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Why Did American Refer To Their 720's As 707's?  
User currently offlineJackbr From Australia, joined Dec 2009, 663 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 9250 times:

American Airlines never distinguished between their 707s and 720s

Why was this done?

I assume it was so the two aircraft could be used interchangeably, but to do so, they would have to have the same interior layout

37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinemaxpower1954 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 1034 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 9202 times:

From the pilot's point of view it's the same aircraft (type-rating says Boeing 707/720) I'm not sure why you think the 707 or 720 needed the same interior layout, anymore than a DC-8 or A320 with all the variations of those two. A 720 would have been used on a sector not needing the capacity of a 707-320. Other than number of seats and galley arrangements, they are the same from the pax point of view, too.

User currently offlineJackbr From Australia, joined Dec 2009, 663 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 9114 times:

I meant to use them interchangeably. Braniff did not use install the lounge area on the 720, so the seating configuration matched identically, meaning any aircraft could operate any flight regardless of passengers booked.

American, however, had the lounge on the 720, meaning that I would THINK that either the F, Y or possibly even both cabins had slightly fewer seats


User currently onlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4265 posts, RR: 34
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 8953 times:

A 720 is basically a shorter 707. More or less seats is not a differentiating factor, an A-321 is more similar to a A-319 then to a 738 with the same number of seats.
Airlines who originally bought DC-8s like United (and probably Eastern agreed) didn't want to add '707s' to their fleet to avoid questions if they regretted buying the DC-8 and insisted on a different type "720". The fact Boeing didn't use 7X7 shows their reluctancy to create a different name for part of the same aircraft family. American who had 707s already including -123B's didn't want to bother to market and put in time-tables different types while they were just stretches and shrunks like 73G, 738, 739 and could be flown by the same cockpit crew, and probably cabin crews were also cross rated to cope with slightly different cabin and doors layouts.



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User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2951 posts, RR: 37
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 8751 times:
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The 720 is originally going to be either the 707-020 or 707-720 depending which story you read (i tend to believe its 707-020, since the -720 was a later CFM56 powered offering).

Boeing just took the 07-0 out of the model number at the behest of United who said they'd buy Convairs before 707s... Easy enough for Boeing to do and it got them not 1 but 2 good sized orders (UA and EA)



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User currently offlinetimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6709 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 8374 times:

Quoting Jackbr (Thread starter):
I assume it was so the two aircraft could be used interchangeably

Waitaminnit... AA's public timetables didn't distinguish between 707 and 720 (as they didn't distinguish betw DC-6 and DC-6B) but that doesn't mean the airline didn't know the difference. Their employee timetables would have shown which aircraft flew which route. As it happens the QR OAG did too, tho we can't take that for granted.

[Edited 2010-03-25 10:22:46]

User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3788 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8195 times:

Was the aircraft type commonly known as the 720 perhaps certificated as a variant of the 707? ...which it essentially was, even if there were many differences aside from the more obvious ones.

User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2368 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 8090 times:

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 6):
Was the aircraft type commonly known as the 720 perhaps certificated as a variant of the 707? .

The 707 and 720 Models are on two separate FAA Type Data Sheets. Therefore from a certification standpoint, the models are not even related. The 720 TCDS does not even reference the 707 model. From purely a CERTIFICATION standpoint, they have as much in common as the 727 and 737 have in common.


The model 707-100 is on FAA TCDS 4A21.
The model 707-300 is on FAA TCDS 4A26.
The model 720 and 720B are on FAA TCDS 4A28.

http://www1.airweb.faa.gov/Regulator...keModel.nsf/MainFrame?OpenFrameSet

.



Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlineisitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 24
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 8022 times:

Before jets in the 50's and with jets in the 60's, American flew the DC6 and DC6B. The sched all said DC6.
United also flew the DC6 and 6B except they separated them their scheds.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1639 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6874 times:

It was a pointless distinction in the eyes of the public and, besides, the 707 had gotten all the publicity in the press.

The average person has no idea of what type of plane is used. A friend just came back from a vacation and I asked him what type of plane he had been on and he didn't know. He also didn't know how many engines it had or whether they were wing mounted or aft mounted.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24080 posts, RR: 22
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6656 times:

Quoting Jackbr (Thread starter):
I assume it was so the two aircraft could be used interchangeably, but to do so, they would have to have the same interior layout

Many airlines operate many versions of the same aircraft type with seating configurations differing significantly depending on the aircraft and route. There's no need to indicate those differences in schedules. The airlines know which aircraft are assigned to which flight and their revenue management and inventory systems are set up accordingly.

In AA's case I'm sure it was much easier to just show the 720s as 707s to avoid complications, and they no doubt interchanged aircraft frequently due to varying demand by day or week and time of day.

When Pan Am operated the 707, 720 and DC-8 simultaneously, they didn't even differentiate the DC-8 from the Boeings in their public timetables. Everything was just shown as "JET". You didn't know what type would be operating your flight until you boarded it.

Many airlines that operated multiple models of 737s and DC-9s also didn't identify the precise model in the schedules. They just showd "737" and "DC9". To do anything else would have often resulted in very messy timetables since different models would be used on different days of the week on the same flight, and those decisions would often not be made until a few days prior to the flight.


User currently offlineC133 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6133 times:
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Just as the later 727 shorty had different seating from the stretch airplane, so did the 707s and 720s, but that;'s not the issue. At AA the whole fleet was marketed as 707s--why confuse the customers? Maintenance cared about what differences there were and the pilots and FEs REALLY cared: gross weight is a factor in the pay calculation and the 720 was a lighter airplane.

I too believe the 720 would have officially been a 707-020 but for United Airlines. They had invested in a large quantity of ink trying to convince the public that they had the better airplane in the DC-8, and when it turned out they needed the lighter airplane's performance advantage for certain airports it simply had to be called something other than 707. Also, for what it's worth, AA operated relatively few 300 series airplanes. The big majority of the fleet were 123s, along with the 720s, some 300 freighters, and a small number of 300 passenger airplanes that were bought for the short lived Australian routes.



Fine: Tax for doing wrong. Tax: Fine for doing well.
User currently offlinemilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1941 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6065 times:

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 3):
A 720 is basically a shorter 707. More or less seats is not a differentiating factor, an A-321 is more similar to a A-319 then to a 738 with the same number of seats.
Airlines who originally bought DC-8s like United (and probably Eastern agreed) didn't want to add '707s' to their fleet to avoid questions if they regretted buying the DC-8 and insisted on a different type "720". The fact Boeing didn't use 7X7 shows their reluctancy to create a different name for part of the same aircraft family. American who had 707s already including -123B's didn't want to bother to market and put in time-tables different types while they were just stretches and shrunks like 73G, 738, 739 and could be flown by the same cockpit crew, and probably cabin crews were also cross rated to cope with slightly different cabin and doors layouts.

American did NOT have 707-123B's when their 720-023's were first delivered. The first ten or so aircraft were delivered with JT-3C's, just like the first 123's except they did not have water injection, they were dry only. American started converting both their JT-3C engined 707's and 720's to JT-3D B models that they called Astrojets. The latter deliveries of the 720's were delivered with JT-3D's.

Quoting timz (Reply 5):
Waitaminnit... AA's public timetables didn't distinguish between 707 and 720 (as they didn't distinguish betw DC-6 and DC-6B) but that doesn't mean the airline didn't know the difference. Their employee timetables would have shown which aircraft flew which route. As it happens the QR OAG did too, tho we can't take that for granted.

Wrong on both counts. I have a November 1955 OAG and a 1960 AA timetable and American distinguished between DC-6 and DC-6B's in their timetables at that time and in the OAG, and when the first 720's were delivered, they distinguished them from the 707's. Only toward the end of the prop era did they not distinguish between the DC-6 variants. I flew on an AA DC-6B in 1962 IDL-DCA and the timetable by then did not distinguish. In fact, I didn't know AA even flew DC-6B's until we boarded the flight at IDL. As far as the 720's are concerned, the aircraft were labeled as 707 Astrojets, but the timetables distinguished them for quite a while and the OAG distinguished them until the 720's were removed from service in the early 70's.

Quoting isitsafenow (Reply 8):
Before jets in the 50's and with jets in the 60's, American flew the DC6 and DC6B. The sched all said DC6.
United also flew the DC6 and 6B except they separated them their scheds.
safe

See above. AA stopped distinguishing in the early 60's. I have an AA Timetable from 1960 that does distinguish. It was at that time that AA sold off many of their DC-6B's, keeping only a few, and ending all DC-6 service in 1966. UA, on the other hand, distinguished the 6's and 6B's until the 737 was introduced and the Sixes were being phased out. The first 737 flight was on April 26, 1968. Six weeks later, the June OAG made no distinction. Everything was listed as a DC-6, and by the fall, all DC-6 flights were shown as T class whether operated by first class or coach equipment. The last three Sixes UA kept were all B models and were listed as T class although I believe they had first class interiors. (I never flew on a UA DC-6B or DC-6 after a flight during the 2nd week of April of 1968 from ORD to MLI. UA only had a few coach DC-6B's with 2-3 seating but 2-2 in the forward lounge where 8 seats faced each other. Those aircraft were used for charters and for equipment substituions, but the last timetable listing DC-6BT equipment was the July 1, 1960 one which showed the last prop service to HNL which was discontined in that timetable. I have no idea if those aircraft had 2-3 seating or not, but I flew in one that did as an equipment sub from MLI to ORD in about 1965. I also flew on Continental's N90961 DC-6B from MLI to ORD in 1964 as an equipment sub. It had a standard UA DC-6B interior and a sign that said, this aircraft is operated by United Air Lines.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24080 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5899 times:

Quoting C133 (Reply 11):
Also, for what it's worth, AA operated relatively few 300 series airplanes. The big majority of the fleet were 123s, along with the 720s, some 300 freighters, and a small number of 300 passenger airplanes that were bought for the short lived Australian routes.

I wouldn't agree that the "big majority" of AA 707s werre the-123s. AA took delivery of 56 -123s. 25 were early -123s with JT3C turbojets, and 31 were delivered as -123Bs with JT3D turbofans (the early -123s were converted to -123B standard). AA -323B/C deliveres totalled 47 (10 -323B and 37 -323C), not a big difference from the -123 total. AA 720 deliveries totalled 25, 10 early JT3C powered 720s and 15 turbofan 720Bs. Like the 707-123s, the early models were also converted to 720Bs. If you combine the -123s and 720s, then I guess that could be considered a big majority.

Just curious how many of AA's -323Cs were actually used as freighters while with AA? Like many 707-323Cs (the largest-selling 707 model) I Ithink most of AA's were used as passenger aircraft.


User currently offlineC133 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5056 times:
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Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 13):
I wouldn't agree that the "big majority" of AA 707s werre the-123s.

Okay, that was a generalization, but I think about twenty of the 36 323Cs were freighters, and some passenger 323s were used in the Caribbean; the only overwater flying AA had for quite a while. (I can't look at tail numbers and identify freighters any more.) I count 64 123s from my data, and there were 25 720s. I flew the fleet domestically from LAX, and I know we didn't see 323 passenger airplanes very often. The ten 323B models though, were bought for Australia, and were added to the mix after that operation folded. Then there was the military charter flying that utilized several 300 airplanes for years during the Viet Nam war years.

I'll still say that it's my opinion (backed by my log book) that the 707-123 was the dominant variant of the type in American's passenger fleet.



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User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24080 posts, RR: 22
Reply 15, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4769 times:

Quoting C133 (Reply 14):
I'll still say that it's my opinion (backed by my log book) that the 707-123 was the dominant variant of the type in American's passenger fleet.

Did AA 707 pilots fly both passenger and cargo aircraft interchangeably, for example a passenger flight today and a freighter tomorrow? And did the same pilots fly both 707s and 720s?

I've also sometimes wondered whether pilots flying both passenger and cargo aircraft of the same type, especially at an airline with a relatively small freighter operation like AA's was, might sometimes forget they're on a freighter and out of force of habit make inflight PA announcements to a load of cargo!  


User currently onlineNWAROOSTER From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1011 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4585 times:
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I may be wrong, but I think the 720 had a slightly narrower fuselage than the 707-320. If I am correct Boeing widened the 320 as Douglas was building the DC-8, which had a wider fuselage. Six abreast seating, unlike the 720 which had five abreast seating.   

User currently offlinerampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3067 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4495 times:

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 16):
I may be wrong, but I think the 720 had a slightly narrower fuselage than the 707-320. If I am correct Boeing widened the 320 as Douglas was building the DC-8, which had a wider fuselage. Six abreast seating, unlike the 720 which had five abreast seating.

I may be wrong, too, but i thought the 720 had an identical fuselage to the 707. The Dash-80 was narrower, as was the KC-137 (though not the same as the Dash-80).

-Rampart


User currently offlinetimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6709 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4435 times:

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 16):
I may be wrong

You're right about that.

Turns out AA quit referring to 720/720Bs in their public timetables sometime in 1961. Did they ever revert?

They quit saying which flights were DC-6Bs in1952, then in 11/55 they revised their whole timetable format and included the distinction. It dropped out again sometime in 1956.


User currently offlineisitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 24
Reply 19, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3951 times:

MILESRICH...you are always 100percent correct.....but this time juuust slightly less.
Let me research my early 60's OAG's and AA scheds from the 50's and 60's this weekend on the listing of the AA DC6 and 6B's.

I think you are backwards on AA selling of the 6B.
I have(or is it had) an early 60's book that shows airline fleets and AA had 12 DC 6's and over 60 6B's.
This tells me AA sold off the six and kept the 6B's until 1966 when all the BAC 1-11's were in place along with the
727-100 and the L-188's which were put on the "DC6" routes.
AA also sold the 240's I believe, to Central and Trans-Texas, which some were converted to Convair 600's(Rolls Royce Darts for turbo-prop power)).
Not sure on who bought the 240's though.

I dont every remember AA listing a Boeing 720/720B in any of their scheds, or OAG for that matter.....I'll check that out too.
Happy landings.................
safe   



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineisitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 24
Reply 20, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3797 times:

On my lunch hour, I went home and looked through a couple of OAG's and AA scheds. Heres what I found about
listing AA 720 and 707 and AA DC6 and DC6B.
In a May 1961 Quick Ref (red book) there is a separation between AA 720's and 707's. The OAG list the 707
as B7F and the 720 as B2F. Milesrich is correct there.
HOWEVER, in the May 1961 OAG QR, there is no separation between AA DC6 and 6B. They are all listed as D6

In a Dec OAG line edition(green book) under the AA llistings, there is NO separtation between the 707 and 720
OR
the DC6 and DC6B.

Soooooo,It depends on which book you look at.

In the AA scheds(line scheds of 60 thru 63), there is no separation between 707 and 720 OR DC6 and DC6B
at least not in ones I flipped through.

Milesrich....I think we just tied.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlinetimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6709 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3759 times:

Quoting isitsafenow (Reply 20):
In a May 1961 Quick Ref (red book) there is a separation between AA 720's and 707's.

Far as we know the AA always showed the distinction in the QR? Probably everyone's agreed on that. It's just the timetables and timetable-OAG that are controversial.

Why do you call the QR "red book"?

[Edited 2010-03-26 10:13:31]

User currently offlinetimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6709 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3745 times:

Quoting isitsafenow (Reply 19):
I have(or is it had) an early 60's book that shows airline fleets and AA had 12 DC 6's and over 60 6B's.

They never had that many DC-6Bs to start with, did they?

In any case, it does seem they got rid of -6Bs faster than -6s (better resale value?). The Airliners article (Winter 1991?) would be the handiest summary.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24080 posts, RR: 22
Reply 23, posted (4 years 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3647 times:

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 16):
I may be wrong, but I think the 720 had a slightly narrower fuselage than the 707-320. If I am correct Boeing widened the 320 as Douglas was building the DC-8, which had a wider fuselage. Six abreast seating, unlike the 720 which had five abreast seating.

Not correct. The 720 cabin is identical to the 707 in width, as are all other Boeing narrowbody jets. NW did operate their 720Bs in 5-abreast Y class configuration briefly in the late 1960s (starting about 1967....I flew on one that year SEA-ORD with the spacious 5-abreast layout). However that was only for competitive reasons, nothing to do with fuselage width. UA also converted some of their aircraft to 5-abreat around the same time,including some DC-8s and I believe all their 720s. All those aircraft reverted to 6-abreast after the brief 5-abreast period.

[Edited 2010-03-26 13:52:43]

User currently offlinesankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2252 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (4 years 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3606 times:

Did the DC8 have the same fuselage width as the DC9, or was it wider? I had always been under the impression the DC8 was a 5-abreast aircraft, with the same fuselage cross-section as the DC9, but it appears that may not have been the case?

25 timz : According to that Airliners article, AA still owned 31 DC-6s at the end of 1963, and 12 DC-6Bs (of the 25 they originally had). It also says all their
26 Jackbr : The 737/727 are narrower than the 707/720, are they not?
27 maxpower1954 : All Boeing narrowbodies, from the 707 to the 757 have exactly the same width fuselage. The DC-8 is wider than the DC-9, and had six across seating (at
28 Viscount724 : They have a diffeent vertical fuselage profile, as does the 757, but all Boeing narrow-body jets are the same width. The 707 fuselage is one inch wid
29 isitsafenow : Timz is correct. I had it backwards(darn memory thing!!) Sorry for the confusion, folks. safe
30 Viscount724 : I checked a couple of AA fleet lists and they both show the following factory deliveries: 50 DC-6 delivered 1947-48 (registered N90701-N90750) 25 DC-
31 milesrich : I have an AA timetable from late 1960 or early 1961 and it distinguished them both, the 720's from the 707's, and the DC6-'s from the 6B's. As I said
32 JBirdAV8r : The DC-8 has a wider fuselage than the DC-9 series.
33 isitsafenow : Ok, lets get serious about AA scheds(NOT THE OAG)in 1959 and 1960 I looked at AA schedules: JULY 1959 SEPT-OCT 1959 APRIL 1960. In those scheds there
34 timz : Ditto 6/60, 8/60, 30 Oct 1960 and 12/60.
35 Viscount724 : As a sidenote, the first AA aircraft to be painted in the new (current) livery in 1968 was 720B N7528A.
36 Post contains images C133 : Yes, all 707s (and 720s) were flown interchangeably. Freighters were mostly flown within a pairing, probably due to the hours of operation, however.
37 C133 : Just looked at my 707 operating manual to be sure: 12' 4" width on all 707s and 720s. The KC-135 is narrower, but when the 707 was designed it was wi
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