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P_7878

Story of the B707 (Line no. 5) - that defined "Jet Age"

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[Note: I've been collecting bits and pieces of this story for a while, so, here we go...finally...Hope you enjoy this account and the associated pictures...]

The B707 is a classic jet plane that is greatly fascinating - in terms of its unique period appeal and also (pioneering) historical significance. The Boeing 707, developed from the earlier Model 367–80 (the so-called “Dash Eighty”), is/was a quad-jet transport, that for the first time, convincingly, showed to the world that long-range (trans-continental) passenger jet transport (now taken for granted) was not only consistently possible, but also was commercially viable. While accomplishing these significant milestones, almost single-handedly, it replaced a range of well-regarded and well-established propliners that included the likes of DC-6, B377 Stratocruiser, and Lockheed Constellation etc.

To keep the historical perspective in order, it must be, however, mentioned that the distinction of the world's first commercial quad-jet (or just commercial jet, for that matter) belongs to the deHavilland Comet, that first flew on 27 July (1949). Subsequently, on 2 May 1952, the first regular jet flight, with a Havilland Comet 1, left London (via Rome, Beirut, Khartoum, Entebbe and Livingstone) arriving in Johannesburg 18 hours later. The London-Johannesburg route therefore became the first regular service flown by a jet airliner (although because of the geographic locations of departure and destination, the route was not trans-atlantic). So, BOAC, determined to be the first (which it became!), and in order to stay ahead of Pan Am (guided by the legendary visionary Juan Trippe) and Boeing, inaugurated its transatlantic passenger service with the (newer) Comet 4, on Oct. 4 (1958). Here, please note this (little-known) historical fact: Actually "two" deHavilland Comets departed London and New York, each bound for the other city. Flying for BOAC, the two aircraft "simultaneously" completed the first (ever) "two" trans-Atlantic jet service, just 3 weeks ahead of Pan Am - an event that accords its due place in history to the Comet. The westbound flight had to stop in Newfoundland to refuel, and completed the London–New York route in 10 hours, 22 minutes. The eastbound flight was able to take advantage of friendly tailwinds and made the trip to London in a record-breaking 6 hours, 11 minutes. Interesting details! And, I was (for a time) wondering why my Lufthansa flights (as pax) took so much longer one way vs. the other to cross the Atlantic....

And, in this context, we must not forget the Soviet Union’s Aeroflot, also one of the first to offer regularly scheduled and sustained passenger jet service. In September 1956, with its (twinjet) Tupolev Tu-104 aircraft (uncannily similar to the B757), the carrier had already started flying from Moscow to the Siberian city of Irkutsk.

In contrast, B367-80 first flew on July 15 (1954), and the B707 first flew on December 20 (1957). Although BOAC and Aeroflot were the first, neither captured the public imagination and success of Pan Am and the Boeing 707. The B707, therefore, is generally credited with ushering in the "Jet Age", as we know it.

Boeing delivered the B707 (N711PA), a 707-120, the 5th off the assembly line, to Pan American on 17 October 1958. The airliner was named Clipper America, but was later renamed Clipper Mayflower. On 26 October 1958, Pan American World Airways opened the “Jet Age” with the first commercial flight of an American jet airliner (inaugurating the first B707 service and its first daily transatlantic jet service). Pan Am’s Clipper America, N711PA, departed New York Idlewild on an 8 hour, 41 minute flight to Paris Le Bourget, with a fuel stop at Gander, Newfoundland. The distance was 3,634 miles.

After a distinguished service with Pan Am. for 16 years (including a brief 2-year lease to Avianca of Colombia S.A.), Pan Ayer of Panama purchased Clipper Mayflower in February 1975, and leased it to the Turkish Airline. It served with that airline for 2 years. It then went on to serve with Air Asia and E-Systems. Finally, rendered homeless, after 26 years of service, in August 1984, the Clipper America was broken up and scrapped at Taipei (I was frankly wishing for a better ending for this illustrious aircraft since I didn't know the final outcome....!)

Here, the aircraft used for this post is actually a Pan Am B707 (-321 variant) per the CS repaint available to me, and not the actual N711PA. So, to make up for it, here is the link for an actual picture of the B707 (N711PA):

N711PA (Clipper Mayflower):
https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/6888703

Nonetheless, I hope, you will enjoy these (below) pictures of this iconic aircraft in this iconic livery, at least, for its nostalgic value. And, of course, this B707 SIM from CS, IMHO, remains one of their earliest (but evergreen) masterpieces. Although, I've not been able to fly it frequently (maybe have done so (2-3) times in last year-and-half), there is always a sense of elation and accomplishment on completing a (A to B) flight with this fantastic SIM aircraft. Unfortunately, to this day, it remains a legacy FSX product with CS, although CS, at least, seems to have upgraded their B757 (also an excellent add-on) to the P3DV4 standards. Here, to keep me honest, I've done a Cold & Dark start-up with this plane, and the (300nm) northward flight is from Badajoz (LEBZ) to Zarazoga (LEZG) - tracking the centrally located mountain range (Sistema Central) of Spain over my MSE(Spain-Central) scenery. Thanks for reading and viewing. [CS(B707-300)/MSE(Spain-Central)/REX]

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Such an unforgiving place these forums.

Similar to the B757 Comet in configuration, did you never make a small typo?

Thanks to P_7878 for another of these always interesting posts.

 

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Love the post.  I only flew on the 707 just once, between JFK and Dallas in 1977 on my way home from Europe, it was on American.  Loved the takeoff, quite gentle as the lights of NYC slowly receded behind us.  I still remember this video:

 

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Folks: Thanks for the comments.

Fully correct about TU-104 being structurally no-way similar to B757...I was actualy thinking about Tu-204, which is similar to B757...sorry about the mis-connection...

Reader: Thanks for the kind words...and appreciated the suggestion of a typo...🙂...but, even the Comet will be actually a misnomer here, based purely on the number of the engines between the 2 planes...both were pioneering jet planes of their era, though...that's for sure...

John: It's always great when we recall being part of such a historic plane as a passenger...(compared to being content to fly it in the virtual skies)...so even once is enough to evoke memories for a long time....Glad you liked the post...thanks for the video..

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Very interesting historical dialogue and great screenshots. Thank you for posting this. I've always had a fondness for the 707. Most likely because I had the fortunate privilege of taking many flights on it when I was younger. I am still hoping that CS updates it for P3Dv4. They said that they planned to but I am not holding my breath. Unfortunately there does not seem to be much interest in these older aircraft among the newer simmers.

Ted


3770k@4.5 ghz, Noctua C12P CPU air cooler, Asus Z77, 2 x 4gb DDR3 Corsair 2200 mhz cl 9, EVGA 1080ti, Sony 55" 900E TV 3840 x 2160, Windows 7-64, FSX, P3dv3, P3dv4

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12 hours ago, P_7878 said:

Reader: Thanks for the kind words...and appreciated the suggestion of a typo...🙂...but, even the Comet will be actually a misnomer here, based purely on the number of the engines between the 2 planes...both were pioneering jet planes of their era, though...that's for sure...

I think the comparison stands, other than the number of engines, the overall design is similar, the engines being in the wings.

 

 

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Again, what an interesting post, P_7878!! Many thanks for it and th screenshots.

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All:

Thanks for the additional comments and reactions!

One of the things, here, that appeals to me most are people's recollections from their early (or even child-hood days)...one of the intangible benefits, in our SIM, of visiting such classic planes...

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Another Quality post and Amazing Aviation Story,and actually The B707 still going strong as the USAF Tanker variant The KC-135 Stratotanker 

800px-F-15-C-Eagle-from-the-67th-Fighter

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Patrick

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Thanks, Patrick! And, a good mention/image of the B707's sibling - KC-135 Tanker...!

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Aviation history and beautiful screenshots - as enjoyable as always, P_7878.

Surely, the 707 engine configuration had the advantage of noise reduction compared with the Comet/Tu-104 configuration. However, being from the other side of the courtain, my father remembers the Tu-104 of Aeroflot to be extremely quiet compared to the Il-14 that was still in service with Interflug in the 60ies.

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   Harald Geyer
   Gründer der Messerschmitt Freunde Dresden v. V.

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