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The Selling of the 707 (Fortune, 1957)

Great reprint from 54 years ago: America's first jet transport—the Boeing 707—will soon roll down the runway. For Boeing, the nation's top producer of bombers, the huge plane marks a new bid for leadership in a field long dominated by Douglas. ( 기타...

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sstuff 0
Sincere thanks, MD, from this no-ticket enthusiast; fascinating history, that.
Queen of the skies. Lot's have evolved from her but SHE was the LADY!!!!!!
What a wonderful airplane. It changed the world forever!
I remember my first flight on the 707, December of 1957 AAL BOS to ORD. it was the old torbojt had old tube type of sound suppression out of which came puffs of black smoke. I will never forget it.
agg1930 0
What beautiful memories! I was lucky enough to be part of the Boeing Company in those days working in the engineering department in the so called dash-80 building in Renton.
It is very sad that this is published the same day that we learn of the stupid statements of that woman pelosi about the South Carolina Boeing facility!
You know, here is the history of the groundbreaker that took over the skies and changed the world. Counting this one, there are 6 comments here. On the story about Pelosi and the SC Boeing plant, last time I checked there were about 70 and still coming. What is sad is that so many have something to say about that trash and only a few here about a landmark event.
agg1930 0
Well said, Wayne!
While working for TWA in the 60's I can still remember what a new 707 was like as it came into Kansas City from the Boeing. We would have the new aircraft for a couple weeks putting in modification's before it went on the line. What a great aircraft!
Qantas was at the forefront of international airlines which saw the jet future and backed the 707. In 1968 I flew first class Sydney to London on one of the first services, and could not believe the smoothness of the ride or the lack of noise - just the continuous whoosh of air over the fuselage. In fact I didn't fly all the way to London - I got off in Cairo, then one of the Qantas destinations. Three days later I continued my trip in a BOAC VC-10 which was an even better and more luxurious experience. Those rear-mounted engines gave every passenger a quieter journey. Sadly, the 707 v VC-10 competition on top of the Comet disasters was typical of the declining British prestige and achievement in aviation and engineering generally.

You may be interested to know that the first Qantas 707 VH-XBA (X designates it is now off the register) is now parked on the hardstanding of the original Qantas hangar at Longreach in Central Western Queensland, where the airline started. It, along with a DC3 and a Boeing 747 form part of the static display outside the Qantas Museum which records the airline's history. Here's the link:
jbermo 0
I recall the buzz and excitement of the late 50’s as it pertained to the significant advancement of aerospace. TWA’s Howard Hughes was late to the party because TWA was so heavily invested in its new Super Constellations. I don’t think TWA ever again caught up with it's major airline cousins, especially after TWA’s later wrong turn in buying the fast but fuel thirsty Convair 880.

The one thing that nobody came close to predicting back then however, was the magnitude of the rapid rise in population (and the traveling demands that came along with it). There are now twice as many people on earth as there was when back in 1957.
Im 1968, I had an opportunity to fly on a TWA Convair 880. Fuel thirsty it may have been, and as much as I like the 707, I have to admit it was one of the quiestest and smoothest flights I have ever had; Milk run passing thru sky harbor to OKC for me. FO had a heart attack and weather front coming in was socking everything in and I got opportunity to fly right seat. Pilots dream. What can I say
Best looking aircraft ever produced by Boeing. My first flight, 1960, Qantas, Honolulu-Sydney. (F.Y.I. - Queensland and Northern Territory Air Service). Passengers wore suits and dresses when flying. A far cry from today.
I June of 1959 my wife and I flew from New York to London on a Pan Am 707. Due to headwinds we had to make an unscheduled stop in Shanon to refuel.
agg1930 0
In that route the prevailing winds are tailwinds when flying from New York to London. I suspect that the unscheduled landing was due to excessive fuel consumption on those early engines. The 707 did not meet its range predictions at first.
That was one reason that Pan Am did not fly it in their Pacific routes and instead scheduled their DC-8's.
Hope my memory of those days serves me well....
You can take a shot at reliving the experience by taking one of the 757 westbound transatlantic services on windy day.
Iremember 1in 1962 as a kid, wishing we could get on one as they were all the rage, but coming back from Germany we wound up on a Seaboard Airline 4 engine turbo prop of some kind, droning all nite long from Frankfurt to McGuire/Ft Dix, NJ, stopping in Shannon for a meal and refuel, then going on. Sad to stand there at Frankfurt and watch them take off and have to ride that POS all the way back to the states.
Re. My 1960 Christmas eve flight Honolulu-Sydney, Quantas required refuel in Fiji. Interesting.
Fascinating story!
Did you mean 1967?
Excellent read. For those who want more on the make-or-break competition between the commercial airliner manufacturers, I suggest "The Sporty Game" by John Newhouse (1982).
The message about 1957 vs 1967 was directed at John Casebeer. There is no possible way that he could have flown an AA 707 BOS to ORD in 1957. I apologize for the misunderstanding. I know the Fortune article was published in 1957, before the aircraft went into commercial operations. Since I clicked on Reply under his name, I naturally assumed that he would be the one replying to the question. I guess, I misunderstood the purpose of that link.
Tony: clicking on REPLY should have put your comment under his.
Thanks Wayne, but I got a message reaterating the 1957 Fortune Article date, which is obviously not what I was questioning.


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