With the explosion of civilian air travel in the 1930s, companies raced to develop airliner types to feed the demand. For Boeing, this went on to include the Model 247, an all-metal twin-engine product whcih saw a first-flight on February 8th, 1933 and service entry in May of that year. While fewer than 100 were eventually built (75), the type was notable for having surface trim tabs, de-icing boots, a retractable undercarriage, metal skinning, and autopilot mechanism. Additionally it was the first twin-engine passenger hauler to be able to operate on a single engine - all this serving to put the Model 247 wlel ahead of the pack.
Variants of the line included the base Model 247 airliner, the Model 247A with its Pratt & Whitney "Wasp" radial engines of 625 horsepower for Germany's Lufthansa (special order in 1934), the Model 247D racer, the Model 247E test bed, the Model 247Y armed military trials platform for China, and the C-73 pressed into wartime service by the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) and United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) during World War 2.
The D-model racer was a one-off form developed exclusively for the MacRobertson Air Race. This version carried variable-pitch propeller units by Hamilton Standard which increased speed by nearly 10 miles-per-hour. This variant reached maximum speeds of 200 miles-per-hour, cruising near 190mph, ranged out to 745 miles, and reached up to 27,200 feet. Power was from 2 x PW R-1340 S1H1-G "Wasp" 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines developing 500 horsepower driving two-bladed propeller units.
Beyond the United States of America, other civilian operators were Canada, the Republic of China (single example, private ownership), Colombia, and Germany. Military operators of the period became the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF).
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
General transport functionality to move supplies/cargo or personnel (including wounded and VIP) over range.
Used in roles serving the commercial aviation market, ferrying both passengers and goods over range.
Used in the Very-Important-Person (VIP) passenger transport role, typically with above-average amenities and luxuries as standard.
✓X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
51.7 ft (15.75 m)
74.1 ft (22.58 m)
12.1 ft (3.70 m)
8,918 lb (4,045 kg)
13,658 lb (6,195 kg)
+4,740 lb (+2,150 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Boeing Model 247D production variant)
Model 247 - Base Series Designation.
Model 280 - Originally-proposed form powered by 2 x Pratt & Whitney "Hornet" engines of 700 horsepower each; seating for fourteen.
Model 247A - Deutsche Lufthansa model of 1934; powered by 2 x PW Wasp engines of 625 horsepower.
Model 247D - One0ff racing platform; variable-pitch propeller units.
Model 247E - Testbed.
Model 247Y - Limited-production armed variant for military service; sole example delivered to Chinese forces; second example retained for evaluation/trials.
C-73 - USAAC/USAAF models pulled from civilian Model 247D airliner stock for service in World War 2; 27 examples procured.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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