Boeing 707

The Boeing 707 was the aircraft that ushered in the age of mass air travel. The first US commercial jet, it could carry many more passengers than the largest propeller-driven airliners while halving long-distance journey times. Pan Am boss JuanTrippe said of the introduction of the 707: “In one fell swoop we have shrunken the earth.”
Boeing spread the cost of developing its first commercial jet by using the same prototype for a military transport.The thin swept wings with podded engines underneath were clearly derived from Boeing’s jet bombers.The first production 707 flew on 20 December 1957. Pan Am rushed the aircraft into transatlantic service a month after certification, initiating a New York-London jet route on 26 October 1958. The original 707-120s were soon superseded on transoceanic services by bigger, more powerful 707-320s. The final
major improvement, from 1960, was the fitting of turbofan engines to increase fuel-efficiency and range.
The 707 took the world by storm. Its smart but functional interior marked the transformation of air travel into an everyday reality, rather than an exceptional experience. In the first decade after the 707 was introduced, the volume of passengers travelling on long-distance flights worldwide quadrupled. This was truly an aircraft that
changed the world.

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