First Flights of Boeing 747 and 727

JAL Boeing 747 behind Air France Boeing 727

For commercial aircraft, February 9th holds a very special place in Aviation. Both the Boeing 727 and Boeing 747 took their first flights in 1963 and 1969 respectively.

From it's Wikipedia article, "the Boeing 747 is an American wide-body commercial jet airliner and cargo aircraft, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. Its distinctive "hump" upper deck along the forward part of the aircraft makes it among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and it was the first wide-body produced. Manufactured by Boeing's Commercial Airplane unit in the United States, the original version of the 747 was envisioned to have 150 percent greater capacity than the Boeing 707, one of the common large commercial aircraft of the 1960s. First flown commercially in 1970, the 747 held the passenger capacity record for 37 years. As of December 2016, the 747 has been involved in 60 hull-loss accidents resulting in 3,718 fatalities.

The four-engine 747 uses a double deck configuration for part of its length. It is available in passenger, freighter and other versions. Boeing designed the 747's hump-like upper deck to serve as a first class lounge or extra seating, and to allow the aircraft to be easily converted to a cargo carrier by removing seats and installing a front cargo door. Boeing did so because the company expected supersonic airliners (development of which was announced in the early 1960s) to render the 747 and other subsonic airliners obsolete, while the demand for subsonic cargo aircraft would be robust well into the future. The 747 was expected to become obsolete after 400 were sold, but it exceeded critics' expectations with production passing the 1,000 mark in 1993. By December 2016, 1,528 aircraft had been built, with 28 of the 747-8 variants remaining on order".

Cutaway schematic of the Boeing 747

The Boeing 727's Wikipedia article describes the aircraft as "a midsized, narrow-body three-engined jet aircraft built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes from the early 1960s to 1984. It can carry 149 to 189 passengers and later models can fly up to 2,700 nautical miles (5,000 km) nonstop. Intended for short and medium-length flights, the 727 can use relatively short runways at smaller airports. It has three Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines below the T-tail, one on each side of the rear fuselage with a center engine that connects through an S-duct to an inlet at the base of the fin. The 727 is Boeing's only trijet aircraft.

The 727 followed the 707, a quad-jet airliner, with which it shares its upper fuselage cross-section and cockpit design. The 727-100 first flew in February 1963 and entered service with Eastern Air Lines in February 1964; the stretched 727-200 flew in July 1967 and entered service with Northeast Airlines that December. The 727 became a mainstay of airlines' domestic route networks and was also used on short- and medium-range international routes. Passenger, freighter, and convertible versions of the 727 were built.

The 727 was heavily produced into the 1970s; the last 727 was completed in 1984. As of July 2016, a total of 64 Boeing 727s (4× 727-100s and 60× -200s) were in commercial service with 26 airlines, plus a few more in government and private use".

Cutaway schematic of the Boeing 727

"The employees of Boeing are wise, and they are intelligent, and they are thoughtful, and they know what we need to do." - Alan Mulally
First Flights of Boeing 747 and 727 First Flights of Boeing 747 and 727 Reviewed by Joe Burlas on February 09, 2017 Rating: 5