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The Boeing Model 307 Stratoliner was the first commercial transport aircraft with a pressurized cabin. This feature allowed the plane to cruise at an altitude of 20,000 ft (6,000 m), well above weather disturbances. The pressure differential was 2.5 psi (17 kPa), so at 14,700 ft (4,480 m) the cabin altitude was 8,000 ft (2,440 m). The Model 307 had capacity for a crew of five and 33 passengers. The cabin was nearly 12 ft (3.6 m) across. It was the first plane to include a flight engineer as a crew member.

Operational history

A total of 10 Stratoliners were built. The first flight was on December 31, 1938. Boeing 307 prototype NX 19901 crashed on March 18, 1939 during a test flight. By 1940 it was flying routes between Los Angelesmarker and New Yorkmarker, as well as to locations in Latin America. Multi-millionaire Howard Hughes purchased a model for his personal use, and had it transformed into a luxurious "flying penthouse". This plane was later sold to oil tycoon Glenn McCarthy in 1949.

Haitimarker and the United Statesmarker have used the 307 in military operations.


Passengers aboard Pan Am Boeing 307
Wright Cyclone GR-1820-G102 engines with single speed supercharger. 5 crew
Wright Cyclone GR-1820-G105A engines with two speed supercharger for better high altitude performance. 7 crew
Five Trans World 307Bs impressed into service with the USAAF as military transports and converted to 307B-1 standard with B-17G wings, a larger tailplane, four Wright Cyclone GR-1820-G606 engines and cabin pressurisation removed.


Civilian operators

  • Aigle Azur bought in 1951 ex-TWA aircraft with new engines and wings replaced with B-17G ones.
  • Air Laos received ex-Aigle Azur aircraft.

Military operators


Boeing 307 (NC 19903) in Elliott Bay, Seattle, March 28, 2002
The only surviving Boeing Model 307 (NC19903), operated by Pan Am, is preserved in flying condition at the Smithsonian Museum's Steven F.marker Udvar-Hazy Centermarker. On March 28, 2002 this particular aircraft was subject to a dramatic crash in which it ditched into Elliott Baymarker in Seattlemarker, Wash.marker, on what was to be its last flight before heading to the Smithsonian. Despite the incident, it was again restored, flew to the Smithsonian and is now on display.

The fuselage of Howard Hughes' personal 307 survives, although it has been converted into a boat.

Specifications (Boeing 307)

See also


  • Bridgman, L. (1942).Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1942. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co.

External links

  • History of the Boeing 307 Stratoliner

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