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The narrow-body jetliner Boeing 707, was developed by Boeing Company in 1954. Boeing into the commercial aircraft market with its first successful jetliner production, Boeing 707. The quad-jet Boeing 707 commenced its regular flight operations in 1958. Moreover, the failure of the B-707 prototype may have taken the Boeing Company with it. Instead, the Boeing 707 family became one of the most successful production by the Boeing Company. Interestingly, Boeing 707 was honored to start a new commercial jetliners era with Boeing 707.
The Boeing 707
The revolutionary Boeing 707, kicked off its operations with its prototype Dash-80. The Boeing Company took an enormous risk of developing a completely different design. The Dash-80 had a swept wing and was powered by four engines. The B707 was one of the types with the ability the fly at 550mph flight level. Initially, the 707 was designed for mid-range flights. Later, the narrow-body covered the transatlantic long-haul flights and turned into a long-range jetliner.
Thus, Boeing 707 is known for inaugurating the jet age in commercial travel. Two weeks after the Dash-80 test flight, Boeing received an order of 20 B-707s from the US, Pan Am. Moreover, Boeing 707 was introduced by Pan Am in 1958. The aircraft flew for 8 hours and 41 minutes during its first commercial flight. The Boeing Company produced Boeing 707 till 1991.
Technical Statistics of B-707
- Classification: Commercial Transport
- Span: 130 feet 10 inches
- Length: 144 feet 6 inches
- Gross weight: 248,000 pounds
- Cruising Speed: 600 mph
- Range: 3,000 miles
- Ceiling: 41,000 feet
- Engine: 4 P&W JT3C-6 turbojet engines
- Seating Capacity: 181 passengers
Design & Variants of Boeing 707
Boeing’s design team designed a new aircraft. Although the sweeping design is at 35 degrees it is more rigid with a wingspan of 130 feet. The Dash-80 had a tricycle undercarriage with two sets of main wheels. The passenger version Boeing 707 has a large fuselage allowing six-abreast economy seating. Later, Boeing developed various of 707 family specifies as 707-020, 707-220, 707-320, 707-420, 707-320B, 707-320 and 707-700.
The catalyst of jet age Boeing 707 was updated into a shortened variant called Boeing 707-120. This derivative entered into service in 1960 and is also known as Boeing 720. In addition to a cropped length, it has a wider fuselage and greater wingspan than its prototype. It was designed to serve shorter runways and flights. Another 10 feet shorter class than the parent -120 variant was developed named B707-138. Boeing manufactured a total of 154 models of 720 variants till 1967.
Boeing 707-320 & 707-420
The Boeing Intercontinental 707-320 was stretched version of the -120 variant. Turbojets powered it by JT4A-3 or JT4A-5. Likewise, the -120 variant, the B707-320, has the same seating capacity. The B707-320B and B707-320C were classes of the B707-320 variant. Altogether, Boeing developed 69 turbojets till 1963. Simultaneously, the B707-420 variant was identical to the -320 version, but Rolls-Royce Conway 508 turbofans were installed.
Boeing KC-135- The Military Version
The KC-135 was produced simultaneously with the Boeing 707 prototype Dash-80. The Boeing KC-135 was manufactured for the purpose of Ariel Refueling. The models of KC-135 were fitted with Pratt & Whitney J-57 turbojets. In addition, the military version had a capacity of carrying 160 troops and 83000 pounds of payload. However, the basic KC-135 was a bit changed than the Dash-80 retaining the same overall dimensions. The first tanker flew in 1956.
Boeing 707- End of an Era
The American Boeing took the risk of developing an extremely different design and earned great success. Nevertheless, Boeing continued to revolutionize commercial transport by producing versatile variants of the Boeing 707 family. The B707 may have retired but its solid body can be updated and maintained as freighters and special aircraft. The world’s most tested aircraft, Boeing 707 was used by Trans World Airlines for the last time in 1983. However, The contribution of Boeing 707 to the Aviation Industry can never be underestimated and forgotten. The success of Boeing 707 made Boeing Company a dominant force in the Aviation Industry.
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