Designed by the Boeing Company in the United States 1,010 Boeing 707 aircraft were built between 1954 and 1978. The aircraft started life as the 367-80 series, Boeing's first concept for a military and civilian jet airliner. The first aircraft flew on 15 July 1954. The first production civilian 707 - one of sixty nine aircraft in the initial series - first flew on 20 December 1957. The production version featured a longer, wider fuselage and uprated engines.
Boeing built specific versions to suit customer requirements and subsequent versions received uprated engines and modifications to the wings and tail plane. Boeing built a shorter version - designated the Boeing 720 - for medium-range operations. The military version of the 707 was used as the Unites States Presidential jet 'Air Force One'.
In the early 1960s the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) adopted the Boeing 707 over British designed and manufactured jets. Thirty-seven aircraft were built to BOAC specification, powered by Rolls-Royce Conway 508 turbofans. The aircraft were flown by British Airways (BA) and later, as newer aircraft were acquired, by BA's British Airtours subsidiary. Military and commerical cargo derivatives remain in service.
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- British Airways