Boeing 707 - United States, 1958
Detailing the development and operational history of the Boeing 707 Narrow-Body Passenger Airliner.
Entry last updated on 8/7/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The Boeing 707 airliner was a bold company move, designed from the outset as a private venture with military and civilian applications in mind.
The 707 model series for The Boeing Company proved to be the catalyst for their commercial market successes to come. The 707 introduced a model design that was initially conceived of as a private venture, targeting both military and commercial applications. To that end, design of the aircraft would go on to spur the development of both the successful 707 commercial transport series and the military platform to which several aircraft (most notably, the KC-135) would find equal success. The 707 would also become the first successful long-range passenger transport, producing a long pedigree of Boeing designs utilizing the 7x7 designation.
The 707 began life as the private venture design 367-80, sometimes referred to as "Dash 80". Flying in 1954, the 367-80 nabbed a military contract for development of the KC-135 that same year - a model design specifically for the inflight refueling of military warplanes. From there, the commercial market began usage of the system, no designated as the 707 with Pan American Airlines being the first to secure orders. From there, the 707 would be used throughout the world as a passenger transport, airborne early warning platform, cargo hauler and inflight refueler.
Variants of the 707 platform included a plethora of types, most noted for the difference in their Pratt & Whitney engines (the later 707-420 utilized Rolls-Royce Conway brand engines). Major marks in the series included the 707-120/-120B, 707-220, 707-320/-320B and the 707-320C. The 720B appeared on the scene and was a variant of the 707 design but offered up turbofan engines at an increase in speed over the turbojet of previous model designs. Additionally, the 720 was designed with a shorter fuselage and a lighter structure for improved performance gains.