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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Boeing 707 / 720
Air India 707-320B takeoff at Basel, Switzerland in 1976.
Role Airliner
National origin United States
Manufacturer Boeing Airplane Company
First flight December 20, 1957[1]
Introduction October 1958 with Pan American
Status In service
Primary users Trans World Airlines
Eastern Air Lines
Pan Am
Produced 1958-1979
Number built 1,010
Unit cost US$4.3 million (1955 dollars)[2]
Developed from Boeing 367-80
Variants C-137 Stratoliner
E-3 Sentry
E-6 Mercury
E-8 Joint STARS

The Boeing 707 is a four-engine commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". Boeing delivered a total of 1,010 Boeing 707s including a smaller, faster model of the aircraft that was marketed as the Boeing 720.

Although it was not the first commercial jet in service, the 707 was among the first to be commercially successful. Dominating passenger air transport in the 1960s, and remaining common throughout the 1970s, the 707 is generally credited with ushering in the Jet Age.[3][4] It established Boeing as one of the largest makers of passenger aircraft, and led to the later series of aircraft with "7x7" designations.



The Boeing 707 was an outgrowth of the Boeing Model 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 engine, which was the civilian version of the J57 used on many military aircraft of the day, including the F-100 fighter and the B-52 bomber.

The prototype was conceived as a proof of concept aircraft for both military and civilian use: the United States Air Force was the first customer for the design, using it as the KC-135 Stratotanker midair 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 Stratotanker.[5]

The 132-inch (3,350 mm) fuselage of the Dash 80 was only wide enough to fit 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 decided to widen the fuselage to 144 in (3,660 mm), the same as the KC-135 Stratotanker, which would allow six-abreast seating — and the shared use of the KC-135's tooling.[6] However, Douglas Aircraft had launched its DC-8 with a fuselage width of 147 in (3,730 mm). The airlines liked the extra space, and so Boeing was obliged to increase the 707's cabin width again, this time to 148 in (3,760 mm).[7] This meant that little of the tooling that was made for the Dash 80 was usable for the 707. The extra cost meant the 707 did not become profitable until some years after it would have if these modifications had not been necessary.

Early production Boeing 707-329 of Sabena in April 1960 retaining the original short tail-fin and no ventral fin

The first flight of the first production 707-120 took place on December 20, 1957, and FAA certification followed on September 18, 1958.[8] 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[2][9]

The initial standard model was the 707-120 with JT3C 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, three aft. The frames in the 707 were each 20 inches (500 mm) long, so this resulted in a net shortening of 10 ft (3 m) to 134 ft, 6 inches (41 m). Because the maximum takeoff weight remained the same 257,000 lbs (116 Tonne) as the -120, the 138 was able to fly the longer routes that Qantas needed.[9] 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 Rolls-Royce 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 yaw stability.

A Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 707 photographed in Germany, 1961

Eventually, the dominant engine for the Boeing 707 family was the Pratt & Whitney JT3D, a turbofan variant of the JT3C with lower fuel consumption as well as 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 only available as new-built aircraft as they had a stronger structure to support a maximum take-off weight increased by 19,000 lb (8,600 kg), along with minor modifications to the wing. The 707-320B series enabled non-stop westbound flights from Europe to the US west coast.

The final 707 variant was the 707-320C, (C for "Convertible") which was fitted with a large fuselage door for cargo applications. This aircraft also had a significantly revised wing featuring three-section leading-edge flaps. This provided an additional improvement to takeoff and landing performance, and also 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.

An ex-Qantas Boeing 707-138B, owned by John Travolta, repainted in vintage Qantas livery

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 purpose-built military variants remained in production until 1991.

Traces of the 707 are still found in the 737, which uses a modified version of the 707's fuselage, as well as essentially the same external nose and cockpit configuration as the 707. These were also used on the previous Boeing 727, while the Boeing 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.

Operational history

The first commercial orders for the 707 came on October 13, 1955,[6] 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 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 aircraft's first commercial flight was from New York to Paris on October 26, 1958 with a fuel stop in Gander, Newfoundland. American Airlines operated the first domestic 707 flight on January 25, 1959. Continental Airlines introduced its first two 707 aircraft into scheduled service three months later—the first U.S. carrier to employ the type widely in domestic service. Airlines which had only ordered the DC-8, such as United, Delta and Eastern, were left jetless for months until September and lost market share on transcontinental flights.

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.[10]

Conway-powered BOAC 707-436 at London Heathrow Airport in 1964.

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 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.

Trans World Airlines flew the last scheduled 707 flight for passengers by a US carrier on October 30, 1983,[11] although 707s remained in scheduled service by airlines from other nations for much longer. For example 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 Air Lines of Iran is the last airline to keep 707s in scheduled passenger service. Saha's 707-320C is listed for the nightly domestic flight between Tehran and Kish Island as well as a weekly flight between Tehran and Mashhad on Friday morning plus ad-hoc flights to numerous other airports in Iran when needed, as of November 2008.

In 1984, a Boeing 720 that was flown by remote control was intentionally crashed at Edwards AFB as a part of the FAA and NASA Controlled Impact Demonstration program. The test provided peak accelerations during a crash.[12]

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.[13] "Boeing News" reported the increase in operational 707's prior to April 1989.[citation needed]

Honeywell operated the last Boeing 720 in operation in the United States, flying out of Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix. The aircraft had been modified with an extra engine nacelle to allow testing of a turbine engine at altitude, operating on special certification allowing it to be used for experimental use. The aircraft's experimental flight certification was set to expire in 2008, and the 720 is being replaced by a Boeing 757.[14] This 720B was scrapped on June 21 and 22, 2008.[15]




View of number 1 (top left) and 2 (center) Pratt & Whitney JT3D jet engines on the port side of a British Caledonian Boeing 707-320B. Note the peculiarity of the number 1 engine mount (top) which is different from the other three engines.

The 707's used engine-driven turbocompressors to supply high-pressure air for pressurization. The engines could not supply sufficient bleed air for this purpose without a serious loss of thrust. 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 707 wings are swept back at 35 degrees and, like all swept-wing aircraft, displayed an undesirable "Dutch roll" flying characteristic which 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.[16]

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 didn't 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 faulting autopilot and manually stabilized the plane "with two slight control movements".

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 developed the JT8D-219 as a re-engine powerplant for Boeing 707-based aircraft, calling their modified configuration a 707RE.[17] Northrop Grumman has selected the -219 to re-engine the United States Air Force's fleet of 19 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (E-8 Joint STARS) aircraft, which will allow the JSTARS 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 40dB quieter than JT3D engines that are being replaced.[17]



The 367-80 (Dash-80) was the original prototype Boeing jet transport. Used to develop the KC-135 Stratotanker and the 707, it was fitted with four Pratt & Whitney JT3C engines, each producing 10,000 lbf (44.5 kN). First flight was 15 July 1954.[18] Upon completion of initial test programs, it found use as a flying testbed for new technologies and for continuing improvements to the 707 series. Later fitted with Pratt & Whitney JT3D turbofans, it was retired to storage in Arizona. It is now preserved for public viewing at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)'s annex near Washington Dulles International Airport.


The Boeing designation for C-135 Stratolifter and KC-135 Stratotanker derivatives of the 367-80. The designation was later used to re-name the McDonnell-Douglas MD-95 as the Boeing 717 after McDD had been acquired by Boeing.


Boeing 707-123B cockpit

The 707-120 was the first production 707 variant. The variant featured a longer, wider fuselage and greater wingspan than the original Dash-80. A full set of rectangular cabin windows was included for the interior, which was capable of a seating 179 passengers. It was designed for transcontinental routes and often required a refuelling stop when used on the North Atlantic route. It was fitted with four Pratt and Whitney JT3C-6 turbojets, civilian versions of the military J57 model, which produced 12,500 lbf (55.6 kN) each, allowing a 257,000 lb (117,000 kg) takeoff gross weight. 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 service of a 707 was on October 26, 1958.[19] A total of 69 were built.

The 707-138 was based on the -120 but had a 10 ft (3.05 m) reduction to the rear fuselage and were capable of increased range. It was a variant for Qantas and included Boeing customer number of 38 for Qantas. A total of 13 -138s were built.

707-120B (VC-137B) wing, showing the new inboard leading edge from the 720.

The 707-120B was the first major upgrade to the design was a re-engining with JT3D-3 turbofans, which were quieter, more powerful, and more fuel-efficient, producing 18,000 lbf (80.1 kN) each. The aircraft also received the wing modifications introduced on the 720. The tailplane was also enlarged on the -120B. A total of 72 of these were built, and many more were converted from 707-120 aircraft, including Qantas' aircraft, which became 707-138B aircraft upon conversion. The first flight of the -120B was on 22 June 1960.


The 707-220 was designed for hot and high operations with powerful Pratt & Whitney JT4A-3 turbojets, only five of these were produced, however 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. This version was made obsolete by the arrival of the turbofan-powered 707-120B.


British Caledonian Boeing 707 shown at Prestwick International Airport, South Ayrshire, Scotland, c. 1972.

The 707-320 Intercontinental is a stretched version of the turbojet-powered original model, powered by JT4A-3 turbojets producing 15,800 lbst each. The interior allowed for up to 189 passengers due to a 100-inch (2,500 mm) stretch, while a 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.[9] Takeoff weight was increased to 316,000 lb (143,000 kg). First flight was on January 11, 1958, and 69 turbojet 707-320s were produced.

The 707-320B is a re-engined version undertaken in parallel with the -120B, using the same JT3D-3 turbofans and incorporating many of the same airframe upgrades as well. The wing was modified from the -320 by adding a second inboard kink, a dog-toothed leading edge, and triangular wingtips instead of the earlier blunt ones.[9] These new wingtips increased overall wingspan by three feet. Takeoff gross weight was increased to 335,000 lb (152,000 kg). 175 of the 707-320B aircraft were produced, as well as upgrades from original -320 models. 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 707-320B Advanced is a slightly improved version of the -320B aircraft, adding three-section leading-edge flaps. These reduced takeoff and landing speeds, and also altered the lift distribution of the wing, allowing the ventral fin found on earlier 707s to be removed. The same wing was also used on the 707-320C.

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. 335 of these variants were built, including a small number with uprated JT3D-7 engines and a takeoff gross weight of 336,000 lb (152,000 kg). Despite the convertible option, a number of these were delivered as pure freighters.

The 707-420 is a version of the 707-320 originally produced at specific request for BOAC and powered by Rolls-Royce Conway 508 turbofans, producing 17,500 lbf (77.8 kN) each. Although BOAC initiated the programme, Lufthansa was the launch customer and Air India was the first to receive a 707-420 on February 18, 1960. A total of 37 were built to this configuration.

The 707-700 was a test aircraft used to study the feasibility of using CFM International's CFM56 powerplants on a 707 airframe and possibly retrofitting them to existing aircraft. After a testing in 1979, N707QT, the last commercial 707 airframe, was refitted to 707-320C configuration and delivered to the Moroccan Air Force as a tanker aircraft. (This purchase was considered a "civilian" order and not a military one.) Boeing abandoned the program, since they felt it would be a threat to the Boeing 757 program. The information gathered in the test led to the eventual retrofitting program of CFM56 engines to the USAF C-135/KC-135R models, and some military versions of the 707 also used the CFM56. Ironically the Douglas DC-8 "Super 70" series by Cammacorp did develop commercially, extending the life of DC-8 airframes in a stricter noise regulatory environment, so there are today more DC-8s in commercial service than there are 707s.


Boeing 720-048 of Aer Lingus-Irish International in 1965

The 720 was originally designated 707-020 but later changed for marketing reasons. It was a modification of the 707-120 designed for medium-range operation from shorter runways. It had four frames removed in front of the wing, and one aft, making it 8 feet 4 inches (2.54 m) shorter than the -120, and certified to a lower maximum takeoff weight. The wing modifications consisted of adding Krueger flaps outboard of the outboard engines to lower takeoff and landing speeds and thus shorten field length, and a thickened inboard section at the leading edge which had a slightly greater sweep. This modification increased the top speed over the -120, and was later available on the -120B and on -120s retrofitted to the B standard.[9] This model had few sales but was still profitable due to the minimal R&D costs associated with modifying an existing type. At one point in the promotion stage to airlines it was known as the 717, although this was the Boeing model designation of the KC-135 and remained unused for a commercial airliner until it was applied to the MD-95 following Boeing's merger with McDonnell Douglas.[20] The 720 was used before the Boeing 727 replaced it in the market. First flight was on November 23, 1959 with 64 of the original version built.

The 720B was the turbofan-powered version of the 720, with JT3D-1-MC6 turbofans producing 17,000 lbf (75.6 kN) each. Takeoff gross weight was increased to 235,000 lb (107,000 kg). 88 of these were built in addition to conversions of existing 720 models.[21]


USAF E-3 Sentry in flight.
RAAF 707-368C, Perth International airport, Australia.
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 U.S. Air Force's C-135 Stratolifter is not a 707 variant, but was developed in parallel to the 707 from the original Boeing 367-80.). The Canadian Forces also operated Boeing 707 with designation CC-137 Husky (707-347C) from 1972 to 1997.

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.


In the 1980s, the USAF acquired around 250 used 707s to provide parts for the KC-135E Stratotanker program.[22]

Although 707s are no longer employed by major airlines. 63 aircraft remain in commercial use, mainly with air cargo operators. As of August 2007, commercial operators of the Boeing 707 with more than one aircraft include: African Airlines International (4), Angola Air Charter (3), Azza Transport (2), BETA Cargo (3), Hewa Bora Airways (3), Libyan Arab Airlines (2), Saha Air Lines (6 but only 2 operational), Sky Aviation FZE (2), Skymaster Airlines (5), Sudanese States Aviation (2) and TMA (5).[citation needed] American actor John Travolta owns, and is qualified to fly as second in command, an ex-Qantas 707-138B, registration N707JT.[23]

The list of customer codes used by Boeing to identify specific options and trim specified by customers was started with the 707, and has been maintained through all Boeing's models. Essentially 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.

Accidents and incidents

As of May 2007, the 707 has been in a total of 166 hull-loss occurrences[24] with 2,733 fatalities.[25]

Notable accidents

  • On October 19, 1959, A Boeing 707-227 crashed northeast of Arlington, Washington while on a test flight for Braniff International Airways. Four people were killed in the crash, and four survived.[26]
  • On June 3, 1962, an Air France 707 from Paris to Atlanta suffered mechanical failure led to a failure to take-off, killing 130 people aboard, including 106 Atlanta art patrons; two stewardesses survived. It was, at the time, the worst single-plane disaster.
  • On February 12, 1963, Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 705 suffered an in-flight break-up over the Florida Everglades approximately 12 minutes after leaving Miami, bound for Chicago. All 35 passengers and 8 crew died. The cause of the crash was determined to be an unrecoverable loss of control due to severe turbulence.[28]
  • On December 8, 1963, Pan Am Flight 214 crashed outside Elkton, Maryland during a severe electrical storm, with a loss of all 81 passengers and crew. The Boeing 707-121, registered as N709PA, was on the final leg of a San Juan — Baltimore — Philadelphia flight.
  • On September 17, 1965, Pan Am Flight 292 crashed into a side of a mountain in a storm on the island of Montserrat killing all 30 passengers and crew on board.[30]
  • On April 20, 1968, a South African Airways Boeing 707 crashed shortly after take-off from Windhoek, Namibia. There were 5 survivors out of a total complement of 128 people on board. The brand new Boeing 707 ZS-EUW was operating on a flight from Johannesburg to London via Windhoek, Luanda, Las Palmas and Frankfurt. At 18:49 the aircraft took off Windhoek runway 08 and climbed to a height of about 650 feet above ground level. The plane leveled off and started to descend, flying into the ground 30 seconds later. The airplane impacted the ground some 5 km from the runway at a 271 knots groundspeed and rate of descent of about 2000 feet/min. The probable cause was the retraction of flaps and reduction of engine power from takeoff to climb power at 650 ft altitude causing the plane to descend. The crewmembers failed to notice that the 707 was losing altitude. Contributory factors were the takeoff conditions of total darkness with no external visual reference; inappropriate alteration of stabilizer trim; spatial disorientation; pre-occupation with after-takeoff checks.[31]
  • On December, 12 1968, Pan Am Flight 217, a Boeing 707 en route to Caracas AC crashed into Caribbean sea. All 51 passengers and crew on board died. City lights may have caused an optical illusion that affected the pilots.[32]
  • On July 11, 1973 PP-VJZ Varig Flight 820 on scheduled airline service from Galeão Airport, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Orly Airport, Paris, France made an emergency landing in a field in the Orly community due to smoke in the cabin. The fire, smoke and crash resulted in 123 deaths, with 11 survivors (10 crew, one passenger).
  • On November 3, 1973, Pan Am Flight 160, a 707 crashed on approach to Boston-Logan. Smoke in the cockpit caused the pilots to lose control. Three people were killed in the hull-loss accident.[33]
  • On January 1, 1976, Middle East Airlines Flight 438 was destroyed en-route from Beirut to Dubai, by a bomb in the forward cargo hold. All 66 passengers and 15 crew were killed.[36]
  • On April 20, 1978, Korean Air Lines Flight 902 was hit by a missile fired from a Soviet Sukhoi Su-15 interceptors after it had entered Soviet airspace. This missile caused a rapid decompression of the fuselage which killed two passengers. The 707 made an emergency landing on a frozen lake near Murmansk, USSR.
  • On 30 January 1979, a Varig cargo Boeing 707-323C registration PP-VLU crashed while flying from Tokyo yo Rio de Janeiro. Causes are unknown since the wreck was never found.[37]
  • On October 13, 1983, a Bolivian 707 cargo jet crashed in Santa Cruz, Bolivia killing 91 (88 were killed on the ground when it crashed into a practice football game).[38]
  • On October 23, 1996, a 707 belonging to the Argentinian Air Force crashed on take off roll after failing to achieve takeoff speed (V2) at Buenos Aires International Airport (EZE).[40]
  • On March 19, 2005, a Cargo Plus Aviation-owned 707-300 freighter on a wet-lease to Ethiopian Airlines crashed into Lake Victoria on approach to Runway 35 at Entebbe, Uganda on the lake's northern shore. The 31-year-old 707 freighter was on approach to Runway 35 during its second attempt to land. It had flown round in poor visibility from Runway 17 and changed to the reciprocal end seeking better visibility, but on approach its right wing clipped the outcrop and it began to break up. The accident happened in heavy rain. The aircraft broke up, but the crew of five survived.[45]
  • On 20 April 2005, Saha Air Lines Flight 171, registration EP-SHE, flying from Kish Island, crashed on landing at Mehrabad Airport, Tehran following an unstabilised approach with a higher than recommended airspeed. Gear and/or a tire failed after touchdown and the flight overran the far end of the runway. Of the 12 crew and 157 passengers, 3 passengers were killed reportedly falling into the river after evacuation.[46]

Aircraft on display

Retired South African Air Force Boeing 707-328C at the South African Air Force Museum, Pretoria


720 (707-020) 707-120B 707-320B
Cockpit crew Three
Passengers 140 110 (2 class)
179 (1 class)
147 (2 class)
202 (1 class)
Length 136 ft 2 in (41.25 m) 144 ft 6 in (44.07 m) 152 ft 11 in (46.61 m)
Wingspan 130 ft 10 in (39.90 m) 145 ft 9 in (44.42 m)
Tail height 41 ft 7 in (12.65 m) 42 ft 5 in (12.93 m)
Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW) 222,000 lb (100,800 kg) 257,000 lb (116,570 kg) 333,600 lb (151,320 kg)
Empty weight 103,145 lb (46,785 kg) 122,533 lb (55,580 kg) 146,400 lb (66,406 kg)
Takeoff run at MTOW 8,300 ft (2,515 m) 11,000 ft (3,330 m) 10,840 ft (3,280 m)
Fuel Capacity 16,060 US gal (60,900 l) 17,330 US gal (65,590 l) 23,820 US gal (90,160 l)
Landing run 5,750 ft (1,740 m) 6,200 ft (1,875 m) 5,950 ft (1,813 m)
Operating range (Max Payload) 3,680 nmi (6,820 km) 3,735 nmi (6,920 km)
Range at MTOW (max fuel) 3800 nmi (7,040 km) 4,700 nmi (8,704 km) 5,750 nmi (10,650 km)
Cruising speed 540 kn (1000 km/h) 525 kn (972 km/h)
Fuselage width 12 ft 4 in (3.76 m)
Powerplants (4 x) Pratt & Whitney JT3C-7:
12,000 lbf (53.3 kN)
Pratt & Whitney JT3D-1:
17,000 lbf (75.6 kN)
PW JT3D-3:
18,000 lbf (80 kN)
PW JT3D-7:
19,000 lbf (84.4 kN)



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

Notable appearances in media

The 707 is mentioned in the songs "Boeing Boeing 707" by Roger Miller; "Jet Airliner" performed by the Steve Miller Band and written by Paul Pena; 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.

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Related lists


  1. ^ "Boeing 707 Jet Transport." Retrieved: December 27, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Bowers 1989, p. 434.
  3. ^ Wilson, p. 13. "The Boeing 707, the airliner which introduced jet travel on a large scale."
  4. ^ Wilson 1999, p. 48. Quote: "The USA's first jetliner, the 707 was at the forefront of jet travel revolution..."
  5. ^ "Gamble in the Sky." Time, July 19, 1954. Retrieved: December 27, 2009.
  6. ^ a b Bowers 1989, p. 433.
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  • Bowers, Peter M. Boeing Aircraft since 1916. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1989. ISBN 0-85177-804-6.
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  • Pither, Tony. The Boeing 707, 720 and C-135. Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1998. ISBN 0-85130-236-X
  • Wilson, Stewart. Airliners of the World. Fyshwick, Australia: Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd., 1999. ISBN 1-875671-44-7.

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