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The Boeing 707 is a mid-sized, long-range, narrow-body, four-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes from 1958 to 1979. Its name is commonly pronounced as “seven oh seven”. Versions of the aircraft have a capacity from 140 to 219 passengers and a range of 2,500 to 5,750 nautical miles (4,630 to 10,650 km).
Developed as Boeing’s first jet airliner, the 707 is a swept-wing design with podded engines. Although it was not the first jetliner in service, the 707 was the first to be commercially successful. Dominating passenger air transport in the 1960s and remaining common through the 1970s, the 707 is generally credited with ushering in the Jet Age. It established Boeing as one of the largest manufacturers of passenger aircraft, and led to the later series of airliners with “7×7” designations. The later 720, 727, 737, and 757 share elements of the 707’s fuselage design.
The 707 was developed from the Boeing 367-80, a prototype jet first flown in 1954. A larger fuselage cross-section and other modifications resulted in the initial-production 707-120, powered by Pratt & Whitney JT3C turbojet engines, which first flew on December 20, 1957. Pan American World Airways began regular 707 service on October 26, 1958. Later derivatives included the shortened long-range 707-138 and the stretched 707-320, both of which entered service in 1959. A smaller short-range variant, the 720, was introduced in 1960. The 707-420, a version of the stretched 707 with Rolls-Royce Conway turbofans, debuted in 1960, while Pratt & Whitney JT3D turbofans debuted on the 707-120B and 707-320B models in 1961 and 1962, respectively.
The 707 has been used on domestic, transcontinental, and transatlantic flights, and for cargo and military applications. A convertible passenger-freighter model, the 707-320C, entered service in 1963, and passenger 707s have been modified to freighter configurations. Military derivatives include the E-3 Sentry airborne reconnaissance aircraft and the C-137 Stratoliner VIP transports. Boeing produced and delivered 1,011 airliners including the smaller 720 series; over 800 military versions were also produced. Ten Boeing 707s were in commercial service in July 2013.