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Holiday jets again - this time, the Boeing 707 and 720

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Holiday jets again - this time, the Boeing 707 and 720

Old 25th Jun 2021, 16:59
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So....A 707, possible 720 mystery to solve. On chatting with my lovely ex-neighbour who at 97 is sharp as a tack mentally, they mentioned Silver City Airways from Lydd back in the 50's and then the conversation veered onto a flight from New York Idlewild to Detroit in 1964. There was an announcement as the doors closed that they were the first passengers on this inaugural flight (of the aircraft) and the aircraft with only 5 passengers went up like a rocket, no doubt due to it's light weight shortish sector. The aircraft was 'a 707', it was silver or metallic outside, so I thought possibly American Airlines, but also possibly Northwest Orient or several others. Apparently it wasn't one of Juan Trippe's stable.

Any ideas whose it might have been and if 707 or 720 ?
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Old 25th Jun 2021, 20:17
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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SHJ - I thought AA too - how about a CV990A ?

1964 was a bit late for any inaugurals I can think of...
except Northwest had new 707-351C's from 1964 and they flew that route in 1964 too
but they had white tops then and polished lowers...

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Old 26th Jun 2021, 05:47
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Thanks rog747, the announcement said that they were the first passengers on the plane as it had just been delivered and that it was a Boeing. The recollection of silver on the fueselage could well have been the lower part as they'd have boarded by steps from the ground and (for them) the 707 would be huge after the prop job they flew over the Atlantic (via Prestwick). I suggested Northwest, but couldn't remember if they had much red in their livery back then.
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Old 26th Jun 2021, 06:52
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You are correct that American and Northwest were the two carriers operating on New York to Detroit in 1964, both with 707/720s. If the recollection was of a notably silver aircraft I would definitely think of American first, with their classic all-over unpainted polished skin and orange lightning-flash. This was apparently significantly buffed up to shine, at some considerable ongoing cost to American, so on a brand-new aircraft would really stand out in memory. There was a sad "heritage" reincarnation of the livery done on an American 737-800 a few years ago, with dull grey paint (not even silver), and missing several of the orange flash details.

Boeing_707-123B_American_Airlines_JP6855539.jpg (1024×696) (thisdayinaviation.com)

Northwest always had the all-red tailfin, but the rest was a dark blue cheatline and conventional white, just unpainted on the lower belly.

First flight of the aircraft ? American had their HQ in New York then, it was only later they moved over to Dallas, so a likely delivery point. Northwest was always centred on Minneapolis, HQ and maintenance, so less likely to have an aircraft first flight starting at New York. Both carriers were getting new aircraft that year.
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Old 26th Jun 2021, 09:46
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Thanks for your knowledge WHBM. It was their first flight on a Jet aircraft, so VERY memorable, both the 97 yr old and their 77yr old son's eyes shone as they recounted their experience. By the sounds of it, it was an American Airlines 707, it must have looked and felt like a spaceship to them coming from dreary London back then. They mentioned the new smell inside the huge cabin.

The fact that it was 'a delivery flight' as they described it would suggest it came from Seattle to NY to be officially received by AA HQ and then put into revenue service, which they had the pleasure of being on.
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Old 26th Jun 2021, 10:53
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Slght thread drift, does anyone know how many 707's that TWA flew and how many at one time?
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Old 26th Jun 2021, 16:26
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TWA 707's

Originally Posted by Cymmon
Slight thread drift, does anyone know how many 707's that TWA flew and how many at one time?

TWA purchased and flew -

707-131 and 3 707-124 bought from Continental AL.
707-131B first delivered in 1962, last 4 in 1968
707-331 six of these were NTU and in 1959 were sold by Boeing as new to Pan Am
707-331B TWA got very early build models in 1962 still with a large ventral fin, small engine inlet doors, and no nose gear doors. Last orders 1969.
707-331C first 2 in 1963, new 707-373C's due for World Airways but NTU. TWA's own order first in 1964. Last 2 in 1970.
TWA did order some 707-331C as ‘pure’ freighters.

They also flew 4 new 720-051B in 1961, but these soon went to Northwest.
In June 1961, TWA and Boeing announced a deal for 30 new aircraft, of which 26 would be 707s and the remaining four, 720Bs;
NW had these 4 aircraft on order, but had decided to delay delivery.
TWA was particularly interested in the latest turbofan engines, its then fleet consisting only of turbojet 707-131s and Intercontinental 707-331's (called SuperJet)
The 720B's would provide TWA with extra capacity for the 1962 summer season.
The aircraft were delivered at MSP, with two in July and two in August '61, also known as Boeing SuperJet
all four with 40F and 71Y, no forward lounge.

TWA’s first 707s were configured with no less than 46 first-class seats, with a Lounge, and 65Y.
Eventually the International 707's would fly with around 20F and 120Y, 16F/135Y, or 184Y.

TWA started getting its own new turbofan 707B's in March 1962 with 14 in service by the time the 720's were handed back in September 1962.
They were called Star Stream 707 with DyanFan Jet Power stickers on the nacelles, and Built by Boeing on the tail.

During the summer of 1967, two of TWA’s domestic 707-131Bs were converted for use on the North Atlantic, mainly to London and Paris from New York and Boston.
The 707-331's, and some -131's were now also called Star Stream 707.
TWA trademarked all of these advertising service titles.

TWA was first to light up its 707 aircraft tails in 1969, and allowed other airlines to copy the idea in the name of safety, providing more aircraft exposure at night.

The TWA 707 and 720 fleet history is fairly accurate on RZjets so have a look through at fleet numbers and dates.
https://rzjets.net/aircraft/?parenti...=42&frstatus=3
They state that TWA operated 130 707's in their time.

TWA then really was a worldwide airline, flying 707's from the USA to many points in Europe, the Azores, Casablanca, then on to Athens, Tel Aviv, Cairo, and the Middle East, Nairobi, India, Ceylon, BKK, HKG, Okinawa, Taipei, and Manila, Guam and HNL.
International cabin crew bases were located in London, Paris, Rome, Hong Kong, and, at one time, Cairo.

TWA was 'the' airline for the big Hollywood Stars of the day, huge celebrities would only fly TWA as their airline of choice.
Frank Sinatra, Danny Kaye, Ray Charles, Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, Maureen O'Hara, Jayne Mansfield, Elizabeth Taylor, The Beatles, Pat Boone, Joe Allen, Shelly Winters, Julie Andrews, Rita Hayworth to name a few.
The TWA First Class Ambassador service was sublime.
My best friend David was VIP Concierge at LHR for TWA for many years from the 1960's until closure. He met them all !


TWA had 9 707 Hull losses
https://rzjets.net/aircraft/?parenti...=42&frstatus=5

Including -
N8715T Boeing 707-331B TWA Trans World Airlines del 1965, W/O 9/13/70 Dawsons Field Amman Jordan
blown up during hijack together with BOAC Super VC10 G-ASGN and Swissair DC-8 53 HB-IDD, and a Pan Am 747 on Flight 93, N752PA “Clipper Fortune” at Cairo.
Plus,
Del to TWA in 1968 as N28727 707-331B, then as N7231T Independent Air.
W/O 2/8/89 Santa Maria, Azores, crashed into high terrain on approach. 144 killed. Holiday Charter flight, Bergamo Italy to Punta Cana Dominican Republic.


A TWA 707-131 on flight TW85 from LAX in 1969 ended up being the longest length hijack in history.
A young Vietnam war veteran Marine Raffaele Minichiello had just returned home suffering from what we know now as PTSD.
In 1967, the 17 year old left his home in Seattle, to where he and his family had moved after the 1962 earthquake in their Italian homeland had destroyed their village.
He travelled to San Diego to enlist in the Marine Corps, and for those who knew him - a little stubborn, handsome, a little gung-ho - this did not come as a surprise.
But he was proud of his adopted country, and was willing to fight for it in the hope it would make him a naturalised American citizen.
But then, in October 1969 the now soon to be 20 year old stepped on to a TWA plane, a $15.50 ticket from Los Angeles to San Francisco in his hand.
He then overtook the flight with a rifle after take off from Los Angeles, and demanded to be taken to Naples, Italy to see his family.
A big change in what back then was normally 'Take me to Cuba'
LAX had been the last stop on flight 85's journey across the US, which had started several hours earlier in Baltimore before calling at St Louis and Kansas City.
The rogue 707 was now routed via Denver, New York, Bangor, Shannon and finally headed to Rome.

Minichiello's father - who was by then suffering from terminal cancer and had returned to Italy - knew immediately what had caused his son to hijack the plane. "The war must have provoked a state of shock in his mind," Luigi Minichiello said. "Before that, he was always sane."
Against the odds, Minichiello became a folk hero in Italy, where he was portrayed not as a troubled gunman who had threatened a planeload of passengers, but as a fresh-faced Italian boy who would do anything to return to the Motherland. He faced trial in Italy - the authorities there insisted on this within hours of his arrest - and would not face extradition to the US, where he could have faced the death penalty. At his trial, his lawyer Giuseppe Sotgiu portrayed Minichiello as the poor victim - the poor Italian victim - of an unconscionable foreign war. "I am sure that Italian judges will understand and forgive an act born from a civilisation of aircraft and war violence, a civilisation which overwhelmed this uncultured peasant boy."
He was prosecuted in Italy only for crimes committed in Italian airspace, and sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison. That sentence was quickly reduced on appeal, and he was released on 1 May 1971.
He then settled in Rome, returning to the US in 1999 to meet up with the TWA crew, and some of the passengers to apologise. He was finally diagnosed as suffering from PTSD in 2008.
The whole story is here -
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-48069272
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Old 4th Mar 2024, 08:12
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I forgot that both Donaldson and Lloyd International also used their 707's on holiday charter flights to the Med and Canary Islands.
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Old 4th Mar 2024, 13:58
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rog747

thanks for your little addendum -lead me to re read a really nice nostalgia thread
PB
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Old 4th Mar 2024, 19:41
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I believe that Donaldson based a 707 at Glasgow around 1971, which operated a full summer holiday flight series from there to the Med. as they had done with Britannias previously. But the bulk of their 707 work, like Lloyd, was transatlantic charters in the summer, and whatever they could pick up in the winter.
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Old 2nd Apr 2024, 17:17
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Donaldson also did some winter sun charters from GLA to Tunisia etc and also used their 707s as freighters in the winter (I think they had to bulk load through the passenger doors). Does anyone here know how the likes of Donaldson, Lloyd etc financed these 707s? It seems unlikely that they had the cash to buy them outright so did they lease them from PanAm or a financial intermediary?
Other than “spread legs” and her sister 321, Dan Air’s 320Cs don’t get much of a mention in this thread. Dan Air used them in the summer for I.T., ABC etc and in the winter leased them to IAS Cargo Airlines as freighters which worked well for both carriers. Sadly one of the aircraft was lost while operating for IAS when landing at Lusaka (or was it Ndola?) due to structural failure.
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Old 2nd Apr 2024, 21:35
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Originally Posted by willy wombat
Donaldson also did some winter sun charters from GLA to Tunisia etc and also used their 707s as freighters in the winter (I think they had to bulk load through the passenger doors). Does anyone here know how the likes of Donaldson, Lloyd etc financed these 707s? It seems unlikely that they had the cash to buy them outright so did they lease them from Pan Am or a financial intermediary?
Donaldson had two of their 707s converted by Pan Am before lease to 707-321F with a cargo door, so first choice for their freight operations.

Regarding financing, they appear to have been leased from Pan Am, most likely just by the flying hour (although doubtless initially offered for sale at 'no reasonable offer refused'), as when the various downmarket operators went under, Pan Am got them back and had to go through remarketing them again. In asset value (not necessarily Pan Am's book value in their accounts) a turbojet 707 by 1971 was worth little more than scrap, although they did carry on through a range of operators - some into the 1990s. I think Pan Am even painted them up for their lessees as part of getting rid of them.
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Old 3rd Apr 2024, 01:26
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Originally Posted by willy wombat
Donaldson also did some winter sun charters from GLA to Tunisia etc and also used their 707s as freighters in the winter (I think they had to bulk load through the passenger doors). Does anyone here know how the likes of Donaldson, Lloyd etc financed these 707s? It seems unlikely that they had the cash to buy them outright so did they lease them from PanAm or a financial intermediary?
Other than “spread legs” and her sister 321, Dan Air’s 320Cs don’t get much of a mention in this thread. Dan Air used them in the summer for I.T., ABC etc and in the winter leased them to IAS Cargo Airlines as freighters which worked well for both carriers. Sadly one of the aircraft was lost while operating for IAS when landing at Lusaka (or was it Ndola?) due to structural failure.
The Dan Air Boeing 707 crash happened as the aircraft was on approach to Lusaka Airport, Zambia. The incident occurred on the 14 May 1977.

Boeing 707-321C G-BEBP owned by Dan Air and ooperated by IAS which had been subcontracted by Zambia Airways to operate a weekly scheduled cargo service between Lusaka and London Heathrow via Athens and Nairobi.
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Old 3rd Apr 2024, 06:14
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Donaldson and Lloyd International as we know, used their 707's on holiday charter flights to the Med and Canary Islands, along with the Affinity Group Charters across the pond to Canada and the USA but also flew charters to Africa and the Far East.

Lloyd had a Hong Kong interest, Far East Aviation Co Ltd, a holding company which owned Lloyd International Airways (Hong Kong) Ltd,
The Hong Kong company had on order three DC-8-63CFs which were to be leased to Lloyd International on delivery (August 1968 and May 1969 respectively). They were NTU.
G- DC‑8‑63CF 46062 05/08/1969 Lloyd Int'l AW -- Acquisition cancelled To (Airlift International N6163A)
G- DC‑8‑63CF 46061 03/07/1969 Lloyd Int'l AW -- Acquisition cancelled To (Airlift International N6162A)
G- DC‑8‑63CF 45969 20/08/1968 Lloyd Int'l AW -- Acquisition cancelled To (Airlift International N6161A)

Lloyd went on to obtain 707's from 1970.
G-AYAG B.707‑321 18085 built 07/06/1961 Lloyd Int'l AW ex N759PA Pan Am
G-AYRZ B.707‑321 18084 built 18/05/1961 Lloyd Int'l AW ex N758PA Pan Am
G-AZJM B.707‑324C 18886 built 11/06/1965 Lloyd Int'l AW ex N17323 Continental AL. (To British Caledonian)
Lloyd International ceased operations in June 1972, and the 707-321's went back to GATX Leasing who passed them to Bahamas World.

Both Lloyd and Donaldson flew many of the flights from Uganda to the UK for the 30,000 expelled East African Asians who had UK passports.
President Idi Amin began moves to wanting them all out from 1971, and then in 1972 gave them all just 90 days to leave.
At the time, the Asians who ran many of the local businesses, accounted for 90% of the Uganda's Tax Revenue; with their removal, Amin's administration lost a large chunk of government revenue. The economy then all but collapsed.

Donaldson from 1970, had obtained 4 old 707-321's leased from Pan Am (Lloyd, BMA, and DA all took a pair) and three of these for Donaldson had a main deck Cargo door added for bulk freight but not pallets.
I don't think they ever got much cargo work for this conversion as you rarely saw the Cargo doors open at LGW !
Glasgow's Mercury Holidays had a large share in Donaldson.

The 707's were possessed 08/1974 by Pan Am when Donaldson International Airways went under.
BMA British Midland quickly leased all of the ex Donaldson 707's to equip its ''Instant Airline'' Leasing arm, giving BD a total of six 707-321's.

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Old 3rd Apr 2024, 09:59
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Originally Posted by Sotonsean
Boeing 707-321C G-BEBP owned by Dan Air and ooperated by IAS which had been subcontracted by Zambia Airways to operate a weekly scheduled cargo service between Lusaka and London Heathrow via Athens and Nairobi.
Do I recall it correctly as having a basic Dan-Air scheme with a white IAS fin? DA can't have had it for very long when it was lost.
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Old 3rd Apr 2024, 10:50
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The aircraft lost to corrosion at Lusaka was fairly mid-life, built 1963 for Pan Am, sold 1976 to a secondary leasing company, later to Dan-Air, lost 1977. Didn't say a lot for Pan Am's maintenance that it had degenerated, and Dan-Air were usually pretty good with older airframes - they had plenty of them.

This was something of a peak for cargo charters to Africa, consolidators like IAS had some aircraft of their own and chartered extra capacity as required. Overland transport from the African ports had degenerated due to multiple issues - railways fell into disrepair, bureaucracy by officials, handling damage, levels of theft, border difficulties, etc, and it was preferable for anything worthwhile to be airfreighted, much originating in Europe, direct to destination. Still carries on, but nowadays principally in the bellies of widebodied scheduled flights. It was always difficult finding any backload for returning freighters, and this led in part to developments such as flowers, grown in East Africa and airfreighted overnight to Europe at marginal rates.

I can't recall ever seeing a holiday flight series by Dan-Air using a 707, but did see them in brochures at the very start of Transatlantic ABC charters.
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Old 3rd Apr 2024, 13:12
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To be fair to Pan Am and Dan Air, IIRC the corrosion was in the tail area and it had not been realised by any of the airworthiness authorities or operators that this was a weak spot. I can't remember whether the aircraft had IAS on the tail or the fuselage and I worked for IAS! I was in the office the morning BP crashed (we were notified by telex and I can still remember the scream from the telex operator as she read it).
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Old 3rd Apr 2024, 13:30
  #118 (permalink)  
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Here's a pic of G-BEBP with the IAS fin! It was registered to Dan-Air in October '76

https://media.abpic.co.uk/pictures/f...8180-large.jpg
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Old 3rd Apr 2024, 14:29
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Excuse the thread drift, but just to add that the Dan Air 707 crews would arrive at the BA cabin crew hotel in Nairobi with their Dan Air issued pounds sterling to be exchanged for BA issued Kenyan shillings at a mutually favourable rate. Later, and after some first class derived booze, there might have been other exchanges…
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Old 3rd Apr 2024, 15:28
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Oh, I didn't know Dan-Air had First Class ...
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