Re: Boeing 720

Date:         21 Dec 97 17:01:27 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
References:   1 2 3
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>   But where did the terminal 7 come from?  The 247D had it, and the
>StratoCruiser and StratoLiner, but the big Flying Boat was 314. Was
>it a surperstition that imposed it on all the jets (including 717)
>except the 720?

>From p. 123 of Legend and Legacy, subtitled The Story of Boeing and Its
People, by Robert J. Serling:

   To date, all Boeing jetliners have been assigned numbers in the seven
   hundred series.  Technically the 707 should have been called the 700
   but 707 somehow sounded better -- maybe luckier -- and [Bill] Allen
   reportedly went along with Carl Cleveland's public relations depart-
   ment on this.  Wellwood Beall wanted to call the airplace "Boeing 707
   Jet Stratoliner," but Cleveland argued thjat such a lengthy name
   wouldn't fit any headline or story lead, and Boeing's advertising
   agency agreed with him.  There never were any airplanes in the 500-
   600 series; those numbers were assigned to missiles, pilotless
   aircraft, and other non-airplane products.

So it was simply marketing.  Once the 707 designation became entrenched
in the public eye, continuing with designations with a similar ring was
simply further marketing.  (Try 708 -- it's far less pleasing than the
symmetry of the 7x7 series.)

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