Re: Boeing 720

Date:         21 Dec 97 02:32:51 
From: (Don Stokes)
Organization: Daedalus Consulting
References:   1
Followups:    1
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

In article <>,
C. Marin Faure <> wrote:
>I recall awhile back in these newsgroups someone asking why the Boeing 720
>was called that as opposed to a 707-something.  In the course of
>researching a video project today I came across a brief explanation as to
>how Boeing arrived at that particular designation.  The company felt there
>was a market for a short to medium range version of the 707.  The
>subsequent design, while looking similar to the 707-320 then in
>production, was actually much different.  While some parts were common to
>the 707-120 and 320, the new plane was much lighter and had completely
>different wings with different sweep angles and control surfaces.  It
>originally was going to be called the 707-020 as it was smaller and
>lighter than the 707-120 and -320.  Whoever was in charge of model names
>didn't like that so they decided to call it the 717-020 because its short
>fuselage was more like the KC-135 (Boeing 717) than the other 707 models.
>But 717 didn't sound right either, so they decided to call it the 720-020
>which is what it actually became.

If Clive Irving is to be believed, the 720 moniker came because United's
Pat Paterson had stated, on choosing DC-8s over 707s, that he would never
buy an aircraft called "707", he just "didn't like the numbers".  So when
Patterson came calling looking for a smaller plane, Boeing sold him 720s...

(United was the launch customer for the 720.)

>Another piece of trivia is that Boeing and the FAA do not call the two
>most popular 707 models the same thing.  At Boeing, they were called the
>707-120 and the 707-320.  But the FAA, and therefore the Type
>Certificates, call the planes the 707-100 and 707-300.  Incidentally,
>there was a 707-200 which is how Boeing got to the 300s for the long-range

As far as I can make out, the -200 was basically the -100 with bigger engines.
(JT4A vs JT3C on the -100.)  The -300 was longer and had a longer, better
tailored wing.

Don Stokes, Networking Consultant  +64 25 739 724
Network Design, Cable Plans, LANs, WANs, Radio Networks, Internet Consulting