ABOB Model 707-430 (msn. 17720, no. 115) Former Lufthansa airliner on display at Hamburg Airport (HAM/EDDH). Originally registered as D-ABOD.[citation needed]
  • D-ABOF Model 707-430 (msn. 17721, no. 162), formerly operated by Lufthansa. Nose section preserved at the Deutsches Museum in Munich.
  • N130KR Model 707-458 (msn. 18071, no. 216) Former El Al (4X-ATB) aircraft restored in 1960s Lufthansa markings with fictitious registration D-ABOC previously displayed at Berlin – Tegel (TXL/EDDT); now parked at the edge of the airfield.[citation needed]
  • CC-CCG Model 707-330B (msn. 18642, no. 233) This ex-Lufthansa and LAN Chile is undergoing restoration at Santiago – Los Cerillos, Chile (ULC/SCTI) and will be repainted in the Chilean airline's 1960s scheme.[citation needed]
  • F-BLCD Model 707-328B (no. 471) is on display at the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, Paris, France.[citation needed]
  • EP-IRJ Model 707-321B (msn. 18958, no. 475) Former Iran Air aircraft originally delivered to Pan American as N416PA is currently the Air Restaurant at Mehrabad Airport, Tehran.[citation needed]
  • A20-627 Model 707-338C (msn. 19627, no. 707) Flew with the RAAF. Originally delivered to Qantas as VH-EAG. Forward fuselage preserved at the RAAF Museum, Point Cook, VIC, Australia.[citation needed]
  • 1419 Model 707-328C (no. 763) ex-SAAF aircraft is on display at the South African Air Force Museum – Swartkop Air Force Base, Pretoria.[citation needed]
  • 1419 – 83-8033 Model 707-328C (msn. 19917, no. 763) of the South African Air Force. Originally delivered to Air France as F-BLCL. Complete airframe preserved at the SAAF Museum, Swartkop, South Africa.[citation needed]
  • N893PA Model 707-321B (msn. 20030, no. 791) Former CAAC aircraft originally delivered to Pan American is preserved at Tianjin, China.[citation needed]
  • HZ-HM2 Model 707-386C (msn. 21081, no. 903) Saudi Air Force VIP aircraft painted in the current Saudia color scheme. Del. 1975, reg. HZ-HM1. Preserved at Saudi Air Force Museum, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.[citation needed]
For military variants of the Boeing 707 on display, see Boeing C-137 Stratoliner, Boeing E-3 Sentry, Boeing E-6 Mercury, and Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint STARS.


707-120 707-320 707-120B 707-320B
Cockpit crew Three (four with navigator on overwater flights)
Passengers 179 allowed[41] (110 typical when new) 189 allowed 104 (2-class)
189 (1-class, maximum)
147 (2-class)
219 (1-class, maximum)
Length Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
Wingspan 130 ft 10 in (39.90 m) Script error: No such module "convert". 130 ft 10 in (39.90 m) 145 ft 9 in (44.42 m)
Tail height Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
Maximum takeoff weight
247,000 lb (112 037 kg) 315,000 lb (142 881 kg) 257,000 lb (116,570 kg) 333,600 lb (151,320 kg)
Empty weight 109,700 lb (49 760 kg) 120,000 lb (54 432 kg) 122,533 lb (55,580 kg) 146,400 lb (66,406 kg)
Runway needed at MTOW 10,200 ft (3,109 m) 11,000 ft (3,353 m) 9,000 ft (2,900 m) 10,840 ft (3,280 m)
Fuel capacity Script error: No such module "convert".
Script error: No such module "convert". water
Script error: No such module "convert".
(no water)
Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
Landing run 6,000 ft (1,829 m) 6,450 ft (1,966 m) 6,200 ft (1,890 m) 5,950 ft (1,814 m)
(with maximum payload)
Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert". 2,800 nmi (5200 km) 3,735 nmi (6,920 km)
Range at MTOW
(with maximum fuel)
Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert". 4,700 nmi (8,704 km) 5,750 nmi (10,650 km)
Speed Script error: No such module "convert". at Script error: No such module "convert". and Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert". at Script error: No such module "convert". and Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert". at Script error: No such module "convert". and Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert".
Fuselage width 12 ft 4 in (3.76 m)
Powerplants (4 x) Pratt & Whitney JT3C-6
Script error: No such module "convert". dry
Script error: No such module "convert". water injection
Pratt & Whitney JT4A-3s
Script error: No such module "convert". dry only
Pratt & Whitney JT3D-1
Script error: No such module "convert".
PW JT3D-3:
18,000 lbf (80 kN)
PW JT3D-7:
19,000 lbf (84.4 kN)

Sources:[29][42][43] [44]

Notable appearances in media

The 707 is mentioned in the songs "Boeing Boeing 707", written and performed by Roger Miller; "Jet Airliner", written by Paul Pena and performed by the Steve Miller Band; and "Early Morning Rain", written by Gordon Lightfoot and popularized by artists such as Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and Peter, Paul and Mary.

The aircraft has had major roles in the Airport and Airplane films, and has been alluded to in both television and theatrical movies. In 2011, the American television series Pan Am takes place in the early and mid-1960s and features interior sets and exterior CGI representations of the 707 on the ground and in flight; it was Pan Am's frontline airliner during that time. Additional footage of John Travolta's Boeing 707 in Pan Am livery has also been used in the TV series.[45]

See also

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Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists



  1. ^ "Boeing 707 Jet Transport." Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  2. ^ "707 Model Summary". Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Bowers 1989, p. 434
  4. ^ Best source for range is, which shows 2800 nm for a 707-120B with maximum payload and 5750 nm for a −320B with zero payload. It doesn't include a graph for the −120, for which range would be 2500 nm or less with full payload.
  5. ^ Wilson, p. 13. Quote: "The Boeing 707, the airliner which introduced jet travel on a large scale."
  6. ^ Wilson 1999, p. 48. Quote: "The USA's first jetliner, the 707 was at the forefront of jet travel revolution..."
  7. ^ Wilson 1998, p. 18
  8. ^ "Gamble in the Sky." Time, July 19, 1954. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  9. ^ Ruffin, Steven A (2005). Aviation’s Most Wanted: The Top 10 book of Winged Wonders, Lucky Landings and Other Aerial Oddities. Washington D.C.: Potomac Books. p. 320. ISBN 1574886746. 
  10. ^ Francillon 1999, p. 34
  11. ^ Irving 1994, pp. 194–197
  12. ^ Pither 1998, p. 21
  13. ^ "Society of Experimental Test Pilots, History." Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  14. ^ a b c d "Boeing 707." Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  15. ^ Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
  16. ^ Johnston, A.M., Tex Johnston: Jet-Age Test Pilot, Smithsonian Books, December 2000, p. 247. ISBN 978-1-56098-931-8.
  17. ^ "Boeing's Jet Stratoliner." Popular Science, July 1954, p. 24.
  18. ^ a b "Boeing 707."[dead link] Flug Revue, May 12, 2002. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  19. ^ Bowers 1989, p. 433
  20. ^ "Pan Am’s First Passenger Jet to Europe (1958)". Ghosts of DC. Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Jets Across the U.S." Time, November 17, 1958. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  22. ^ Finlan, Alastair. The Royal Navy in the Falklands Conflict and the Gulf War: Culture and Strategy (British Politics and Society). London: Rutelage, 2004. ISBN 978-0-7146-8569-4.
  23. ^ "Farewell Flight." Time, November 14, 1983. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  24. ^ "Iranian airline SAHA halts operation due to outdated fleet". Retrieved April 1, 2015. 
  25. ^ Federal Aviation Administration issued Supplemental Type Certificate SA2699NM to SHANNON engineering March 6, 1985.
  26. ^ "Boeing 707." Goleta Air & Space Museum. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  27. ^ PA, AA, TW and CO 707-120s started with 109–112 "revenue" seats and maybe a few lounge seats.[citation needed]
  28. ^ Pither 1998, p. 22
  29. ^ a b "707 Airplane Characteristics: Airport Planning." The Boeing Company, May 2001. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  30. ^ "commercial aircraft - sq ft - ias - 1961 - 1700 - Flight Archive". Retrieved April 1, 2015. 
  31. ^ a b "T0WARD8 200-SEAT BOEINGS" (Press release). Flight International. March 25, 1965. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  32. ^ a b Haenggi, Michael (2003). Boeing Widebodies. Saint Paul, Minnesota: Zenith Press. pp. 15 and 17. ISBN 0-7603-0842-X. 
  33. ^ "Boeing 707-820: First details of the longer, faster, heavier and more" (Press release). Flight International. June 3, 1965. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  34. ^ "KC-135E." Global Security. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  35. ^ "World Airliner Census". Flightglobal Insight, August 16–22, 2013.
  36. ^ "N707JT". FAA Registry. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  37. ^ "John Travolta’s Boeing 707". Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  38. ^ "Boeing". Retrieved April 1, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Boeing 707 Accident summary.", May 5, 2007. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  40. ^ "Boeing 707 Accident Statistics.", July 5, 2005. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  41. ^ FAA Type Certificate Data Sheet$FILE/4a21.PDF
  42. ^ "Boeing 707 Family." Boeing. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  43. ^ [1] "Flight Magazine 25 July 1958".
  44. ^ [2] "Commercial Aircraft of the World, Flight Magazine 20 November 1959".
  45. ^ "'Pan Am' Will Take Off in John Travolta's Boeing 707 This Week". Jaunted. Retrieved 2011-11-29. 


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External links