|Quoting Keesje (Reply 20):|
The prototype was conceived for both military and civilian use: the United States Air Force was the first customer for the airframe, using it in the KC-135 Stratotanker midair refueling platform.
This is true only as I stated in the earlier post; the article you posted was premature in its statements (thanks for posting it by the way; it contained much interesting information, especially about Bill Allen that I did not know); you might take note that it said that no firm order had yet been placed. I do not know just how it came about, but after that article was written somebody insisted on a competition before any tanker was ordered, and the result was, as I said earlier, that Lockheed won. I do not have a quick reference, but it was stated on a Discovery program on the 707 by Mel Stamper, who was manufacturing manager for the 747 program and heavily involved in the 707 development. As I stated above, the Air Force only purchased the 25 KC-135's because of Curtis LeMay's insistence, and Mel Stamper stated on the same program that the Air Force told them in no uncertain terms to never expect another order. I do not know why the Lockheed tanker never materialized, but it was several years after the initial order, after the 707 program was well established, before the big order for the KC-135 came about.
|Quoting Stitch (Reply 23):|
I have no doubt that the USAF order helped provide revenue that Boeing used to make the 367-80 into the 707 and her derivatives to compete against the DC-8, the Convair 880(?) and even the Comet IV. So yes, taken literally, the USAF helped fund the 707. But the USAF did not kick-start the program that became the 707. Boeing did that on their own.
Read the above; the substantial money from the Air Force did not come until the 707 program was well underway. As stated above, the KC-135 ended up being a very different plane, anyway. It was not trivial differences; there was more that was different than was the same.
|Quoting Flighty (Reply 24):|
Clearly, the 707 was a military plane first.
If you read the Time article it becomes clear that Bill Allen wanted to get away from the boom and bust cycle of military programs, and so his primary target for the 367-80 was in fact the airlines. Of course he wanted to sell the tanker as well, but that was clearly secondary.