Jeffrey1970 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1335 posts, RR: 13 Posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3209 times:
I thought of this question since this year is the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers first flight, and sadly the last year of the Concord. I know many might say Concord, since it is so very fascinating. However I feel that the 707 was more important. The reason is, as fascinating as Concord is, very few people have been able to fly on Concorde. Plus, due to cost and many other reasons, it is not likely people will be able to fly past the speed of sound after Concorde is retired. However, when the 707 was first introduced in 1958 (I could be wrong about the year) it was the first successful jetliner that could fly passenger service. More importantly it could fly transatlantic and transpacific flights in record time. Because of that, airlines such as Pan Am, TWA, American Airlines, BOAC (I think), and many others were able to introduce airline travel to people who either did not have the time for longer flights on propeller planes, or could not afford the airfare. By the way I know the British actually came out with a jet plane before the 707, however for safety reasons it was not successful.
Rickb From United Kingdom, joined May 2003, 243 posts, RR: 10 Reply 4, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3139 times:
Concorde - the 707 was not the first jetliner and had many compatriots at the time including the convairs and DC8 not forgetting the Comet, VC10, etc. The 707 was a very good aircraft but it did not redefine air travel (as did the Comet and the 747).
Concorde was groundbreaking at a number of levels and set performance standards that even today military aircraft can't match.
The Avro Jetliner was before the 707 as well, and a slight bit less than two weeks behind the Comet.
As for importance.... I'd say that the 707 ushered in the "modern" jet age, as well as a new design philosophy for airliners. But in terms of importance? If you're going to stick to commercial aviation, I'd agree that the most important aircraft would be the DC-3; it was one of the first "true" airliners, and the airframe also has the distinction outside the commercial sector, of being insturmental in helping to win the Second World War. No other airframe has lasted longer in service, civil or military, and its usefulness still is shown today.
IslandHopper From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 327 posts, RR: 2 Reply 7, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3115 times:
The Concorde was a fuzzy reach into the edge of science, much as our space shuttles are. Both cost their respective governments billions of their citizens money. If you are a scientist or engineer, they were amazing achievements and a triumph of the human mind and worth every penny.
If you are Joe Average, Concorde was just pie in the sky and an example of how governments waste our money.
The 707 brought fast air transport to the masses, and thus is the more important achievement. Don't get me wrong, I love Concorde and am amazed by it, but was it a good use of British & French taxpayer's money? NO WAY!!!
Elwood64151 From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2477 posts, RR: 7 Reply 8, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3087 times:
I have to disagree with you. Like the DC-3 in 1935, the 707 was the first large, long-range, highly profitable aircraft of its kind. The Comet was a fairly low-capactiy aircraft, and the VC-10 and others were not as profitable for the airlines that flew them or for the manufacturers.
The 707 was the first modern jetliner. It was the beginning of a line of commercial aircraft that have collectively changed the course of aviation history and the way the business of air travel is done in general.
Concorde has been an interesting experiment, but it's hardly revolutionary. If it had made money, maybe. Really, the only significant impact the Concorde has had was to ensure that no US-produced SSTs would ever be produced, cue to the massive but unfounded outcry against sonic booms.
707 by far.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
Rickb From United Kingdom, joined May 2003, 243 posts, RR: 10 Reply 10, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3083 times:
The problem with the 707 is that it was in no way groundbreaking - it did exactly what it said in the tin - nothing more. Was it a successful aircraft - most definately - but was it important - not really - if Boeing hadn't of made it there where other aircraft that would of taken its place (those listed earlier) however Concorde is important - it was the forebear for Airbus - it proved that multi-nation projects could work, it introduced a number of technologies which have filtered down (carbon brake disks, anti lock, fly by wire, etc) it was also unique since the Tu144 never actually worked correctly.
Tavong From Colombia, joined Jul 2001, 833 posts, RR: 5 Reply 11, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3028 times:
BEFORE YOU READ DON'T TAKE THIS LIKE PRO-BOEING OR ANTI-AIRBUS PROPAGANDA IN ORDER TO DON'T MAKE THIS ANOTHER A vs B THEREAD
Well if you put me to select from 707 or Concorde and it's role in aviation industry i choose 707; Concorde was an ecellent plane in terms of tchnological achievement but also was an example of the misinterpretation of the economy and the markets, B707 was there and used the technology properly, it may not be the first jetliner (Comet was) but it learned from Comet failures and was the first succesfull jetliner, in fact i helped a lot on changing the way the fligths where made, even the Comet was at the times where only richest people where able to fly (and well in sort of terms Concorde was at the same thread) and 707 helped to change that into we see at this times followed and stregthen by the 747, and Douglas used the B707 mistakes to made DC-8 another wonderfull plane unfortunately B707 also helped to bury out other planes like Comet-IV, and VC-10 (what a plane!!!!) but anyway B707 helped airline JET industry to grow and became what they are at this time.
Anyway if you see further back in history there are a lot planes that helped airline industry to grow, how forget the old Junkers, Dornier Wal,Vega, Ford Trimotor, Martins, DC-3, B-247, DC-4, DC-6,B377, Lokheed electra, Hawkers, Fokkers and only God knows how many developers and planes i forgot in this list but all of them helped equally in making this indistry like it's now? In fact it's not who made more and what every indostry helped and all these planes and industries taugth us several lessons that shouldn't be forgotten and that helped to grow Boeing and Airbus and all the others no matter what's your favorite and at this time every industry is learning and learing from themselves and from others no matter if Boeing or Airbus and this thread will continue has long has the planes exists but anyway and keeping this thread and has i stated up here my vote goes for B707
Colombian coffee, the best...take a cup and you will see how delicious it is.
AvObserver From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 2430 posts, RR: 10 Reply 13, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2984 times:
Rickb, the 707 most certainly WAS groundbreaking-maybe it wasn't the first jetliner but it drove the revolution to jet travel at a pace unmatched by the other early models listed. Comet was the first but the crashes of its' early models relegated it to a far less significant place in history. The VC-10 also didn't sell in numbers anywhere near the 707. The DC-8 was on the drawing board but it took Boeing's committment to kick Douglas-comfortable with piston-engine airliners-in the pants and get moving with it. Convair was VERY late to the jetliner party and paid the price in truncated production of both the CV880 and CV990. The 707's KC-135 military version revolutionized aerial refueling, bringing tankers as fast as jet bombers to the skies. The 707 begat a number of derivative jetliners which to some extent (737NG and 757), continue in production today. I don't dispute that Concorde was far more revolutionary in terms of performance and due to the international partnership that paved the way for Airbus as you said, however the SST does not rival the 707 in significance for what it did for commercial aviation. In addition to being the aircraft mainly responsible for ushering in the jet age, the 707 also paved the way for the even more significant 747 which wouldn't have happened but for the 707's success. As magnificent as Concorde is-and now having flown it I can say that with true conviction-it was still an evolutionary deadend due to a number of unfortunate realities and didn't transform the industry to the extent that the 707 did, sad as it may be to say that. I think almost any aviation historian would agree with me on this.
Bd1959 From Australia, joined Oct 2002, 450 posts, RR: 2 Reply 15, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2935 times:
Sorry folks, but as an (ex) European my slant on this is totally different. As a "Joe Average" (as our Amercan bretheren seem to call us working-class folks) the 707 was about as accessible as the Concorde. Different eras, but people like myself just could not afford to travel trans-continental which the 707 only flew.
Things changed in the 70s with the impact felt both with the 747 (for long haul scheduled) and the 737 (short haul charters) - the 727 had led the way with charter companies such as Dan Air, but it was really only the 74 and 73 families which had such an "important" impact on people such as me.
Was it so very different in the US? Did the 707 fly trans-US or trunk US routes to such an extent that capacity brought fares within the reach of average Americans? - Because it was the (over) capacity brought by the 747 and 737 which really allowed fares to come down into my sort of budget.
Jeffrey1970 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1335 posts, RR: 13 Reply 16, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2907 times:
I am not sure about the 60's, but when I first started to fly in the 70's I flew from Washington D.C. to Phoenix on both TWA and American Airlines. On that route both airlines at that time flew 707's almost exclusively. I am not sure what other routes both airlines used the 707 from Washington for, but IAD had a lot of 707's in the 1970's.
Bd1959 From Australia, joined Oct 2002, 450 posts, RR: 2 Reply 17, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2885 times:
That was a sincere question - and I was pretty sure that 707s must have been used in the US for trunk routes in the 60s - one question though, how would the fares have stacked up against train/greyhound travel? Would fares have been within reach of "ordinary folks" - as I said before, it was only the intro of the 74s and 73s ex UK which brought down fares enough to enable people like me to fly.
Okie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2346 posts, RR: 3 Reply 18, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2876 times:
Bd1959 the airlines in the US were regulated in the early years and pretty much guaranteed a profit no matter what aircraft they had on protected route. After deregulation that a lot of airlines went down the tube so to speak due to competition.
The DC-3 was the first airliner to actually make airlines a profit, the 707 was the first jet airliner to do so. The maintenance costs on recip engines was horrendous, I read some where that the average major airline was changing up to 150 engines per month on the recips, that sounded like an astronomical figure but apparently the norm for the time. So the 707 most likely the most important due to the low operating costs.
The first 20 years or so of the jet age in the US were really exciting. The airlines were putting on the latest and greatest aircraft and not having to worry about competition and the industry was growing at double digit rates every year advertising that you need to be on the latest aircraft to hit the tarmac. Most airlines were buying about anything whether they needed them or not example BN having 2 747's would make about as much sense as WN having a 380 in these times.
You could go to any major airport at the time and see anything from a DC-3, to a 747 and everything in between
Jeffrey1970 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1335 posts, RR: 13 Reply 19, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2813 times:
Like Okie said routes in the US at that time were regulated. I am not sure how the fares would have compared against Greyhound since I was only a child at that time (1970's). However I do remember that the flights were pretty much always full. We were not super rich, and my mother is always the type to search out a bargin, so I am going to have to say that yes the fares were within reach of regular people.
Bd1959 From Australia, joined Oct 2002, 450 posts, RR: 2 Reply 20, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2802 times:
Do you think the 707 was so important then - given that you're talking of a time 15 years after it's introduction - and at a time when the 747 would have taken on alot of the "tradtional" role of the 707 (eg trans Atlantic traffic).
Jeffrey1970 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1335 posts, RR: 13 Reply 21, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2782 times:
At that time I feel that the 707 was still very important, but like you said it was transforming from international use to mainly domestic use. Plus, as far as the 747 is concerned I have to wonder if it would have ever been produced if the 707 was not successful. Also, one other area where I believe the 707 helped create a transformation was in cruise ships. I saw a show on the History Channel in the US where they said that before the 707 ships were not just used for vacations but for transportation, but that is a different thread. Also, I believe the 707 has showed it's importance for airliners today by being the inspiration, I do believe, for the 757. I hope I have answered your question Mark.
Shenzhen From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 1701 posts, RR: 2 Reply 22, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2769 times:
The 707 was the first swept wing commercial airplane with podded engines under the wing, and the one in which every other large airplane model that is in production today was modeled after (less the 717).