Boeing 2707, the supersonic jet that never saw the light.



The Boeing 2707 was an American supersonic passenger airliner project during the 1960s. After winning a competition for a government-funded contract to build an American supersonic airliner, Boeing began development at its facilities in Seattle, Washington. The design emerged as a large aircraft with seating for 250 to 300 passengers and cruise speeds of approximately Mach 3. It was intended to be much larger and faster than preceding SST designs such as Concorde.

The SST was the topic of considerable concern within and outside the aviation industry. From the start, the airline industry noted that the economics of the design were questionable, concerns that were only partially addressed during development. Outside the field, the entire SST concept was the subject of considerable negative press, centered on the issue of sonic booms and effects on the ozone layer.

A key design feature of the 2707 was its use of a swing wing configuration. During development the required weight and size of this mechanism continued to grow, forcing the team to start over using a conventional delta wing. Rising costs and the lack of a clear market led to its cancellation in 1971 before two prototypes had been completed.

General characteristics

Capacity: about 277 passengers

Powerplant: 4 × General Electric GE4/J5P turbojets, 63,200 lbf (281 kN) thrust each

Performance

Maximum speed: Mach 2.7

Range: 4,000 mi (6,400 km, 3,500 nmi)

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