The Boeing 707 is an American mid-sized, mid- to long-range, narrow-body, four-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes from 1958 to 1979. Versions of the aircraft have a capacity from 140 to 219 passengers and a range of 2,500 to 5,750 nautical miles (2,880 to 6,620 mi; 4,630 to 10,650 km).
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. 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 720, 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, "hot and high" 707-220 and the stretched 707-320, all 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. A total of 865 Boeing 707s were produced and delivered along with over 800 military versions.
|Former Qantas 707-138B then owned by John Travolta at the 2007 Paris Air Show|
|Role||Narrow-body jet airliner|
|National origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Boeing Commercial Airplanes|
|First flight||December 20, 1957|
|Introduction||October 26, 1958, with Pan American World Airways|
|Status||In limited military service|
|Primary users||Pan Am (historical)|
Trans World Airlines (historical)
American Airlines (historical)
Air France (historical)
|Number built||865 (excludes Boeing 720s)|
|Developed from||Boeing 367-80|
|Variants||Boeing 720 |
Boeing C-137 Stratoliner
|Developed into||Boeing E-3 Sentry |
Boeing E-6 Mercury
Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint STARS
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 and 1950, Boeing embarked on studies for a new jet transport, realizing that any design must be aimed at both the military and civilian 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.
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 the 367-80 quadjet prototype aircraft. 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.
Whether the passenger 707 would be profitable was far from certain. At the time, Boeing was generating nearly all of its revenue 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. 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.
The 132 in (3,352.80 mm) wide fuselage of the Dash 80 was large enough for four-abreast (two-plus-two) seating like the Stratocruiser. Answering customers' demands and under Douglas competition, Boeing soon realized this would not provide a viable payload, so it widened the fuselage to 144 in (3,660 mm) to allow five-abreast seating and use of the KC-135's tooling. Douglas Aircraft had launched its DC-8 with a fuselage width of 147 in (3,730 mm). The airlines liked the extra space and six-abreast seating, so Boeing increased the 707's width again to compete, this time to 148 in (3,760 mm).
The first flight of the first-production 707-120 took place on December 20, 1957, and FAA certification followed on September 18, 1958. 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. 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.
The initial standard model was the 707-120 with JT3C turbojet engines. Qantas ordered a shorter-bodied version called the 707-138, which was a -120 with six fuselage frames removed, three in front of the wings, and three aft. The frames in the 707 were each 20 in (510 mm) apart, so this resulted in a net shortening of 10 ft (3.0 m) to 134 ft 6 in (41.0 m). Because the maximum takeoff weight remained the same as that of the -120 (247,000 lb (112 t)), the -138 was able to fly the longer routes that Qantas needed. 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 go-arounds with one engine inoperative 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 takeoff weight increased by 19,000 lb (8,600 kg), along with modifications to the wing. The 707-320B series enabled nonstop 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-sectioned leading-edge flaps, improving takeoff and landing performance and allowing the ventral fin to be removed (although the taller fin was retained). The 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 civilian 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 configurations as those of the 707. These were also used on the previous 727, while the 757 also used the 707 fuselage cross-section.
The 707's wings are swept back at 35°, and like all swept-wing aircraft, display an undesirable "Dutch roll" flying characteristic that manifests 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 novice 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.
In his autobiography, test pilot Tex Johnston describes 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".
The 707 uses engine-driven turbocompressors to supply compressed air for cabin pressurization. On many commercial 707s, the outer port (number 1) engine mount is distinctly different from the other three, as this engine is not fitted with a turbocompressor. Later-model 707s typically had this configuration, although American Airlines had turbocompressors on engines 2 and 3 only. Early 707 models often had turbocompressor fairings on all four engines, but with only two or three compressors installed.
The 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.
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. 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.
The first commercial orders for the 707 came on October 13, 1955, when Pan Am committed to 20 Boeing 707s and 25 Douglas DC-8s, dramatically increasing their passenger capacity (in available revenue passenger seat-miles per hour/per day) over its existing fleet of propeller aircraft. The competition between the 707 and DC-8 was fierce. Pan American ordered these planes, when and as they did, so that they would be the operators of the "first-off" production line for each aircraft type. Until their initial batch of the aircraft had been delivered to them and put into operation, Pan American would have the distinction of being not only the "Launch Customer" for both transcontinental American jets, but the exclusive operator of American intercontinental jet transports for at least a year.
The only rival in intercontinental jet aircraft production at the time was the British de Havilland Comet. However, this was never real competition for the American market as the Comet series had been the subject of fatal accidents (due to design flaws) early in its introduction, withdrawn from service, virtually redesigned from scratch, and reintroduced as version -4. It was also smaller and slower than the 707. Several major airlines committed only to the (second place in the production race) Douglas DC-8. Douglas Aircraft was the more established and preferred (by airlines and their passengers) maker of passenger aircraft at the time. Douglas had correctly decided to await the validation of a larger and more fuel efficient engine (Pratt & Whitney JT4A) and to design a larger and longer range aircraft around this engine. 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. 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.
As the 1960s drew to a close, the exponential growth in air travel led to the 707 being a victim of its own success. The 707 was now too small to handle the increased numbers of passengers 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 need a larger undercarriage, which was not feasible given the design's limited ground clearance at takeoff. Boeing's answer to the problem was the first wide-body 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.
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, it also led to the conversion of British Nimrods to carry Sidewinder air-to-air missiles after a casual encounter.
Operations of the 707 were threatened by the enactment of international noise regulations in 1985. Shannon Engineering of Seattle 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 than before the hush kit was available.
Trans World Airlines flew the last scheduled 707 flight for passengers by a US carrier on October 30, 1983, although 707s remained in scheduled service by airlines from other nations for much longer. Middle East Airlines of Lebanon flew 707s and 720s in front-line passenger service until the end of the 1990s. Since LADE of Argentina took its 707-320Bs from regular service in 2007, Saha Airlines of Iran was the last airline to keep 707s in scheduled passenger service until April 2013, though it continued to use them for charter cargo flights until 2019, when their final 707 on lease crashed.
Although certified 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.
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. 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, civilian versions of the military J57, initially producing 13,000 lbf (57.8 kN) with water injection. Maximum takeoff weight was 247,000 lb (112,000 kg) and first flight was on December 20, 1957. Major orders were the launch order for 20 707-121 aircraft by Pan Am and an American Airlines order for 30 707-123 aircraft. The first revenue flight was on October 26, 1958; 56 were built, plus seven short-bodied -138s; the last -120 was delivered to Western in May 1960.
The 707-138 was a -120 with a fuselage 10 ft (3.0 m) shorter than the others, with 5 ft (1.5 m) (three frames) removed ahead and behind the wing, giving increased range. Maximum takeoff weight was the same 247,000 lb (112,000 kg) as the standard version. It was a variant for Qantas, thus had its customer number 38. The seven -138s were delivered to Qantas between June and September 1959, and first carried passengers in July of that year.
The 707-120B had Pratt & Whitney JT3D-1 turbofan engines, which were quieter, more powerful, and more fuel-efficient, producing 17,000 lbf (75.6 kN) each, with the later JT3D-3 version giving 18,000 lbf (80 kN). (This thrust did not require water injection, eliminating both the system and 5000–6000 lb of water.) 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 six short-bodied -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 five surviving -121s and one surviving -139, the three aircraft delivered to the USAF as -153s and the seven short-bodied 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 (117,000 kg) for both the long- and short-bodied versions.
The 707-220 was designed for hot and high operations with more powerful 15,800 lbf (70.3 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 lbf (70.3 kN) each (most eventually got 17,500 lbf (77.8 kN) JT4A-11s). The interior allowed up to 189 passengers, the same as the -120 and -220 series, but improved two-class capacity due to an 80-in fuselage stretch ahead of the wing (from 138 ft 10 in (42.32 m) to 145 ft 6 in (44.35 m) ), with extensions to the fin and horizontal stabilizer extending the aircraft's length further. The longer wing carried more fuel, increasing range by 1,600 miles (2,600 km) 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. Takeoff weight was increased to 302,000 lb (137,000 kg) initially and to 312,000 lb (142,000 kg) with the higher-rated JT4As and center section tanks. Its 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.
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 lbf (80 kN) thrust each. The 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 takeoff, stalling the wing on the ground (a fault of the de Havilland Comet 1). Boeing responded by adding 40 inches to the vertical stabilizer, applying full instead of partial rudder boost, and fitting an underfin to prevent over-rotation. These modifications except to the fin under the tail 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 had 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. These wingtips increased overall wingspan by 3.0 ft. Takeoff gross weight was increased to 328,000 lb (149,000 kg). 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 335,000 lb (152,000 kg) 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. A total of 335 of this variant were built, including some with JT3D-7 engines (19,000 lbf (85 kN) takeoff thrust) and a takeoff weight of 335,000 lb (152,000 kg). Most -320Cs were delivered as passenger aircraft with airlines hoping 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 limit to 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 refueling 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, more DC-8s than 707s are in service now.
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 US$8,000,000. 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.
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 10-foot (3.0 m) 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 45 feet (14 m) 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 55 feet (17 m) 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-8-60 Super Series models. The design was being pitched to American, TWA, BOAC, and Pan Am at the time of its proposal in early 1965. The 707-820 would have cost US$10,000,000. 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.
The militaries of the US and other countries have used the civilian 707 aircraft in a variety of roles, and under different designations. (The 707 and U.S. Air Force's KC-135 were developed in parallel from the Boeing 367–80 prototype.)
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. 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.
Boeing 717 was the company designation for C-135 Stratolifter and KC-135 Stratotanker derivatives of the 367-80. The designation was later reused 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 World Airways 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.
The 707 is no longer operated by major airlines. American actor John Travolta owned an ex-Qantas 707-138B, with the registration N707JT. In May 2017, he donated the plane to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society near Wollongong, Australia. The plane was to be flown to Illawarra Regional Airport, where HARS is based, once repairs to ensure safe flying condition have been completed.
On January 14, 2019, a Saha Airlines cargo flight crashed, killing 15 people. It was the last civilian 707 in service.
|Cockpit crew||Three minimum: Pilot, Copilot, and Flight Engineer|
|1-Class/cargo:16–18||174 @ 34"||189 @ 34"||194 @ 32"|
|2-class/cargo:16–18||137 (32J @ 38" + 105Y @ 34")||141 (18J + 123Y)||13 88×125" pallets|
|Length:5||145 ft 1 in (44.22 m)||152 ft 11 in (46.61 m)|
|Fuselage width:19||148 in / 3.759 m|
|Wingspan:5||130 ft 10 in (39.88 m)||142 ft 5 in (43.41 m)||145 ft 9 in (44.42 m)|
|Tail height:5||41 ft 8 in (12.70 m)||42 ft 2 in (12.85 m)||42 ft 1 in (12.83 m)||42 ft 0 in (12.80 m)|
|MTOW:9||257,340 lb / 117 t||312,000 lb / 141.7 t||333,600 lb / 151.5 t|
|OEW:9||127,500 lb / 57.6 t[a]||142,600 lb / 64.6 t[b]||148,800 lb / 67.5 t[b]||148,300 lb / 67.3 t[c]|
|Fuel capacity:9||17,330USgal / 65.59 m3||23,820USgal / 90.16 m3||23,855 USgal / 90.29 m3|
|Engines (x4):36||Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3||-320 : Pratt & Whitney JT4A-11/12
-420: Rolls-Royce Conway-12
|Pratt & Whitney JT3D|
|Thrust per engine:36–41||18,000 lbf (80 kN)||17,500 lbf (78 kN)||19,000 lbf (85 kN)|
|Cruise||528 kn; 607 mph (977 km/h)|
|Range:30–34||3,600 nmi (6,700 km; 4,100 mi)[d]||3,750 nmi (6,940 km; 4,320 mi)[e]||5,000 nmi (9,300 km; 5,800 mi)[e]||2,900 nmi (5,400 km; 3,300 mi)[f]|
|Takeoff||7,500 ft (2.3 km)||10,700 ft (3.25 km)||10,000 ft (3.0 km)|
|Landing[g]:42–46||6,500 ft (2.0 km)||7,200 ft (2.2 km)||5,900 ft (1.8 km)||6,200 ft (1.9 km)|
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
On 17 March 1977 a British Airtours Boeing 707 being used for pilot training crashed and caught fire during its take-off roll at Glasgow Prestwick Airport. All four crew members on board survived.1977 Dan-Air Boeing 707 crash
The 1977 Dan-Air/IAS Cargo Boeing 707 crash was a fatal accident involving a Boeing 707-321C cargo aircraft operated by Dan Air Services Limited on behalf of International Aviation Services Limited (trading as IAS Cargo Airlines at the time of the accident), which had been sub-contracted by Zambia Airways Corporation to operate a weekly scheduled all-cargo service between London Heathrow and the Zambian capital Lusaka via Athens and Nairobi. The aircraft crashed during approach to Lusaka Airport, Zambia, on 14 May 1977. All six occupants of the aircraft were killed.2019 Saha Airlines Boeing 707 crash
On 14 January 2019, a Boeing 707 operated by Saha Airlines on a cargo flight crashed at Fath Air Base, near Karaj, Alborz Province in Iran. Fifteen of the 16 people on board were killed. This aircraft was also the last civil Boeing 707 in operation.American Airlines Flight 1
American Airlines Flight 1 was a domestic, scheduled passenger flight from New York International (Idlewild) Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport) to Los Angeles International Airport. On March 1, 1962, the Boeing 707 rolled over and crashed into Jamaica Bay two minutes after takeoff, killing all 87 passengers and eight crew members aboard. A Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) investigation determined that a manufacturing defect in the autopilot system led to an uncommanded rudder control system input, causing the accident. A number of notable people died in the crash. It was the fifth fatal Boeing 707 accident and, at the time, the deadliest.American Airlines Flight 1502
American Airlines Flight 1502 was a crew training flight from New York International (Idlewild) Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport). On 28 January 1961 the aircraft crashed into the ocean 5 miles (8.0 km) off Montauk Point, New York, all six crew on-board were killed.American Airlines Flight 514
American Airlines Flight 514 was a training flight from Idlewild International Airport, to the Grumman Aircraft Corp. airfield. On the afternoon of August 15, 1959, the Boeing 707 operating the flight crashed near the Calverton airport, killing all five crew members aboard. This was the first accident to ever involve a Boeing 707, which had only gone into service in October of the previous year.BOAC Flight 712
BOAC Flight 712 (callsign Speedbird 712) was a British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) service operated by a Boeing 707-465 from London Heathrow Airport bound for Sydney via Zurich and Singapore. On Monday 8 April 1968, it suffered an engine failure on takeoff that quickly led to a major fire. The engine fell off the aircraft in flight. After the aircraft had made a successful emergency landing, confusion over checklists and distractions from the presence of a check pilot contributed to the deaths of five of the 127 on board.
The actions taken by those involved in the accident resulted in the award of the George Cross posthumously to stewardess Barbara Jane Harrison. Two other crew members received awards; a BEM and an MBE. As a result of the accident, BOAC changed the checklists for engine severe failures and engine fires, combining them both into one checklist, the "engine fire or severe failure" checklist.BOAC Flight 911
BOAC Flight 911 (callsign 'Speedbird 911') was a round-the-world flight operated by the British Overseas Airways Corporation that crashed near Mount Fuji in Japan on 5 March 1966, with the loss of all 113 passengers and 11 crew members. The Boeing 707 jetliner involved disintegrated mid-air shortly after departing from Tokyo, as a result of severe clear-air turbulence.
It was the third fatal passenger airline accident in Tokyo in a month, following the crash of All Nippon Airways Flight 60 on 4 February and that of Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 402 just the day before.Boeing 720
The Boeing 720 is a four-engine narrow-body short- to medium-range passenger jet airliner. Developed by Boeing in the late 1950s from the Boeing 707, the 720 has a shorter fuselage and a shorter range. The 720 first flew in November 1959 and the model entered service with launch customer United Airlines in July 1960.
Two primary versions of the aircraft were built. The original 720 with Pratt & Whitney JT3C turbojet engines entered service in 1960, while the improved 720B with Pratt & Whitney JT3D turbofans entered service in 1961. Some 720s were later converted to 720B specification.
Although only 154 were built, the Boeing 720 and 720B were profitable due to the low research and development costs, being slightly modified versions of the 707-120. They were later replaced by the Boeing 727. The 720 is the only Boeing jet airliner not to follow the company's "7x7" naming formula (excluding former McDonnell Douglas airliners, such as the MD-80).Boeing C-137 Stratoliner
The Boeing C-137 Stratoliner is a VIP transport aircraft derived from the Boeing 707 jet airliner used by the United States Air Force. Other nations also bought both new and used 707s for military service, primarily as VIP or tanker transports. In addition, the 707 served as the basis for several specialized versions, such as the E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft. The designation C-18 covers several later variants based on the 707-320B/C series. The C-137 should not be confused with the superficially-similar Boeing C-135 Stratolifter; although they share a common ancestor the two aircraft have different fuselages.Boeing CC-137
The Boeing CC-137 is the designation for five Boeing 707-347C transport aircraft which served with the Canadian Forces from 1970 to 1997. The aircraft provided long range passenger transport for the military, VIP transport for government and air-to-air refueling for fighters such as the CF-116 Freedom Fighter and CF-18 Hornet. It was replaced by the Airbus CC-150 Polaris in the transport role and much later in the tanker role.Boeing E-6 Mercury
The Boeing E-6 Mercury (formerly E-6 Hermes) is an airborne command post and communications relay based on the Boeing 707-320. The original E-6A manufactured by Boeing's defense division entered service with the United States Navy in July 1989, replacing the EC-130Q. This platform, now modified to the E-6B standard, conveys instructions from the National Command Authority to fleet ballistic missile submarines (see communication with submarines), a mission known as TACAMO (TAke Charge And Move Out). The E-6B model deployed in October 1998 also has the ability to remotely control Minuteman ICBMs using the Airborne Launch Control System. The E-6B replaced Air Force EC-135Cs in the "Looking Glass" role, providing command and control of U.S. nuclear forces should ground-based control become inoperable. With production lasting until 1991, the E-6 was the final new derivative of the Boeing 707 to be built.Continental Airlines Flight 11
Continental Airlines Flight 11, registration N70775, was a Boeing 707 aircraft which exploded in the vicinity of Centerville, Iowa, while en route from O'Hare Airport, Chicago, Illinois, to Kansas City, Missouri, on May 22, 1962. The aircraft crashed in a clover field near Unionville, in Putnam County, Missouri, killing all 45 crew and passengers on board. The investigation determined the cause of the crash was a suicide bombing committed as insurance fraud. The plane had been hijacked to Cuba the previous year as Flight 54.EL/M-2075
The IAI EL/M-2075 Phalcon is an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) active electronically scanned array radar system developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elta Electronics Industries of Israel. Its primary objective is to provide intelligence to maintain air superiority and conduct surveillance. It was surpassed by newer versions—the EL/W-2085 and the EL/W-2090.Kano air disaster
The Kano air disaster was a chartered Boeing 707 passenger flight on 22 January 1973 that crashed while attempting to land at Kano International Airport. It is the deadliest aviation disaster ever to take place in Nigeria, as 176 passengers and crew perished in the crash. There were 26 survivors.Pan Am Flight 816
Pan Am Flight 816 was an international flight from Auckland, New Zealand, to San Francisco, United States, via Tahiti, French Polynesia and Los Angeles, United States. It was operated by a Pan Am Boeing 707-321B bearing the registration N417PA and named Clipper Winged Racer. On July 22, 1973, at 10:06 P.M. local time, the Boeing 707 took off from Fa'a'ā International Airport in Papeete. Thirty seconds after takeoff, the airliner carrying 79 passengers and crew crashed into the sea.TWA Flight 841 (1974)
On September 8, 1974, a Boeing 707-331B (registered N8734) operating as TWA Flight 841 from Tel Aviv to New York City via Athens and Rome crashed into the Ionian Sea, killing all aboard. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the plane had been destroyed by a bomb hidden in the cargo hold. The detonation of the bomb destroyed the systems responsible for operating the plane's control surfaces, causing the plane to pitch up until it stalled and dove into the sea.Varig Flight 820
Varig Flight 820 was a flight of the Brazilian airline Varig that departed from Galeão International Airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 11, 1973, for Orly Airport, in Paris, France. The plane, a Boeing 707 registration PP-VJZ, made an emergency landing on onion fields about four kilometers from Orly Airport, due to smoke in the cabin from a fire in a lavatory. The fire caused 123 deaths; there were only 11 survivors (ten crew members and one passenger).Varig Flight 967
Varig Flight 967 was an international cargo flight that disappeared on 30 January 1979 while en route from Narita International Airport in Japan to Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport in Brazil, with a stopover in Los Angeles International Airport. Neither the aircraft, a Boeing 707-323C cargo aircraft, nor the six crew members have ever been found. It is the largest aircraft to have completely disappeared, with no wreckage found.
Boeing aircraft model numbers
Boeing 7x7 aircraft production timeline, 1955–present
|Boeing 717 (MD-95)|
|Boeing 737 Original||Boeing 737 Classic||Boeing 737 NG||737 MAX|
|Boeing 720||Boeing 757|
|Boeing 707||Boeing 767|
|Boeing 747 (Boeing 747SP)||Boeing 747-400||747-8|
|= Narrow-body||= Wide-body|
|*Overlapping production times like between the 747-400 and the 747-8 have been decided in favor of newer models|