The oddball: Boeing 720 first flight in 1959

Weekend Special | November 23, 2019
With the introduction of the jet engine on the 707 in its commercial aircraft lineup in the 1950s, Boeing stuck with using the 7×7 naming formula. Yet one aircraft model is an oddball which does not fit the naming formula made up by Boeing’s marketing department ‒ the 720. Initially named the Boeing 707-020 and then the Boeing 717, the aircraft finally became known as the 720. A derivative of the Boeing 707, it featured the same four engines, but was smaller in size, as the United States aircraft manufacturer wanted to provide airlines with an option to have a much more efficient aircraft than the turboprops of the era, yet still be able to take off and land on much shorter runways.
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