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Squawks & HeadlinesJet Age recounts how Boeing beat the Brits

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Jet Age recounts how Boeing beat the Brits

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The Comet, the 707, and the Race to Shrink the World. (news.yahoo.com) More...

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lboyette
Lloyd Boyette 0
Now, I by no means am saying that these two iconic jets didn't earn their place in history as being what they are... however, it's funny to me that when topics like this come up the only two jets that people seem to remember is the Comet and the 707. My favorite clip from that era is of the 707 doing the barrel roll.

But, what about the Tupolev TU-104? It was the SOLE jetliner operating between the years of 1956 - 1958 and was a full two years ahead of the 707. Not many people talk about that or give credit to the Tupolev Design Bureau for creating such a beautiful aircraft.
indy2001
indy2001 0
There are a couple of other 4-engine first-generation jets that are overlooked. The Convair 880 (and 990) were contemporaries of the 707 and DC-8, and flew for major U.S. airlines like TWA, Delta, United, and American.

But for my money, the most beautiful aircraft of that generation was the Vickers VC-10, later stretched to the even-better-looking Super VC-10. Its elegant lines made it look fast just sitting at the gate. I flew BOAC VC-10s several times between JFK and Prestwick in the late '60s and early '70s.
KauaiGolfer
KauaiGolfer 0
The 707, Comet IV, VC-10, CV-880 and 990 were all fine aircraft. But if you look around today, how many of them are still out there making money? Very few. Except for the king of them all, the Cadillac of the sky, the Douglas DC-8. Lots of them are still out there making money, while their erstwhile competitors have long ago been made into beer cans.
Wingscrubber
Wingscrubber 0
What a shame it was that the US could never muster a supersonic airliner to compete with Concorde - if they had, the competition would have driven down the cost of supersonic flight and now it wouldn't take 10 hours to cross the atlantic. Concorde was low-volume I know, but imagine what Boeing (and Lockheed) could have done? The US aircraft industry has many things to be proud of, but it has also missed some golden opportunities.
rdeeringer
OH - Heck - another book to read. I wonder is there is anything new in this book, A newsman may have access to some media archives that could contain some nuggets of news that are not common knowledge.
indy2001
indy2001 0
Sorry, Bill, but the DC-8 is not the only remaining first-generation aircraft in the air. Many of the VC-10s were refitted as RAF aerial refuellers or VIP carriers and continue in that role today. Not quite beer cans I would say.
KauaiGolfer
KauaiGolfer 0
Indy, I agree, there are several military versions of the VC-10 and the KC-135 still out there. But the military isn't interested in the bottom line, ie, making money.
chalet
chalet 0
Wingscrubber, no airplane manufacturer will ever overcome the terrible problem crated by surpersonic flights: the "explosion"-like noise. That is one problem, the other one is economics. When flying at Mach 2 the Concorde burnt 300% more fuel per passenger-mile than the 707, that is why the payload of this otherwise beautiful supersonic aircraft was way too low to make economic sense. So crossing the pond will continue be a 10 hour affair.