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Boeing 307
A restored Boeing 307 ex-Pan Am on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Role Airliner
Manufacturer Boeing
First flight 31 December 1938
Introduced 8 July 1940
Retired 1970s
Primary users TWA
Pan Am
Number built 10
Unit cost $315,000 (in 1937 when ordered)[1]
Developed from Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
Variants Boeing C-75

The Boeing Model 307 Stratoliner was the first commercial transport aircraft with a pressurized cabin. This feature allowed the plane to cruise at an altitude of 20,000 ft (6,000 m), well above weather disturbances. The pressure differential was 2.5 psi (17 kPa), so at 14,700 ft (4,480 m) the cabin altitude was 8,000 ft (2,440 m). The Model 307 had capacity for a crew of five and 33 passengers. The cabin was nearly 12 ft (3.6 m) across. It was the first plane to include a flight engineer as a crew member.

Contents

Operational history

A total of 10 Stratoliners were built. The first flight was on December 31, 1938. Boeing 307 prototype NX 19901 crashed on March 18, 1939 during a test flight. By 1940 it was flying routes between Los Angeles and New York, as well as to locations in Latin America. Multi-millionaire Howard Hughes purchased a model for his personal use, and had it transformed into a luxurious "flying penthouse". This plane was later sold to oil tycoon Glenn McCarthy in 1949.[2]

Haiti and the United States have used the 307 in military operations.

Variants

Passengers aboard Pan Am Boeing 307
307
Wright Cyclone GR-1820-G102 engines with single speed supercharger. 5 crew
307B
Wright Cyclone GR-1820-G105A engines with two speed supercharger for better high altitude performance. 7 crew
C-75
Five Trans World 307Bs impressed into service with the USAAF as military transports and converted to 307B-1 standard with B-17G wings, a larger tailplane, four Wright Cyclone GR-1820-G606 engines and cabin pressurisation removed.

Operators

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Civilian operators

 France
  • Aigle Azur bought in 1951 ex-TWA aircraft with new engines and wings replaced with B-17G ones.
 Laos
  • Air Laos received ex-Aigle Azur aircraft.
 United States

Military operators

 Haiti
  • Haitan Air Force
 United States

Survivors

Boeing 307 (NC 19903) in Elliott Bay, Seattle, March 28, 2002

The only surviving Boeing Model 307 (NC19903), operated by Pan Am, is preserved in flying condition at the Smithsonian Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. On March 28, 2002 this particular aircraft was subject to a dramatic crash in which it ditched into Elliott Bay in Seattle, Wash., on what was to be its last flight before heading to the Smithsonian.[3] Despite the incident, it was again restored, flew to the Smithsonian and is now on display[4].

The fuselage of Howard Hughes' personal 307 survives, although it has been converted into a boat[5].

Specifications (Boeing 307)

Data from Jane's AWA 1942 (apart from wing area and loading)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 5, including two pilots and flight engineer
  • Capacity: 33 passengers in daytime, 25 by night
  • Length: 74 ft 4 in (22.6 m)
  • Wingspan: 107 ft 0 in (32.63 m)
  • Height: 20 ft 9.5 in (6.33 m)
  • Wing area: 1,486 ft² (138.0 m²)
  • Empty weight: 30,000 lb (13,608 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 45,000 lb (20,420 kg)
  • Powerplant:Wright GR-1820-G102 radials, 1,100 hp (820 kW) each

Performance

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

References

  • Bridgman, L. (1942).Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1942. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co.

External links


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