Hello there! If this is popular enough there will be a Part 2…
To the aircraft!
The Boeing Model 367-80
Span 130 feet
Length 128 feet
Gross weight 160,000 pounds
Top speed More than 600 mph
Cruising speed 550 mph
Range 2,000 miles
Ceiling More than 42,000 feet
Power Four 10,000-pound-thrust P&W JT3 turbojet engines
Accommodation 3 crew
What is this?
It is often thought that the 367-80, or Dash 80 was a prototype 707, due to the “Boeing 707” written on the back. However, this is not 100% true. The Dash 80 was designed to show how a commercial jet airliner would look like, also foreshadowing the upcoming Boeing 707.
The big difference between the 707 and the Dash 80 was that the Dash 80 has a fuselage 132" wide while the production 707-100B/-300B had a fuselage 148" wide. You may ask now, why would Boeing design and build a plane, then suddenly feed it Weight Gain and delay its EIS?
One word: Douglas.
Douglas was competing with Boeing using their new design DC-8. After consulting airlines, they decided on 3-3 seating. The Dash 80 in its current form would only be able to seat 5 abreast (2-3), thus losing out on extra revenue which the DC-8 would be easily able to claim. Thus, back to the drawing board they went and with a slightly longer pencil stroke, the production 707 was born.
Additional Fact: the 707 derived KC-135 had a fuselage 144" wide… go figure!
The Dash 80 was also known for another thing…
As part of the Dash 80’s demonstration program, Bill Allen invited representatives of the Aircraft Industries Association (AIA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) to Seattle’s 1955 Seafair and Gold Cup Hydroplane Races held on Lake Washington on August 6, 1955. The Dash 80 was scheduled to perform a simple flyover, but Boeing test pilot Alvin “Tex” Johnston instead performed two barrel rolls to show off the jet airliner.
The plane currently resides at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
“I want to know more about this!”
Ok ok I admit this plane can’t be exactly considered not well known but compared to the 707 this is much less known right?
Thanks for reading, any comments and feedback is much appreciated and will go towards Part 2 (which will be something much rarer, I promise!)