The grand daddy of all Jet airliners, the Boeing 707 has been one of the most famous and well known aircraft of all time. They still serve in variants like the KC-135 Stratotanker and the E-3 Sentry and also serves in freight duties. Though the airlining duties have passed, they still have served for over 21 years (1958-1979).
The need for a jet airliner for America was set in the 1950s and Boeing took the offer in 1952 and soon built the first 707 in 1954 and entered service in 1958. The jet soon served not just America, but also airlines around the world and was SO effective that variants and freight versions are still used today. The 707 set the Airliner standards and made the world hundreds of miles smaller. Even with the original 50s turbofans the aircraft was still fast. Eventually in the 1960s, the 707 was upgraded with new jet engines. What made it so successful was the new swept wing design, not used in many large aircraft of the time, and many large heavy aircraft still rely on straight wings. The Boeing 707, was faster, easier to handle, better looking, had air conditioned cabins, in flight TVs and a huge fuel tank, certainly the best aircraft through the 60s and even the 70s. It is so reliable that Air force one was once a 707 and it still serves as a back up along with a Boeing 737. Many 707s flew routes across America, the Pacific,Artic,Indian, and Pacific oceans and Asia and Europe and earned a large popularity by Pilots. Soon technologies like Auto-pilot and Reinforced Landing Gear. The aircraft are now a rare site at US international airports, but their out there and it's variants are here to stay, possibly until 2040!
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