727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5770 posts, RR: 20 Posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 21828 times:
Don't get me wrong, as my username says, I LOOOOOOOOVE the 727. But looking at the 737 fro the rest of our lived thread, and all the gushing over that plane, why didn't Boeing just make a small/mid size two engine, two pilot aircraft for shorter runways in the first place.The 737 has all this longevity because in later years, it filled the 727's role.
tymnbalewne From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 913 posts, RR: 1 Reply 1, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 21716 times:
The very short, very inadequate answer is that UA, AA and EA all wanted an airliner to serve smaller cities. UA wanted 4 engines for high altitude airports, AA wanted two engines, and EA wanted three for their overwater flights to the Caribbean, (this was well before ETOPS!).
So, the best compromise was, in fact 3 engines, hence the 727.
rampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2871 posts, RR: 7 Reply 2, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 21551 times:
At the time the 727 was conceived, late 1950s, crew of 3 was normal, 3 engines were deemed necessary, and the size of the plane was a step lower than the 707, yet bigger than the DC-9 which was also developing. Only later did Boeing think they needed a smaller jet, which became the 737. They had no intention of growing the 737 to what it is now. Remember, up through the early 1990s, the 727 was the world's best selling airliner, over 1800 built. By that time, the 737 was refreshed and extended, and it took over that role, more than 25 years after it was conceived. The 727 had also planned to refresh and expand, but that became the 757 on the high end, and the 737-300 on the lower end.
SSTsomeday From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 1276 posts, RR: 1 Reply 3, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 21347 times:
Quoting rampart (Reply 2): The 727 had also planned to refresh and expand, but that became the 757 on the high end, and the 737-300 on the lower end.
Yes - And the 727 was not able to evolve the way the 737 could, as in high-bypass turbofan engines, because of the nature of the engine configuration (Fuselage-mounted engines; middle engine intake through the fuselage, etc.)
Incidentally, the 727 was initially designed to replace a number of 4-prop airliners at the time, such as the DC-6/7 I think, and in Canada the Vickers Viscount and Vanguard, etc. 2 Engine technology for airliners was evolving at that time and not common. Engines were not nearly so reliable and therefore safety was more directly dependant on redundancy.
rampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2871 posts, RR: 7 Reply 4, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 21262 times:
Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 3): Yes - And the 727 was not able to evolve the way the 737 could, as in high-bypass turbofan engines, because of the nature of the engine configuration (Fuselage-mounted engines; middle engine intake through the fuselage, etc.)
There were proposals for a twin 727, minus the middle engine. While I can't recall if these were supposed to be the upcoming higher-bypass CFM engines -- they might have been -- it would have been possible to do that, theoretically. (BAe were planning the same for an extended One-Eleven.) Of course, Lockheed managed a high bypass engine with an S-duct in the tail, but that would have entailed more significant re-engineering on a 727. At any rate, as you say, Boeing realized that it was easier to extend and re-engine the 737 than it was to develop a 727 twin.
Stitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 26956 posts, RR: 83 Reply 5, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 21112 times:
Quoting rampart (Reply 2): At the time the 727 was conceived, late 1950s, crew of 3 was normal, 3 engines were deemed necessary, and the size of the plane was a step lower than the 707, yet bigger than the DC-9 which was also developing.
Quoting rampart (Reply 4): There were proposals for a twin 727, minus the middle engine.
The concept I have seen had the engines below the wing (they look like P&W JT3C turbojets).
lightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 10886 posts, RR: 100 Reply 8, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 20785 times:
For over a decade the 727 was the most produced airliner. I think Boeing made the right market call. It wasn't until 30 years into 737 production that more of them were produced than the 727! That took a re-engine too! Per Wikipedia's article on the 727, there were 250 of them flying in August 2011. Not bad for a plane with EIS in 1964. Consider that the last 727 was delivered in 1984. The youngest model is 28 years old and yet they're still flying!
Quoting 727LOVER (Thread starter): why didn't Boeing just make a small/mid size two engine, two pilot aircraft for shorter runways in the first place.
The initial expected market for the 737/DC-9 was pretty small. Not to mention the range expectations. It is ironic that the 727 developed the market to make the 737-200 a success. But even then, the 727-200 out-delivered the 737 in 1978-1980. Much of what we consider the 737 success happened with the 733/734/735 and the engines 25% drop in fuel burn.
Now some was teething issues. The original 731s had thrust reverser issues. There was also extensive rework done on the flaps. And recall (from Wikipedia): "In 1970, Boeing received only 37 orders. Facing financial difficulties, Boeing considered closing the 737 production-line and selling the design to Japanese aviation companies."
The early business case on the 737 wasn't strong. Recall no US airline was a launch customer (a first for Boeing) while Eastern (and others) were strong proponents for the 727. This is a case where the market matured to make the type a success.
JoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5124 posts, RR: 29 Reply 9, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 20740 times:
They were made because they deserved to be made.
I'll get a fight from the Concorde folk but the 727 is the best looking airliner of all time. I remember flying those into YEV on a regular basis...and how damned loud the things were from the ground. We could hear them clearly from town, a full 8 miles away...and at -40ish, they sounded more like 8 blocks away.
I will wholeheartedly second this sentiment. Some forty-odd years ago, I fell in love with the 727 the first time I saw one; since I was only five or six years old at the time, my best guess is it would have been an Eastern Airlines 727 that one of my uncles and his family took from Syracuse, New York to San Antonio, Texas.
I would not get to ride on my first 727 until July 1979, when I flew American Airlines from Ontario, CA to Syracuse, NY and back, with a change of plane in ORD in both directions, of course. I must have been twelve or thirteen at the time and traveling as an unaccompanied minor. LOVED IT!
My last ride on a 727 was a comparatively short United Airlines flight from Denver (DIA) to Ontario in September 1996.
Ah, memories. While I love the 737, the 727 will always have a special place in my heart.
rampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2871 posts, RR: 7 Reply 11, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 20355 times:
Quoting Stitch (Reply 5): The concept I have seen had the engines below the wing (they look like P&W JT3C turbojets).
Yes. If you are thinking of the post-727 redevelopment, with the high bypass engines became the 7N7. I also recall a model (I believe it was in AW&ST) that had the 2 rear-mounted engines, this was mid-70s. Maybe they were low bypass, but I don't think they were late generation (1960s?) turbojets. You might also be thinking of some early models proposed for the first 727, some of which look more like a DC-9, and some which had the T-tail and engines on the wing. There are also early 737 concepts that looked very much like the DC-9. There was a thread on A.net a few months back on the Boeing archive displaying these models, but some of the models are visible here: http://airchive.com/html/museums/boe...g-archives-bellevue-washington-usa
Actually, on that same website I just found a picture of the "727-300" concept with the engines I recall seeing in AW&ST. Rear-mounted, twin, high bypass: http://airchive.com/html/museums/boe...-300-model-circa-early-1970s/19069
The FLighGlobal archives say that various versions of the 727-300 were offered to UA and BN, who were interested, but then began to favor an all-new airplane, which became the 7N7 (then the 757).
Earlier someone had commented on the difficulty of using high bypass engines in the center-mounted tail. I forgot that the 7X7 had this configuration (as well as the Tristar), a trijet widebody first with a T-tail, then a conventional tail, then late in the design process dropped the 3rd engine to become 767.
rampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2871 posts, RR: 7 Reply 12, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 20278 times:
Sorry to add on here, but everyone should find this 1960 article from Flight very interesting! "Boeing's Trimotor: Background to the development of the 727." There are 3-view sillhouetes of various twin-, tri-, and quad-jet concepts of the 727, some with conventional tails, some with t-tails, some with cruciform tails. Also gives the history of the market analysis, and comparisons to the Trident. Within all this concept was also the idea of a smallish jet that was revived to become the 737. But 1960 technology, as we've said, required the 727 first, and it dominated for more than 2 decades. http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1960/1960%20-%203094.html
columba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 6838 posts, RR: 5 Reply 13, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 19740 times:
Quoting rampart (Reply 2): Only later did Boeing think they needed a smaller jet, which became the 737.
Only later Boeing was pushed by LH into developing the 737.
The 727 was the right aircraft back then and a true success, the first jet airliner that had reached the magic number of 1000 aircraft being produced. Not to mention that it is indeed is the most beautiful jetliner ever build.
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 8): "In 1970, Boeing received only 37 orders. Facing financial difficulties, Boeing considered closing the 737 production-line and selling the design to Japanese aviation companies."
I'm not questioning the legitimacy of that quote, but what's the actual source?.. might lead to more aviation trivia!
faro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1456 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 18874 times:
Quoting tymnbalewne (Reply 1): The very short, very inadequate answer is that UA, AA and EA all wanted an airliner to serve smaller cities. UA wanted 4 engines for high altitude airports, AA wanted two engines, and EA wanted three for their overwater flights to the Caribbean, (this was well before ETOPS!).
So, the best compromise was, in fact 3 engines, hence the 727.
Airframe development is often directly tributary of engine development.
A complement to your short answer is that there wasn't at the time an engine capable of powering a 727-like aircraft as a twin, or in any case an engine with low enough fuel burn.
BritishB747 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2010, 54 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 18840 times:
Was the Boeing B727-100 not very similar to the original proposal for the Hawker Siddeley Trident? Hawker Siddeley even invited Boeing designers over to look at the plans for this amazing new aircraft that they had designed. Then BEA decided to change their requirements and the Trident became another disaster for the British aircraft industry and Boeing unveiled an aircraft more or less identical to the original specification Trident. Amazing the stupidity of HS inviting a rival to look at the plans for their aircraft.
ebj1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 2 Reply 20, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 18733 times:
Quoting rampart (Reply 4): There were proposals for a twin 727, minus the middle engine.
As I recall, American Airlines was a potential customer for this. The middle engine would have been removed and the middle air intake duct would have been faired over. I don't recall what engines were planned for the fuselage stations.
clydenairways From Ireland, joined Jan 2007, 1022 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 18481 times:
As others have pointed out, technology was not available when the 727 was conceived, to make an aircraft of that size and performance with only 2 engines and a 2 man cockpit. And regulations also prohibited it, as engines and systems were much less reliable, and new technologies and automation had to be proven.The success of the 727 paved the way for the 737 to happen.
The 737 came many years later during a time in the late 60's, a time when technology was developing at a rapid rate.
And It was only in the Mid/late '80's thet the later evolutions of the 737 were able to replace the earlier 727's.
The larger 727 models were replaced initially by the 757 and it was not until the 737-800 was developed, that a true 727-200 replacement was built by Boeing.
Also the 727 name could have lived on had the 757 been called the 727-300. Sure the 737 Max will have very little in common with the original 737, so what's in a name really.
727 -> Two Engines (instead 737)
737 -> Three Engines (instead 727)
747 -> Four Engines (well, correct)
Hahaha good one, but like Airbus, Boeing gives the next designation in line. Since the 727 was the second jet developed (after skipping the 717 reserved for the KC-135), it was given it. Subsequent jets also follow the same pattern.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
Someone who knows for sure will certainly correct me but IIRC the premise behind that was UA wanting to order a smaller variant of the 707 but not wanting to be seen as ordering 707's (can't remember if that was because they didn't want to get Douglas riled up or if it had something to do with saving face at the BoD meeting), so Boeing changed the model number to secure the order...or something like that
ETOPS = Engine Turns Off, Passengers Swim
25 crash65: I have found the wikipedias of the respective aircraft to be very informative. Give them a try. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_727
26 mbj2000: I was asking myself the same question. The Trident was in fact the "original" design... Maybe the british engineers at that time still believed in fa
27 clydenairways: Well you have to look at this with the perspectine of Post WW2 era and the relationship between the two countries, and there are plenty of other exam
28 tockeyhockey: what was the relationship, if any, between the 727 and the caravelle?
29 clydenairways: Douglas considered teaming up with SUD Aviation to build the caravelle with GE angines but they went with the DC9 in the end.
30 railker: Indeed, otherwise the B-52 would've had the Boeing 787 title a long time ago, assuming the military planes are allowed in the sandbox.
31 SP90: Why was the KC-135 given the 717 designation? Everything I could find on the 717 points to the re-badged MD-95. Was it Boeing policy at the time to ju
32 JAAlbert: Remember when Eastern Airlines referred to its 727s as "Whisper Jets"? That always cracked me up. I agree the 727's shape is iconic. It screams 60's
33 PHLBOS: True, but one thing to keep in mind is that the entire 727 family included the original and shorter 727-100 series as well, which rolled out about 3
34 lightsaber: Pulled from the wikipedia Boeing 737 page, but this was the ultimate source: http://www.seattlepi.com/default/art...livers-its-5-000th-737-1195654.ph
35 YULWinterSkies: As others have said, technology was not yet available. Airbus faced that exact same problem in the late 80's while developing the A330 and A340. Now,