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#FBF: Remember When American Airlines Touted Its Brand New Boeing 707 Astrojet?

Retrojets Are Cool, But They’re Not As Cool As The Originals On Which They Are Based

Photograph Courtesy American Airlines

The film “The 707 Astrojet” was produced in 1961 by American Airlines and Pratt & Whitney Aircraft to introduce the flying public to their turbofan-powered Boeing 707 in American Airlines Astrojet colors. The film explains the unique aspects of the 707 and the experiences a passenger aboard one of the new jets would be likely to have. As you might expect, the principles behind the newly fitted Pratt & Whitney JT3D-1 turbofan engines are explained succinctly and understandably. Thanks to YouTuber PeriscopeFilm for uploading this time capsule film from a simpler age.

American Airlines flew 707s between 1959 and 1981. The 707 was AA’s first jet-powered equipment. The Astrojet livery was actually fairly short-lived but the polish and paint job has been used on at least one Boeing 757 and a couple of Boeing 737 “retro-jets” in the years since the original Astrojet livery was replaced beginning in the late 1960s. Tragically on March 1st 1962, American Airlines Flight 1, a Boeing 707-123B Astrojet (registration N7506A) bound for Los Angeles (LAX), crashed due to mechanical failure two minutes after takeoff from Idlewild Airport (now John F Kennedy JFK) in New York with the loss of all on board.

Photograph Courtesy Boeing

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Bill Walton

Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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