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.