Trippe retired in 1968. The 747SPs were ordered beginning in 1973 and delivered in 1976 (PA was the launch customer, of course). There were a total of 10 ordered; later in 1980 a Braniff 747SP was picked up to top off their 747SP fleet at 11. All 11 later were transferred to UAL in 1986 as part of the Pacific Division sale. Listed are the engine type, date of order, and number ordered on that date...
On 25-Apr-1976, the inaugural Boeing 747SP flight was marked with PA801, the first non-stop flight from New York-Kennedy to Tokyo.
On 1-May-1976, PA200 departed New York-Kennedy for an equatorial, round-the-world flight with 98 passengers aboard. The 747SP was named Clipper Liberty Bell (N533PA
, pictured above) in commemoration of the country's bicentennial, and made two stops, at Delhi and Tokyo.
On 28-Oct-1977, PA50 ("Polar 50") departed San Francisco for a polar, round-the-world flight with 172 passengers aboard. The 747SP was named Clipper New Horizons (N533PA
, pictured above), and made three stops, at London, Cape Town, and Auckland. Aboard were strolling musicians, hair dresser, Gucci fashion show, 8 meals (full service and buffet), and 12 movies. Cost was $3333 for first class, $2222 for economy class.
was initially to be the aircraft named "Clipper Juan T. Trippe" in 1982. But, that honor went instead to N747PA