Sunday, November 22, 2009

707s of the 70s

The Boeing 707 wasn't beautiful like the Comet or Caravelle, nor a leviathan like the 747. But it was handsome in its own way, and through its commercial success, it taught the world what a jet airliner should look like.

The airliner paint schemes of the 1970s, when it was neither fashionable nor feasible to make large jets look like killer whales or wilderness post cards, often flattered the lines of the aircraft with their clean "cheat lines" (i.e., those stripes along the fuselage) and understated logos.

This American Airlines 707 was caught landing at Lambert Field in St. Louis in 1977. American's aircraft wear this paint scheme to this day, although not as much of the plane is silver nowadays, as so many parts are not made of metal.

Pictured at Lambert on the same day, a 707 in what was then the new Trans World Airlines paint scheme.

From Toronto, a 707 in the classic "speedbird" livery of BOAC, the British Overseas Airways Corp., pictured in 1973.

Taken a few years earlier (1968), this Pan Am 707 was visiting the U.S. Air Force base at Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam, during wartime. The involvement of the airlines in southeast Asian military operations during that period remains largely an untold story.

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