Re: Strange 707 at Burbank

Date:         05 Nov 99 00:04:13 
From:         don@news.daedalus.co.nz (Don Stokes)
Organization: Daedalus Consulting
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1999.1142@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
Stuart Feigin  <sfeigin@us.oracle.com> wrote:
>I saw a very strange looking 707 yesterday at the
>Burbank airport.  I glanced out the window and saw
>a 707 with enormous winglets taxi by.  Not the
>little fences like on an A320, but 6 or 7 foot
>tall winglets like on a 747-400.  The fuselage
>lettering said something like "Stage III 707" and
>the was an emblem with the letters "SI" on the

Ah, that's QSI/Burbank's bird.  They've been doing hushkits and stuff
for the B707 for a while.  I had a long chat with them at Farnborough
last year, and the mentioned the winglet -- they's had some last minute
teething problems so didn't have the winglets installed at the time.
Got a good look at the engine hushkits though.

>tail.  The engines were the old pure turbojet
>type, not the later turbo fans.

They are fans.  What you were looking at is the QSI hushkit. They're
standard-issue JT3Ds, but the bypass flow is ducted all the way around
to the tailpipe, like on the JT8D (737-200/727/DC-9 engine), and a mixer
in the tailpipe to bix the flows and cut noise.  A set of clamshell
style reversers close behind the mixer.  The inlet is heavily modified
for sound suppression as well, and apparently makes inlet flow more
efficient.  The guy I was talking to reckoned the kit actually improved
fuel burn by about 3%.

>Anyone know what I saw, and why it was built?  I
>can't imagine there is much economic value left in
>ancient 707s.

You'd be surprised.  Last time I looked, a 707 could be got for about
$.5-$1M.  That's a lot less than $50M+ for a new plane of more or less
equivalent capacity (say 757, A321), and still a lot cheaper than
"modern" types secondhand.  And if you're using them for executive
transport duties or overnight cargo, the fuel burn doesn't really bite
you as much as it would for frequent passenger services.  But the
capital cost of modern airliners is the main thing keeping the old birds
in the air.

(Posted & mailed)

-- don