Boeing 707 was the United States' first production jet airliner, and the
aircraft with which the US first gained the lead in commercial jet manufacture.
prototype first (Boeing Model 367-80) flew on 15 July 1954, and the initial
aircraft off the production line were military KC-135A flight refueling
This original Boeing 707 was followed by a whole family
of 707 passenger and cargo variants, with different lengths and weights,
and turbofan power. The passenger carrying 707-320B and passenger/cargo
707-320C models were still in production in 1977. Also developed was the
short-to-medium-range version known as the Boeing 720 or, with turbofans,
720B. By the end of October 1976, 920 Boeing 707s and 720s of all models
had been ordered, and they had flown more than 30 million hours and carried
just under 522 million passengers.
prototype jet airliner, built as a private venture by Boeing at a cost
of more than $16,000,000, amassed more than 1000 hours in its four years
of flight testing, while the first three of the production airplanes used
for Civil Aeronautics Administration certification testing raised the
overall total to more than 1650 hours. In addition, the new jet transports
benefited by the thousands of hours of flight time logged by their military
counterpart, the Boeing KC-135 jet multipurpose tanker-transports which
went into service in 1957.
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