Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Trivia

The answer to yesterday's question is:
Emma (Geller-Green(e))

Today's question is:
In what year did the Boeing 707 enter airline service?


gbradley said...

I've flown on a 707 once or twice.
727, 737, and 747 too.
Ive never been on a 757, 767 or 777.
Someday I hope to fly on the 787.

Fritz J. said...

Pan American got the first production 707, and I think they put it in service in 1958. There is a possibility that it was 1957, but I'm pretty sure it was 1958. If either of my two uncles who worked for Boeing were still alive I could check, but both have passed on.

As a kid I got to meet Bill Boeing and go aboard his personal aircraft, which was a Grumman amphibian, but I don't remember which model. I'm thinking a Goose, but don't hold me to that. Don't remember much about him except he seemed real tall to me at five, and he had white hair. I do remember how fancy his airplane was inside, but outside it looked little different than the ones Alaska Coastal flew. His wife was a very gracious lady and more outgoing with me and my family. Dad said that Bill talked more when his wife wasn't around, but she was there when I met him. Anyhow, that would have been in 1948 and took place in Juneau Alaska. Dad was working the winter as a cab driver and that is how he met the Boeings and was invited to bring Mom and me to see his plane. Dad wound up hauling the Boeings around for about three days while they visited friends they had made when Bill worked in the gold mine and lived at Douglas. As a side note, Mrs. Boeing took in laundry to help make ends meet when Bill was working in the mines and one of her customers was still alive and she spent an afternoon visiting her. For a fellow who started out as a common laborer he did pretty well.

While this is somewhat off topic, Uncle Clyde said that by the time Boeing started building the first prototype 747, the design paperwork weighed more than the finished plane, and that the wing design was so efficient that if they had engines big enough and doubled the size of the plane, they could have flown it made out of solid lead. We seem to forget what a breakthrough in aeronautical design the the 747 was. Uncle Clyde said that the 747 was much further ahead of its time than the 707 was, or the KC 135 which was the prototype for the 707.

gbradley said...

Thanks Fritz,
Great comment.