Boeing 707 General
Aircraft
Boeing 707-120B/-320B
Type
Medium / Long range aircraft
Crew
3
Boeing 707 Program Milestones
First flight
July 15, 1954
Speed-Distance Record
March 11, 1957
First commercial flight
October 26, 1958
First domestic flight
January 25, 1959
Production ended (civil)
1978
Production ended (military)
1991


Boeing 707 Dimensions

Boeing 707-120B
Length
145 feet 1 inch (44,22 m)
Wing Span
130 feet 10 inch (42,32 m)
Height
41 feet 8 inch (12,70 m)
Wing Area
2,433 square feet

Boeing 707-320B
Length
152 feet 11 inch (46,61 m)
Wing Span
142 feet 5 inch (44,42 m)
Height
18 feet 7 inch (5,66 m)
Wing Area
3,050 square feet

USAF Boeing 707
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Boeing 707

Boeing 707 Weights

Boeing 707-120B
Maximum Taxi Weight
258,000 lb
Max Take-off Weight
257,340 lb
Max Landing Weight
190,000 lb
Max Zero Fuel Weight
170,000 lb
Operating Empty Weight
127,500 lb
Max Structural Payload
42,500 lb
Max Cargo containers
1,668 Cubic feet
Usable Fuel
65,590 l

Boeing 707-320B
Maximum Taxi Weight
336,000 lb
Max Take-off Weight
333,600 lb
Max Landing Weight
215,000 lb
Max Zero Fuel Weight
195,000 lb
Operating Empty Weight
148,800 lb
Max Structural Payload
46,200 lb
Max Cargo containers
1,770 Cubic feet
Usable Fuel
90,290 l

Boeing 707 Range
Boeing 707-120B 3,680 nautical miles (6,820 km)
Boeing 707-320B 3,735 nautical miles (6,920 km)

Prices all variants ($ in Millions)
Aircraft not in production - Prices not current

The Boeing 707 - "The Beginning..."
The Boeing 707, or "Seven O Seven", is a four engined jet liner developed by Boeing Company and was introduced in the early 1950s. In total, Boeing delivered over 1,000 Boeing 707 aircraft which dominated air transport in the 1960s and 70s. Although the De Havilland Comet was the first commercial jet in service, the 707 was the first aircraft to be commercially successful, and was credited as ushering in the Jet Age.

On July 15, 1954, Boeing entered the jet age when the Boeing 707 prototype, designated 367-80, took for the skies for the first time from Renton Field. The 707 is the forerunner of the more than 14,000 Boeing jetliners built since its launch, and served as a flying test laboratory for 18 years before it was turned over to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in May 1972. Production of the Boeing 707 was announced by Boeing on August 30, 1952. Less than two years later on May 14, 1954, the airplane rolled from the factory and marked the 38th anniversary of The Boeing Company when it took of roughly two months later.

The Boeing 707 is powered by four JT3 turbojet engines which are installed under the wings swept back 35 degrees, establishing the classic configuration for future jetliners to come. The 707 also proved to be record-breaking as was illustrated on March 11, 1957, when it streaked nonstop on a press demonstration flight from Seattle to Baltimore in just 3 hours 48 minutes at an average speed of 612 mph.

Boeing 707
Boeing E-3A Sentry
NATO Boeing E-3A Sentry
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The first commercial 707, designated as the 707-120 series, incorporated a larger cabin and other improvements compared to the prototype. Initially, the aircraft had a range capability that was barely sufficient for crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Because of this, a number of variants were developed for special use, including shorter-bodied airplanes and the 720 series, which was lighter and faster with better runway performance. Boeing therefore quickly developed the larger 707-320 Intercontinental series, incorporating a larger fuselage, larger wings and more powerful engines. These improvements allowed the aircraft to increase fuel capacity to more than 23,000 gallons resulting in a range of over 4,000 nautical miles while carrying 141 passengers.

Omega Boeing 707 tanker
Boeing 707
Flight deck Boeing 707
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Boeing 707 - Design
Although the 707 is powered by four turbojet engines, they could not provide sufficient bleed air for pressurization without losing a serious amount of thrust, so the aircraft instead used engine driven turbocompressors to suplly high-pressure air for this purpose. On many of the commercial 707 variants the outer port engine mount is significantly different from the other three, as this is the only engine not fitted with a turbocompressor. The Boeing 707 is also the first aircraft having its wings swept back at an angle of 35 degrees. This also meant that the aircraft displayed undesirable "Dutch Roll" flying characteristics which manifested itself as an alternating jawing and rolling motion. Since Boeing already gained considerable experience with this on the B-47 and B-52, it developed a yaw damper system that could be applied to swept wing configurations, like that on the 707.

A well-known example of the this phenomenon was demonstrated on a customer acceptance flight when the yaw damper was turned off to familiarize the new pilots with flying techniques. A trainee pilot exacerbated the Dutch Roll motion causing a sudden but violent roll motion which tore two of the four engines of the wing. The brand new 707-227, destined for Braniff, crash landed on a river bed north of Seattle, killing four of its eight occupants.

Untitled Boeing 707
Pan Am Boeing 707
Untitled Boeing 707
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Boeing 707 Operational History
The Boeing 707 was launched by an order from Pan Am in 1955, when it ordered 20 707's together with 25 Douglas DC-8's. This boosted the airline's capacity dramatically over its existing fleet of propeller aircraft. As competition was fierce between Douglas and Boeing, the 707 was slightly redesigned with enlarged wings in order to increase range and payload significantly. The new version was numbered 707-320. The first commercial flight took place on October 26, 1958, as the aircraft finalized a flight from New York to Paris. Domestic operations were first undertaken by American Airlines on January 25, 1959.

In order to become and stay a major player in the commercial airliner business, Boeing was quick to adjust its design in order to meet customer desires. The final major derivative was the Boeing 707-320, featuring an extended wingspan and JT4A engines, while the 707-420 was the same as the -320 but with Rolls-Royce Conway Turbofan engines, which made the aircraft more acceptable for the British market. In order to meet British certification requirements relating to engine-out go-arounds, Boeing was forced to increase the height of the tail fin on all 707 models, as well as adding a ventral fin.

The dominant engine version eventually was the JT3D, a turbofan variant of the JT3C with even lower fuel consumption, as well as higher thrust. Boeing 707's powered by JT3D engines were denoted with a "B" suffix. In the end, the ultimate 707 variant was the 707-320C (Convertible), which was fitted with a large fuselage door for cargo applications. The aircraft had a significantly revised wing structure featuring three-section leading-edge flaps. These improvements significantly improved take-off and landing performance, as well as allowing the ventral fin to be removed.

As passenger travel started to increase dramatically in the 1960s, the 707 became a victim of its own succes as traffic densities became to large for 707 operations. Stretching the 707's fuselage was not an option since this would need larger, more powerful engines and in turn would require a larger undercarriage, which was not feasible given the design's limited ground clearance. Boeing answered to this problem with its first twin aisle airliner; the Boeing 747.

By the time production of the 707 ended in 1978, a total of 1,010 aircraft were built for civil use. Up till today, many of these found their way to military service. The military variant of the 707 remained in production until 1991.