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the first American-made passenger jet
Believing that the newly developed jet engine could revolutionize commercial aviation, the Boeing Aircraft Company decided to develop a jet-powered transport plane. The result was the 367 Dash 80, which flew for the first time on July 16, 1954. The first buyer was the U.S. Air Force, which used it as the basis for the KC-135 Stratotanker.
Boeing developed the 367 Dash 80 airframe in such a way to make it easily adapted for passenger use, but airlines wanted a much larger plane. After stretching and widening the fuselage, Boeing unveiled the 707-120, which flew for the first time on December 20, 1957. Pan American bought the first 707's, and first put them into regular service on October 26, 1958. Pan American used a 707 to inaugurate the first round the world jet passenger service, on October 10, 1959.
One of the 707's best selling points was its adaptability, and Boeing produced several variations over the years, with the most important passenger versions being the 707-120A and B (for medium-range flights) and 707-320A and B (for long-range flights). The U.S. military also used variations of the 707, primarily as cargo planes and airtankers. A total of 1,011 707's were built before production ended in 1977. By the end of October 1976, they had flown more than 30 million hours and carried just under 522 million passengers.
This page was last updated on 02/05/2017.