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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
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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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
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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
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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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 (1024696) (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 View Post
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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