Sunday, December 20, 2015

58 Years Ago Today

The Boeing 707 first flew.



I've flown in them many times, and always got quite a thrill out of it.

The one pictured above is owned by John Travolta, and has been lovingly restored to its full glory.

The 707 was based on the famous "Dash 80" that Tex Johnson barrel rolled, and was the prototype for the KC-135 tanker that the US Air Force still flies, although they've all been rebuilt and re-engined so many times that I wonder how much of the original airplane is left!





Truly beautiful aircraft, and they made possible the rise of low-cost transatlantic and transpacific air travel.

7 comments:

  1. It's one of those venerable aircraft that changed the game in so many ways. Even though it's not a civilian aircraft, the B-52 also comes to mind.

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    1. Yep, the BUFF has grandchildren of some of its original flight crews flying it now.

      I should be in such great shape when I'm that old....

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  2. Could we add the DC3 to that list? One can say it also was a major leap I would think. Still used in many places, especially in Florida for mosquito control

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    1. Wasn't starting a list, just celebrating a birthday.

      But the Queen of the Skies definitely deserves top 2 ranking on any list of all time great ranking!

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  3. I think it's impossible to understate how much jet travel changed the world. From making business and pleasure travel much more effective to easing the path for horrible diseases (like Ebola) to get from the farthest, most remote ends of civilization to the densest population centers in the world.

    As a radio guy, it seems to me that aviation couldn't have grown up without radio and radio may not have grown up without aviation.

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    1. Agreed about the radio aspect.

      One of the Elders of the radio club at the LA Maritime Museum worked for Pan Am in the 1930's going around the Pacific determining where to set up radio stations and refueling places for the early Pan Am Clippers.

      He was quite a guy, and had stories that sounded like something Michener would write.

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  4. Note the ventral fin and the "stinger" HF antenna on top of the vertical stabilizer.
    Terry
    Fla.

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Keep it civil, please....