15 July 2008

Celebrate 15 July

Today marks the 54th anniversary of the Boeing 707, the first American-built widebody passenger jet, and the aircraft that gave rise to the KC-135 in-flight refueling tanker once piloted by Smitty. Worth noting that although no 707s remain in active fee-based passenger service in the United States, the Air Force still operates over 500 KC-135s, some of which turn 50 this year. (I should point out that technically the 707 and 135 represent different evolutionary branches from the original Boeing 367-80 concept aircraft; in Boeing's corporate numbering system, the KC-135 is the 717. After the McDonnell-Douglas takeover Boeing renamed the slow-selling MD-95 the 717-200, but that wasn't until 1998.)

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