Topic Author
Posts: 2503
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2000 3:11 am

747-SP: The Full Story

Tue Jan 25, 2000 4:06 pm

In 1973 Pan Am wanted an aircraft that could go farther than the 707 with not as many passengers as the 747(-100). T. Wilson, Boeing's chairman, encouraged the program, and Joseph Sutter, Boeing's cheif engineer, produced the 747-SB (Short Body). Pan Am's engineer, John Borger, liked the airplane and renamed it the -SP (Special Performance).
The -SP, 48 feet shorter than the -100 (the greatest reduction in length in a single family) was announced in August of 1973 and in September of 1975 Pan Am placed orders for 10 aircraft.
The -SP can fly 6,900 miles with 20% less fuel than a -100. It's cockpit is identical to that of the -100.
On the 19th of May, 1975, the -SP rolled out. The first jet was N747SP, call number 21022. It flew first on Independence Day (July 4th), 1975 under the command of Jack Waddell, who had also flown the -100 in '69.
N247SP and N347SP rolled out shortly thereafter and engaged in certification program involving 340 flights over 544 hours.
N40135, the fourth machine built, took a month-long tour of the world, visiting 18 nations and setting records for distance and speed, such as Seattle to Tokyo in 13 hours, 33 minutes (11,289 km). The aircraft flew 140 in that month.
The -SPs only major difference aside from the length is that it's tail is taller and rudder double hinged (the rudder is the same size as the -100's).
Only 45 airplanes were built, many of which went to small-nations as royalty or VIP aircraft (including Saudia, Oman, Iraqi, and United Arab Emiratian governments).
A6-ZSN, for TWA, rolled out after the 747-400 had gone into production, and was the last model built. The -400 removed the need for the -SP, so it went out of production when all outstanding orders were filled. The -400 showed that the need for passengers on such long flights was now restored. The -400 easily out-performed the Special Performance 747.

The -SP was designed to hold about 275 people.
It's engines were Rolls Royce RB211-524D4 or Pratt-Whitney JT9D-7A.
Engine Thrust: 205.7 - 236.325 kN.
The -SP had a cruising speed of 675.25 km/h (.92 mach).
Maximum TakeOff Weight: 317,520 kg.
Zero Fuel Weight: 185,980 kg.
Wingspan: 59.6 m
Height: 20 m
Length: 56.3 m

Profile, Aerial, and Direct views available at:

ALSO ON THAT SITE: Current ownership and operation, previous ownership, all models produced (lists).
Max Payloud: 23,520 kg.
Posts: 1224
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 1999 8:56 pm


Tue Jan 25, 2000 4:18 pm

Thanks very much for the story.

There is one thing that i noticed. The payload you mentioned 23,520 KG
is impossible , the max. payload of a 707 can outstrip this figure.
If we have about 300 passengers (capacity of SP) then the payload must be at elast 300 X 100 KG (80 Kg Pax plus 20 KG Luggage)> 30 Tonnns, not to mention other stuff like cargo. ?

By the size of the SP, it's payload should be (iam quessing don't kill me)
around 40-50 tonns

any explanations?

thanks /best regards
Topic Author
Posts: 2503
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2000 3:11 am

Incorrect Information

Wed Jan 26, 2000 3:15 am

The Boeing website does not offer specifics on the jet, and there are no websites besides the one listed that are even worth visiting about it, and it is where I got the payload information from. However, I do acknowledge that you are correct, it doesn't corner, for which I apologize.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos