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Boeing 707

In October 1954 an order came through for 29 KC-135 tankers, based on the 367-80. When the company enlargened the cross-section of the fuselage, Boeing decided to design a new upper lobe for the commercial 707, while keeping the original one for the KC-135. The new fuselage upper lobe was of 140 in diameter making it easier to accommodate a triple seat each side of the aisle. The first 707 flew on 20 December 1957.


The 1st Boeing 707


Three airlines put Conway-engined Boeing 707s into service across the North Atlantic in the spring of 1960. The first was Lufthansa.
1st Lufthansa 707


The first flight of a Pratt & Whitney JT3D turbofan powered 707-120B was made on 22 June 1960.


The Boeing 707-120 was introduced in 1954. As the 707-121, the first of a whole family of passenger and cargo variants, it was launched on its career by Pan Am in 1958 with a $296 million order for 20 — on the transatlantic route for prestige reasons, although it was designed and subsequently used for medium-range domestic service.


The first operator of the 707-120 was Pan American who started daily service between New York and Paris on 26 October 1959.


Pan American began using its 707-120s on US domestic routes on 20 March 1959. Starting in July 1965, Pan American Airways replace the human navigator with inertal navigation systems in their entire fleet of 55 Boeing 707s at a cost of $12,500,000.


The 707-121 was followed by the intercontinental -320, the largest passenger jet of its era (which flew the first ever round-the-world service in 1959) and the short-range -720. The Boeing 707-320B was introduced in 1959.

The 707-138 was tailored exclusively to QANTAS specifications, combining the short fuselage of the -120 with P&W JT3D turbofans (replacing the JT3C-6 turbojets), and taller tail fin, and other aerodynamic improvements significantly boosting performance. Modification to 707-138B standard included fitting leading edge flaps and the installation of JT3D-1 turbofans.


In the early months of 1960, modifications were adopted on the 707 to improve its controllability under certain critical conditions. The modifications, first applied to the Conway-engined 707-436s of BOAC, included a taler fin and a small ventral fin.
BOAC 707-436


On 707s only the rudder is power -operated; the other control surfaces, aerodynamically balanced, are moved by spring tabs on the trailing edges. Though criticized for being noisy and excessively smoky, and for needing longer runways than existed at most airports in the 1950s, the 707 quickly overcame all opposition by flying more passengers and cargo faster, farther and more economically than any other passenger plane. Models fitted with turbofan engines were considerably quieter than the early turbojet-powered versions and by the early 1960s, runways at major air-ports had been extended to accommodate the new generation of jets. During the two decades of 707 production, almost 2,000 have been built.

A modified Boeing 707-353B joined the US Presidential fleet in August 1972, designated as a VC-137C. President John F. Kennedy's VC-137 (tail number 26000) was based on a USAF C-137C model which in turn was based on the Boeing 707. This aircraft gained more significance in becoming the aircraft used to transport Kennedy's body back from Dallas, Texas in 1963. The aircraft served as the official office to which Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States following Kennedy's assassination at the hands of Lee Harvey Oswald. Today, this very aircraft resides at the United States Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. The aircraft exhibit details the event complete with text and pictures showing the swearing in and the area of the aft portion of the interior cabin modified to fit the coffin of John F. Kennedy for the trip back to Washington, D.C.

The same aircraft transported the body of President Lyndon B. Johnson back to Texas for final rest. President Richard M. Nixon utilized VC-137 on his historic visits to China and the Soviet Union.

John F. Kennedy's VC-137 was the first presidential aircraft to be popularly known as "Air Force One".

Powered by four turbojet engines the long-range 707-320C can carry up to 202 passengers and has provided safe, fast and comfortable jet travel around the world. Its success can be measured by the fact that no fewer than 859 had been delivered by 1 June 1972.

In 1982 Boeing modified a commercial 707-320 airliner to demonstrate its potential as a tanker/ transport. As flown, the demonstrator has a centreline and wing-tip hose and drouge refuelling systems, but several alternatives are offered, including a centreline flying boom installation. For the tanker role an optional tank may be fitted in the lower rear cargo hold to provide an additional 19,000 lt of fuel. Spain will receive two tanker/transports with VIP interiors during 1987, while Brazil will take delivery of its fourth and last in November 1987.

Boeing completed the first 707-320 Intercontinental as no.16 off the Renton line, flying it on 11 January 1959. The Intercontinental had been ordered by nine airlines. Britain’s CAA caused a minor hiccup by insisting on extra vertical tail area. At first this was met by a big underfin, but the definitive answer was a taller fin, which Boeing made standard. The name Inter-continental was later dropped. The -320B had the JT3D engine and wings with a high-lift leading edge with full-span Kruger flaps and longer-span curved wingtips. These matched weight increases to 333,600lb, paralleled by the -320C mixed-traffic version cleared for 202 passengers or 96,126 lb of cargo.

The -320C remained in production until March 1982, the final total standing at 917. This does not include such military versions as the E-3 AWACS and KE-3A, E-6, E-8A and EC-18 series; with these the total is almost exactly 1,000.


Northrop Grumman undertakes production of E-8C Joint STARS as joint USAF and U.S. Army co-operation program for an airborne surveillance and target acquisition system (first flown August 1995 for first production E-8C).


U.S. Navy Boeing E-6B Mercury airborne command post


The last commercial 707 was 707-320C for Moroccan government delivered March 1982.

Based on the E-3 airframe and powered by four CFM International Fl08-CF-100 turbofans rated at 22,000 lb st (9 979 kgp) each, E-6As will replace EC-130Q Hercules in the TACAMO (Take Charge And Move Out) role to communicate with nuclear submarines. The E-6A is equipped with very-low-frequency (VLF) radio systems for communication with the US Navy’s Trident nuclear submarine fleet.

In 1990 the US Navy ordered eleven Boeing 707 derivatives. The particular USN variant ordered was the E-6 submarine communication aircraft which uses a five mile long trailing wire as a very low frequency antenna to produce a carrier wave to penetrate the ocean surface and reach submerged submarines worldwide.

For the US Navy, Boeing is building 15 of these survivable airborne communications systems, based on the Model 707 airliner airframe. E-6A - Powered by CFM-56 engines, the E-6A proto-type flew on 19 February 1987 (minus avionics). Development of the survivable airborne communications system for the US Navy will continue until 1989.

Five Royal Australian Air Force Boeing 707 jets, with 29 years of service, where used for air-to-air refuelling and transport. A 707 tanker can carry up to 43 tonnes of fuel - the wingtip refuelling pods removable to reduce weight and drag and increase range on non-tanker missions.

As a transport aircraft, the 707 can seat up to 152 passengers or carry 60 tonnes of cargo. From 2009, the RAAF 707s were progressively replaced by new KC-30B Multi-Role Tanker Transports, specially-modified Airbus A-330s.

A re-engined Boeing 707 with four Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219 engines has shown up to 22% improvement in fuel usage over its original engines. This aircraft has been dubbed the B707RE. Also tested (as 707-700) was a re-engined version with CFM56.

The Boeing 707‑80 proto­type obtained speeds well below 100 mph during landing approach in tests conducted by NASA and Boeing at Langley Research Centre. The plane, which once set a coast-to-coast record at 612 mph, was modified by Boeing at its own expense. It has large wing flaps, a boundary layer control system, thrust modulating system and instruments to provide flight data. The Boeing 707‑80 proto­type was presented ultimately to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.



Keen to market its own AEW system for the Israeli Air Force (IAF) and for export, Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAL) developed the Phalcon Airborne Early Warning, Command and Control System and mounted it on a Boeing 707 airframe. The Phalcon system has attracted interest from a variety of countries, however, when China expressed an interest in mounting the radar system on a Russian-built Ilyushin/Beriev A-501 Mainstay in Jul 2000, the USA eventually blocked the sale.
Boeing 707 Phalcon




Engines: 4 x Pratt & Whitney JT3C-6 turbojet.
Length: 145 ft 1 in.
Seats: up to 180.

Engines: 4 x Pratt & Whitney JT3D-1 turbofan.

Engines: 4 x Pratt & Whitney JTD-3 turbofan, 18,000 lb. (8,165 kg.) thrust.
Length: 149 ft 7 in (46.61 m)
Height: 12.9 m / 42 ft 4 in
Wing span: 145 ft 8 in (44.42 m)
Wing area: 273.3 sq.m / 2941.77 sq ft
Weight empty: 138,385 lb (62,771 kg)
Take-off weight: 148780 kg / 328005 lb
Cruise speed: 960 km/h / 597 mph
Max. accommodation: 189
Ceiling: 42,000 ft (12,800 m) fully loaded
Range w/max.fuel: 8690 km / 5400 miles
Range w/max.payload: 7885 km / 4900 miles
Crew: 4

Seats: up to 180


Engines: 4 x Pratt & Whitney JT-4A turbojet

Engines: 4 x Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7 turbofan, 19,000 lb
Wing span: 145 ft 9 in (44.42 m)
Length: 152 ft 11 in (45.61 m)
Height: 42 ft 5 in (12.92 m)
Max TO wt: 333,600 lb (151,315 kg)
Max level speed: 627 mph (1010 kph)
Ceiling: 42,000 ft
Range 6,160 miles
Seats: up to 219


Engines: 4 x Pratt & Whitney JT3D-7 turbofans, 19,000lbs thrust
Length: 149.61ft (45.6m)
Width: 145.73ft (44.42m)
Maximum Speed: 551mph (886kmh; 478kts)
Maximum Range: 4,300miles (6,920km)
Service Ceiling: 38,993ft (11,885m)
Accommodation: 9 + 189
Empty Weight: 145,999lbs (66,224kg)
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 333,592lbs (151,315kg)

Seats: up to 180

Engines: 4 x Rolls-Royce Conway
Seats: up to 219

Engines: 4 x Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219

Engines: 4 x CFM56

Engine: 4 x CFM56-2 turbofan.
Installed thrust: 392.6 kN.
Span: 45.2 m.
Length: 46.6 m.
Empty wt: 78,380 kg.
MTOW: 155,130 kg.
Max speed: 980 kph.
Ceiling: 12,200 m
T/O run: 1650 m.
Ldg run: 720 m.
Range: 11,750 km.
Endurance: 15.4 hr.
Air refuel: Yes.

Boeing 707

RAAF Role: Air-to-air refuelling, passenger and cargo transport
Crew: Two pilots, flight engineer, loadmaster, navigator (air-to-air refuelling role), up to six crew attendants
Engines: Four Pratt and Whitney JT3B turbofans (8,172kg thrust each)
Length: 46.5m
Height: 12.9m
Wingspan: 44.5m
Weight: 152,000kg
Speed: 890 km/h
Range: Over 7,400km
Ceiling: 42,000 feet
Accommodation: Up to 152 passengers


Boeing VC-137B Stratoliner
Maximum Speed: 628mph (1,010kmh; 545kts)
Maximum Range: 5,757miles (9,265km)
Rate-of-Climb: 4,000ft/min (1,219m/min)
Service Ceiling: 49,869ft (15,200m; 9.4miles)
Engines: 4 x Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3 Turbofans, 80kN (18,000 lbs)





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