1957 Boeing 707 Advertisement

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By October 1957, Boeing had chalked up orders for its first jetliner from 12 airlines: Air France, Air India, BOAC, Braniff, Continental, Cubana, Lufthansa, Pan American, Qantas, Sabena and TWA. This advert, placed in the October 14, 1957 issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology, promised comfort and quiet at 600 miles an hour in America's first jet airliner.

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Discuss this Blog Entry 5

on Jun 1, 2015

Conspicuously absent from genealogy are KC-135 and 367-80. Was that driven even then by potential dispute over "ownership" of 707 design versus KC-135?

on Jun 1, 2015

I dont know that the USAF owned the 707 design. The winner of the 1954 tanker competition was the Lockheed L-193. Boeing only had an 'interim' order for KC135 as it (367-80) was all ready flying and could be put into service earlier. The first KC135A flew in 1956.

on Jun 3, 2015

Boeing had to ask the authorization from the USAF to produce the 707 because it was a derivative of the KC-135, which was itself a derivative of the Dash 80.

The Dash 80 had a narrower fuselage than the KC-135 and Boeing was pressured by its customers to make the 707 wide enough to be a six-abreast. The Dash 80 was actually narrower than the CSeries is today, which is a five-abreast. In the end the 707 was designed to be about one inch wider than the DC-8 it was competing with.

1. Boeing 367-80 = 132" (five-abreast)
2. Boeing KC-135 = 144"
3. Boeing 707 = 148" (six-abreast)
4. Douglas DC-8 = 147" (six-abreast)
5. Bombardier CSeries = 146" (five-abreast)

on Jun 4, 2015

I dont follow your reasoning. The 367-80 was all ready flying when the tanker competition was run. We would call it today a technology demonstrator. It was built in 2 years from project launch in 52 to roll out may 1954. So it was Boeings plane not USAF.
They entered the tanker competition with a derivative ( KC135), and did fit a flying boom to the 367-80, but lost to Lockheed.
The USAF , ordered the interim KC135 even before the competition was decided. Lockheed who won , fell further and further behind ( somethings dont change) and their proposal never flew.
The 707 was another derivative of the 367-80, not the the KC135. Since it didnt use the same fuselage tooling and the main features were derived from Boeings own prototype, the USAF didnt have ownership of the 'design'.
What the USAF did own was the the Renton factory, which was built for Boeing B29 and the post war military aircraft.
Government permission would have been required to use the USAF plant at Renton.
Boeings second factory ( part of which still exists at 9404 East Marginal Way South, Seattle- Museum of Flight) was at King County Airport( ( Boeing Field), not Renton.This was an assembly site for many aircraft up to the B737.
Boeings factorys around Seattle are an interesting story in their own right, from the very first, a boat shed at South Lake Union and then onto its production buildings along the Duwamish river, later a USAF plant nearby at Boeing Field, and then a further USAF plant at Renton.

on Jun 5, 2015

I should have been more specific. Boeing had to ask permission to the USAF to use the tooling that was developed for the KC-135 (especially the wing and the tail). Since the USAF had paid for the development Boeing had to ask permission to use the same tooling to produce the 707. The two parties struck a deal and Boeing had to pay royalties to the Air Force.

The Dash 80 was indeed a demonstrator that had been paid by Boeing because the Air Force had not fully warmed to the idea of a jet refueler yet. But the B-52 was begging for the KC-135 when it first flew in 1952. So when the Dash 80 took to the air two years later the KC-135 had already become a necessity. It was a great move, and a very bold one as well. The Dash 80 led to the KC-135, which itself led to the 707. But in the end the 707 was considerably wider that the Dash 80. And that made all the the difference in the world. We still find the same fuselage width today in the 737.

But I believe that when Boeing designed the Dash 80 as a demonstrator for the KC-135 the 707 was already factored in. The reason I am saying this is because Bill Allen had himself to be won to the idea of building the Dash 80 because this project was going to be extremely expensive. The story goes that when he was on his way to Farnborough in 1950 he made a stop in Wichita to fly on the B-47. That ride convinced him of the potential of the jet for passenger travel. He then continued to Farnborough where he saw the Comet and was very impressed. That is when he made up his mind that the Dash-80 had to be built.

It is often said that Boeing had bet the company when they developed the 747, but the same thing could be said for the Dash 80. That is where all the risk was, not on the 707. But it was a carefully calculated risk. Boeing had had so much success with the B-47 and B-52 that the KC-135, which used many of the same concepts, had to be a winner as well. And it was.

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