707-321 Passenger Jet
The prototype for the 707 / KC-135 series of aircraft, the -80, first flew on July 15, 1954. This aircraft was designed to demonstrate the potential of jet propulsion for military and civilian use. The prototype was further developed into the USAF KC-135 tanker and the 707 airliner. 707 is a swept wing, podded engine design. It is a long range, narrow body, four engine airliner that was the first commercially successful jetliner. Produced from 1958 to 1979, the 707 dominated passenger air transport from the 1960s into the 1970s and is generally credited with ushering in the Jet Age. The 707 was produced in many different versions with seating capacity ranging from 140 to 189 passengers and ranges from 2,500 to 5,750 nautical miles. The 707 has been used on domestic, transcontinental and transatlantic flights, and for cargo and military applications. A passenger-freighter model entered service in 1963 and passenger 707s have been modified to freighter configurations. Military derivatives include the E-3 Sentry airborne reconnaissance aircraft and the C-137 Stratoliner VIP transports. 1,011 airliners and over 800 military versions were produced including the VC-137 (Air Force One), C-135, KC-135, E-3, E-6, E-8, EC-18 and C-137. Military production ended in 1991 with the E-3 and the E-6. Pan Am was the first airline to operate the 707. They began 707 service with a christening at National Airport on October 17, 1958, attended by President Eisenhower, followed by a transatlantic flight for VIPs from Baltimore's Friendship International Airport to Paris. The aircraft's first commercial flight was from New York to Paris on October 26, 1958 with a fuel stop in Gander, Newfoundland. 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. As time went on the 707 became a victim of its own success. It was becoming too small to handle the passenger traffic that it had largely created. Since there was little room to upgrade or enlarge the 707, it gradually began to be replaced by other larger, longer ranged planes. The last US commercial flight by a 707 was a TWA flight on October 30, 1983. The 707 continued on in other countries until the 1990s. The 707-320 Intercontinental is a stretched version of the turbojet-powered 707-120. The interior allowed up to 189 passengers and the longer wing carried more fuel allowing the aircraft to operate as true transoceanic aircraft. This model shows a 707-321 N718PA Pan Am Clipper Invincible during the mid 1960s. Pan Am placed this plane in storage in September 1970 and sold it to ATASCO on June 6, 1975. ATASCO sold it to Israeli Aircraft Industries in March 1978. It was scrapped for spares at Tel Aviv, Israel .Also see the C-135 B cargo plane.