The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Boeing 247

Model 247 commercial transport The revolutionary Boeing Model 247, developed in 1933, was an all-metal, twin-engine airplane and the first modern passenger airliner. It had a gyro panel for instrument flying, an autopilot, pneumatically operated de-icing equipment, a variable-pitch propeller and retractable landing gear.
It took the Model 247 20 hours, with seven stops, to fly between New York and Los Angeles. However, because the 247 flew at 189 mph, its trip was seven and a half hours shorter than that made by any previous airliners.
Seventy-five 247s were built. Boeing Air Transport flew 60 Model 247s. United Aircraft Corp. flew 10, and the rest went to Deutsche Lufthansa and a private owner in China. The 247s remained in airline service until World War II, when several were converted into C-73 transports and trainers. Some were still flying in the late 1960s.
Along with the Douglas DC-2 that supplanted it, the Model 247 ushered in the age of speed, reliability, safety and comfort in air travel.

Boeing 247

Boeing 247 (click to enlarge)
In many ways the Boeing 24 was the first modern airliner.
The sleek 247 was fast, and on its first scheduled flight on May 22, 1933, a Boeing Air Transport 247 set a speed record by crossing the United States from San Francisco to New York in just 19½ hours, almost 8 hours faster than any previous airliner.

The Boeing 247 was the first all-metal airliner in America and featured many airliner firsts, including retractable landing gear, supercharged engines, de-icing boots, trim tabs, soundproofing, and cowled engines streamlined into nacelles in the wing.
The main limitation to the airplane’s success was its small size; the 247 carried only ten passengers, and when the 28-passenger Douglas DC-3 became available in 1935, the 247 simply couldn’t compete.  The DC-3 also had a much greater range, and could cross the United States with only three stops.  Only 75 Boeing 247′s were ever built, compared to more than 10,000 DC-3′s.
Boeing 247D specifications:
  • Wing span:    74 feet
  • Length:    51 feet 7 inches
  • Top speed:    200 mph
  • Cruising speed:    189 mph
  • Range:    745 miles
  • Service ceiling:    25,400 feet
  • Gross weight:    13,650 pounds
  • Powerplants:    Two 550-horsepower Pratt & Whitney Wasps (R-1340-S1H1G)
  • Crew:    2 pilots, 1 steward/stewardess
  • Payload: 10 passengers, 400 pounds of mail
  • First flight:    Feb. 8, 1933

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