The world’s first three-engine jet, the Boeing 727, completed its first test flight on February 9, 1963. On October 29 of the same year, Boeing delivered the first of its 727s to United Airlines. In February of 1964, the Boeing 727 was the first trijet to enter commercial flight service, and for the first 30 years of jet travel, it was also the best-selling airliner. Though its fuselage had the same width as the older 707, the 727 offered shorter takeoff and landing capability with its leading-edge slats and slotted trailing edge flaps, technology that was innovative for its time. Because of its improved takeoff and landing performance, the 727 didn’t require as much runway length as its predecessor.
Boeing was expected to sell only 250 of the 727s, but eventually delivered 1,831 of the jetliners, and during the airplane’s long service life, Boeing made many improvements to the 727.
In some variations of the aircraft, the manufacturer installed a side cargo on the main deck for ease of loading passengers, cargo, or both. In December of 1967, Boeing rolled out the 727-200, a version that had increased weight capability and an extended fuselage to accommodate more passengers. The 727-200F catered to freight companies like Federal Express, who used the airplanes to haul large numbers of pallets. Other upgrades to the 727 included more fuel capacity and increasingly powerful engines. Gross weight boosts were also implemented.
By May of 1971, the widebody jetliner became the industry standard with Boeing’s introduction of the Advanced 727-200 model which boasted the following specifications:
Maximum speed: .90 Mach
Cruise speed: 570 to 605 mph
Cruising altitude: 30,000′ to 40,000′
Length: 153′ 2″
Maximum weight: 191,000 pounds
Engine(s): Three Pratt & Whitney JT8D turbofans
Crew: Three, including pilot, first officer, and flight engineer
Passenger Capacity: 148 to 189
In August of 1984, Boeing suspended production of the 727 aircraft. A month later, it delivered the last one to Federal Express. The aircraft manufacturer donated the first 727 ever built to the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Many of the 727s that remain in service have been converted to haul freight instead of passengers.
The city of Da Nang is a beautiful place to visit, with diverse geography ranging from plains to mountains, forests, rivers, seas and islands, making the center of Vietnam a must to see. Here you can also find a variety of transport as you tour the country.
The Da Nang International Airport is operated by the Central Airports Authority. The airport is found in Da Nang in central Vietnam in the Hai Chau District and is both a civil and military airport. The Vietnamese Air Force shares in the use of the asphalt runways that are only 10 meters or 33 feet above the mean sea level. In Vietnam the Da Nang Airport is one of three international airports, the others being Tan Son Nhat International Airport and Noi Bai International Airport.
The Da Nang International Airport is probably the airport you will use if you want to explore central Vietnam. The airport has quite a bit of military history as it was used by the United States Air Force as well as the South Vietnamese Air Force during the Vietnam War. The Da Nang International Airport’s coordinates are 16 degrees 02’38″N and 108 degrees 11’58″E. The two runways that the airport has are both of equal length totaling 3,048 meters or 10,000 feet. Da Nang can handle 100 to 150 flights each day and has modern aviation equipment to navigate large aircraft that land there.
Each year the airport sees between 800,000 and 1 million passengers. By 2015 the airport hopes to have increased to as many as four million passengers. Da Nang International Airport can take on 400,000 tonnes of cargo each year. The intended growth of the airport is vital as the city increases its importance as an economic center.
The Douglas DC-3 quickly became a fixture in the aviation world after it was introduced on December 17, 1935. Within two years, the DC-3 was carrying 90 percent of the world’s commercial airline passengers. In addition to ferrying people around the country, the DC-3 also transported mail for the United States Postal Service. In 1944, 4,853 DC-3s were produced, a sizeable number of aircraft for that time.
The DC-3 is recognized as one of the single greatest influences in developing commercial air travel, in addition to its heavy use by the American military for transport operations during the Second World War. The Australian Defense Force also used DC-3s for wartime missions. Approximately 10,000 of the Douglas DC-3s were pressed into military service around the world. Military versions of the DC-3 include the Dakota, R4D, C-47, and the C-53. The DC-3 has also been used for transporting cargo, skydiving, and aerial spraying. Altogether, Douglas built 13,000 DC-3s.
Douglas had developed the DC-3 as a successor to the DC-2. Some of the primary changes with the newer aircraft were larger, reinforced wings that provided additional lift and enabled it to carry a heavier payload. More space was also provided for fuel tanks, giving the DC-3 a much longer range than the DC-2.
The DC-3 answered customers’ needs for an aircraft that was capable of covering longer distances and traversing the United States easier and faster than airplanes currently in service. When World War II concluded, the thousands of existing military DC-3 aircraft were converted for civilian use and were purchased by most major airlines. Sleeping berths were standard in early versions of the DC-3 and many passengers chose to travel by air rather than by train, which was much slower and took days instead of hours to cross the country.
A retired Canadian Pacific DC-3 is permanently mounted on display at Whitehorse International Airport in the Yukon Territory. The DC-3 swivels into the wind and is affectionately called “The World’s Largest Weather Vane.”
Maximum speed: 237 mph
Cruise speed: 170 mph
Range: 1,025 miles
Length: 64′ 5″
Height: 16′ 11″
Maximum weight: 28,000 pounds
Empty weight: 18,300 pounds
Engine(s): Two 1,200 HP Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp S1C3G 14-cylinder engines
Rate of climb: 1,130′ per minute
In 1933, Beryl Markham was the first woman to earn a commercial pilot’s license in Kenya. This adventurous British woman flew passengers, cargo, and mail through the most remote and inhospitable regions of Africa, in most cases landing and taking off using empty fields because of the lack of runways. In 1936, Markham became the first woman to fly solo from east to west across the Atlantic.
The Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules aircraft is affectionately referred to by many as the Herc and has been in continuous production since 1956. To date, more than 2,260 of the aircraft in various configurations have been delivered to 60 countries, and 67 countries fly the plane, some of which were purchased as pre-owned. From 1964 to 1997, Lockheed Martin manufactured 1,205 aircraft of the C-130H variety, making it to date the most produced version of the Hercules.
The C-130 Hercules is used to support a wide variety of missions including troop and cargo transportation, medical evacuation, search and rescue, weather reconnaissance, firefighting, aerial refueling, and scientific research. The wide aft door makes it possible to load and unload oversized cargo quickly and efficiently. This enables it to carry everything from cargo pallets to helicopters. Despite its size, the Herc can land and take off on short, unpaved runways which makes it especially useful in combat and in locations without developed facilities.
In February 1999, Lockheed Martin introduced the newest version of the C-130 which is the C-130J. The C-130J is powered by Rolls-Royce AE2100D3 turboprop engines with six-bladed propellers, which together offer improved power and performance over older versions of the Hercules. The C-130J Hercules has an upgraded suite of equipment from previous models, including an advanced cargo-handling system, anti-icing system, advanced heads-up display, a cutting edge navigational system, low-power color radar, digital mapping displays, and a digital auto pilot. The C-130J is also considerably more fuel-efficient. The C-130J is flown by the U.S. Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force Reserve Command. The C-130J-30 Hercules is the same as the C-130J but the fuselage has an additional 15′ in length which provides additional cargo room.
Besides the United States, other countries that fly the C-130J are the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, and Denmark. The U.S. Coast Guard flies the HC-130J and the U.S. Marine Corps flies KC-130J tankers.
Speed: 345 mph
Range: 1,150 miles
Maximum weight: 155,000 lb
Empty weight: 69,300 lbs
Engine(s): Four Allison T56-A-7 turboprop 4,200 HP engines
Cruise speed: 292 knots
The C-5 Galaxy entered service in June 1970 when Lockheed-Georgia Co. delivered the aircraft to the United States Air Force. The USAF has retained exclusive purchasing rights to the Galaxy. The primary purpose of the Lockheed C-5 is to support heavy airlift missions on behalf of the U.S. military. The airplane is capable of transporting oversized cargo long distances and can land within a mere 4,900′. With a maximum load, the C-5 requires only an 8,300′ runway for takeoff. Its nose and aft cargo doors easily accommodate the loading and unloading of cargo and they’re wide enough to permit two vehicles to drive side-by-side onto the Galaxy. The landing gear will “kneel” or lower the airplane for ease of loading or unloading. The upper deck is spacious enough to seat 73 passengers.
Though it looks very much like the C-141 Starlifter, the C-5 Galaxy is bigger and can transport a heavier payload than the C-141. In recent years, the C-5 Galaxy planes continue to be upgraded with modern avionics. The Galaxy fleet’s autopilot system as well as the safety and navigation equipment is presently being upgraded. In addition, new landing gear, engines, auxiliary power units, pylons, and other parts will be installed on the Galaxy aircraft. Because the planes are expected to remain in service for many years to come, these upgrades are not only necessary but are also considered to be cost-effective as compared to purchasing new planes. The U.S. Air Force estimates the savings for upgrading rather than replacing the planes to be around $20 billion.
The C-5C Galaxy is designed to accommodate even larger cargo than the standard C-5. NASA has made use of the larger Galaxy to transport satellites and other equipment. Two of these modified Galaxy planes fly for NASA though U.S. Air Force crews fly both of them.
Speed: 518 mph
Range: 6,320 nm
Maximum weight: 769,000 lbs
Empty weight: 380,000 lb
Engine(s): Four General Electric TF-39 engines
Takeoff roll: 8,400′
Landing roll: 3,600′
Rate of climb: 1,800′ per minute
Crew: Seven, including a pilot, co-pilot, two flight engineers, and three loadmasters
The new Airbus A330 MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport), which is based on the highly successful civilian A330-200, has been designed to be used as an air refueling tanker, as well as a cargo transport aircraft for military use.
In response to the increasing demand from cargo operators worldwide for a long-range, efficient, high-capacity freight airplane, in May 2005 the Boeing Company launched the Boeing 777 Freighter. Delivery of their launch order from Air France is expected to take place in the final quarter of 2008, with additional orders coming in from Emirates, Air Canada, China Southern Airlines, FedEx, GE Capital, Korean Air, Qatar and India-based cargo carriers, Flyington Freighters.
The Singapore Air Show, which takes place every two years, is scheduled for 19-24 February 2008 at the New Changi Exhibition Centre, Changi North, Singapore. This prestigious event is Asia’s largest aerospace and defense show and one of the world’s top three air shows. Hosted jointly by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and the Defense Science & Technology Agency, the Singapore Air Show serves as a meeting place for the military and civil aviation community to benefit from opportunities for marketing and networking on a global scale. It is also an opportunity for the public to view the airplanes and exhibitions.