TheBoeing 700’s are very capable of handling duties in the commercial andmilitary world.
The Boeing 700’s are capable of handling many tasks in thecommercial and military world. With the introduction of the 707 in the latefifties to the most recent 777 in the early nineties the, 700’s have dominatedthe commercial world for five decades. They are a line of aircraft that arecapable of handling many roles from basic civilian transport to various militaryneeds. They are the people movers of the 20th century.
Each with a largecarrying capacity combined with the range of a jet aircraft they have moved morepeople longer distances than what was once thought possible. Boeing has trulyproduced some of the greatest aircraft in history. The various duties that the700’s perform are quite extraordinary. It all started in the fifties. Therewas a growing demand for a commercial airliner that could move a greater numberof people farther and faster. The age of the jet engine still had not reached tocivilian transportation.
There was still a fear of the jet because of lack ofreliability, but with the advancement of technology the jet engine now hadbecome more even reliable than the piston engine. The need for a jet enginepowered plane was growing. Airlines still were looking for a plane that couldcross the Atlantic Ocean without a refueling stop. The Lockheed Super Connies, apiston powered plane, were able to cross the Atlantic Ocean with out stopping onthe eastbound leg, but they had to stop in Gander, Newfoundland to refuel on thewestbound leg. The airlines desired a plane that could easily travel theAtlantic with out a stop.
The piston engine just wasn’t going to do it, thejet engine was the answer to the question. Boeing realized this and moved tolook for a design for a jet powered plane. At first Boeing was looking to modifyexisting aircraft with jet engines to perform the tasks. They quickly realizedthat they needed a whole new aircraft. The Boeing 707 was born.
The first Boeing707 was delivered to Pan America airlines in May of 1958 (Bauer, 218). Salesstarted out slow in fact the 707 almost died many times in it’s first coupleyears of existence. It wasn’t until Boeing modified the 707 by increasing theoverall length, the wing span, and adding more powerful engines did the 707confirm its place in as a commercial transporter. With the new modifications the707 became a very capable aircraft, crossing the Atlantic Ocean became a routineaffair.
With the introduction of the 707 transatlantic travel doubled in twoyears (Bauer, 195). Airlines’ profitability soared due to the new capabilitiesof the 707 presented. The 707 began a new era and improved the way people areflown. The 707 being the first major jet airliner saw many applications andvariations in it’s lifetime.
There were thirteen variations of the 707, theyvaried in capacity, range, and speed (Wright,49). Each variation was designed tomeet a specific needs of an individual airline. Some 707’s could carry alarger capacity of passengers over a shorter distance, were as another variantcould carry fewer passengers over a longer distance. With all of thesevariations the 707 left little room for the Douglas DC-8 which was once thoughto be a major treat to Boeing. The 707 could meet any need of an airline; thisis one reason that made the 707 such a versatile aircraft and why it dominatedthe market. The 707 also saw plenty of action in uniform.
It’s most usefulapplication came in the way of the KC-135 Stratotanker. It was modified toperform in-flight refueling task for the United States Air Force. The 707 saw ahealthy lifespan as the KC-135, of the 735 units build in the early sixties 550still remain in service today (www. Boeing. com).
The 707 also had the veryprivileged role of presidential transport. As Air Force One it started itscareer in 1962 and served seven Presidents. It was only to be replace by one ofit’s bigger brothers the Boeing 747. Another of one of it’s more interestingapplications was that of the “Vomet Come” a modified KC-135 to make largein-flight arcs to provide a weightless environment to train NASA astronauts. Altogether the 707 and its derivatives saw many varied and interestingapplications.
With the 707 fulfilling the needs for a long range jetliner therewas a demand by the airline industry for a short to medium range jet. A jet thatwas designed for short-range use would provide savings over a long-range jet andfaster travel times that were presently completed by prop driven planes. Boeingwent to the drawing boards and came out with the 727. When the 727 finally cameto production it came out with better performance that what was originallyplanned.
“As throughout Boeing’s history, its strong, patient, intenseengineering efforts had once more been the key” (Bauer, 226). The 727 filledthe duty of short to medium range better than any other aircraft. It showed inthe sales and the 727 became at the time the most selling Boeing aircraft, butthat title would not remain very long. The Boeing 737 became the most sellingcommercial jetliner in the world. To date it has sold 3,158 units and there arestill more on order (www.
Boeing. com). Its primary role is short to medium rangepassenger transport. The 737 were to be a gradual replacement to the 727 and didso quite well, it became known as the “Little Giant.
” The 737 also proved tobe a very rugged aircraft, with a kit add-on to the landing gears it made itpossible for the 737 to land on unimproved runways like a grass field or agravel runway. The 737 also were far superior in its ability to take off fromhigh altitude, short runways. These abilities made the 737 very versatile itcould link many areas that were unable maintain a modern airport that would havea paved runway (Bauer, 250). One key feature to the 737, which made it thesuccess it was, was the decision to make the plane six seats abreast. Douglaswas the main competition in the beginning has a plane that was five seatsabreast.
Even with Douglas’s advantage in speed and range it could never matchthe seat per-mile cost the 737 gave. The single decision, which meant about a17inch increase of diameter over the DOUGLAS DC-9, meant the success of the 737and the failure of the DC-9. Above: Comparison between the DC-9 and 737cross-sections. With the ruggedness of the 737 it sees several applications forthe Military. Its most widely used application is as a training aid for bothpilots and navigators. Pilots use the USAF designated T-43 737s as a flighttrainer for large cargo and transport aircraft.
The 737 is a large aircraft butnot too large aircraft, it provides the perfect stepping stone for pilots intothe huge birds that are present in today’s Air Force. It also providesnavigational training. Its wider design offers plenty of room for the traineesand their instructors. One T-43 has about 19 stations for its students (Minton,31). The T-43 provides a very accommodating learning environment for the flightstudents.
The largest and most infamous member of the family is the Boeing 747,the “Jumbo Jet”. ” This is an aircraft that has changed commercialairliners forever. With its sheer size it put itself in a class of it’s own. The 747 offer a lower seat per-mile cost and a more efficient way fortransportation than any other aircraft. It can move more people and cargofarther and faster.
“The 707 brought jet transportation to people. The 747brought jet transportation to the everyday people” (Norris and Wagner, 26). 747s have become the backbone of many airlines, in that they handle more peopleand cargo than any of their other planes. 747 not only provides a highlyefficient people mover it has also been a great improvement of cargotransportation. Some modified 747 have a large upward swinging door at the noseof the plane.
This door allows for great ease in loading large cargo items. Boeing also offered the option of a side panel door for loading. This was mainlyused in the “Combi” 747; they were 747 they would transport people and cargoat the same time. The 747 also serve several roles in the Military.
Most notablyis in the application of presidential transportation as Air Force One. The 747replace the 707 as Air Force One with great pride. With the increase in room andluxury the President hasn’t had a better ride since. The 747 also found itselfthe solution to a rather large problem that is of the transportation of theSpace Shuttle. There really is no other way to transport the large orbiter thanstrapping it onto the top of a 747.
NASA bought an ex-American Airlines 747 in1977 and has been using it ever since (Gilchrist, 61). By the late seventies the727 and 737 were showing their age. Boeing was unable to sell newly modifiedversions of the two aircraft and they soon realized that a whole new aircraftwas in need. The new aircraft did not come in the form of a single plane but intwo completely different airplanes that would pick up the slack in the short tomedium range jet planes. These planes would be the 757 and the 767. They wouldprove to be very qualified successors to the 727 and the 737 proving themselvesin both the commercial and military world.
In fact the 767 came out ofproduction with great performance than what was original planned. “Getting itinto service, getting it under our original cost estimates and one day early-Idon’t know how you can improve on that. And that’s due to the great team atBoeing” (Bauer, 320). The short to medium range jet had been modernized withincreases in performance of its capacity, speed, and fuel consumption. TheMilitary had their eye on the 767.
It was as wide-bodied aircraft similar indimensions to the 737 and the wider body is what the Military saw mostappealing. One of the primary functions the 767 serves is in the AWACS (AirborneWarning and Control System) program. It is a 767 modified with a large circulardisc on the top. The disc is composed of radars and antennas, it purpose is totarget and track targets from a long range, this information is thencommunicated to fighters on stand by.
The body of the plane has a crew and alarge amount of computer equipment used in the process of determining targets. Boeing has some more plans for the 767, Boeing see it a very capable candidatefor a tanker/transport variant that would provide in flight refueling andtransportation duties (www. Boeing. com).
The last in the family is the 777, whichwere introduced, in the early nineties. It is a complete new generation ofaircraft with the complete integration of computers. The 777 has two mainvariants presently they are the 777-200 and the 777-300. Their main differenceis length and capacity, the 300 is about 33 feet longer and can hold about 70more passengers than the 200. Both will work to satisfy the different needs ofan airline.
A newer version is in the works too. It is the 777-400 planned tohave even greater capacity that what is now present. The 777 should graduallyreplace the 747 as the large capacity long-range jet (www. Boeing. com). The 777are the plane of the future and will have many service roles in the commercialworld.
The line of the Boeing 700 aircraft is undeniably a very versatile lineof aircraft. From the beginning they have dominated in commercial jet sales andfor good reason. Boeing has always made their aircraft with the utmost qualityand attention to detail. Boeing will test and test again until they get it rightand that shows in their products. The 700’s serve any commercial and militaryneed placed on them.
They have made long distant travel a comfort and a pleasureto many. It is hard to imagine what is would be like without Boeing. It is verysafe to say that commercial airline travel would simply not be at the samecaliber we find it today.