Re: 707 and KC-135 relationship and something about the 747 (was: Subsidies)

From: (Mary Shafer)
Organization: NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards CA
Date:         19 Apr 96 02:04:02 
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On 11 Apr 96 09:58:35 , Chris Jardine <> said:

C> In Article<airliners.1996.491@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
C> <> write:
> According to the then-current Jane's All the World's Aircraft, the
> KC-135 prototypes were being built when Boeing decided to offer an
> airliner version.  They, Boeing, had to get permission from the USAF
> to use the KC-135 R&D rather than develop the 707 completely from
> scratch ...

> Thus, the 707 is, in fact, a KC-135 derivative, rather than the
> reverse, although the reverse is very commonly believed.

C> If you go even further back you will notice that both the KC-135
C> and 707 were based on the DASH 80 in which Boeing risked 1/4 of the
C> company net worth on the bet that either commercial airlines or the
C> military would like to buy a jet of the type they had. I will agree
C> that they both are variations on the DASH 80, but, since Boeing had
C> developed the basic airframe on their own the military should not
C> have had much of a say in whether they could build the 707.

Are you sure it's the Dash 80?  I thought the Dash 80 was what Douglas
was certifying in the early '80s, when they broke the tailcone off
with an FAA pilot flying, doing the runway work here at Edwards.  They
then dropped a crane on the other prototype when they tried to lift it
after it went off the runway down at Yuma (blown tire, I think)
shortly thereafter.  Since the crane had broken its back, they wrote
it off.  The other one, which left its entire tail at the approach end
while coming to rest at the center taxiway, was, as I recall, repaired
and used for the rest of the certification.

In any event, the then-current Jane's didn't mention any common
predecessor.  Nor did contemporaneous Flight Internationals.  I'm not
sufficiently informed about the history of commercial aircraft, except
as they relate to NASA or military aircraft, to be able to do anything
but repeat what reliable information I could find.

Jane's was very explicit about the USAF permission being required, as
this delayed the opening of the line.  Knowing the government's
willingness to assume ownership of technology and tooling developed
with its money, I'm quite sure that the permissions were not pro

Am I the only one familiar with governmental contracting rules?  If
the government pays for it, either directly, as a deliverable, or
indirectly, using resources the government has paid for, it's the
government's.  Thus, tooling, patented inventions, and so on that came
out of the actual construction and testing of the KC-135 were the
government's.  It's this practical stuff, mostly the tooling, used in
the actual construction that Boeing had to get permission for, not the
paper airplane concepts.

I also believe that Boeing had to guarantee that opening the 707 line
would not impact the KC-135 schedules in any way.

Mary Shafer               NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA
SR-71 Flying Qualities Lead Engineer     Of course I don't speak for NASA                               DoD #362 KotFR