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  Aircraft History, Specification and Information
Boeing 727
 
N724YS
1978 Boeing 727-200 - N724YS (sn 21474)
The San Jose Sharks NHL team B727 lifting off from runway 16 at CYYF Airport.
Photo taken Sep. 16, 2010
Penticton, BC - Canada (YYF / CYYF)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

The Boeing 727 is a mid-size narrow-body three-engine jet aircraft built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes from the early 1960s to 1984. It can carry 149 to 189 passengers and later models can fly up to 2,700 nautical miles (5,000 km) nonstop. Intended for short and medium-length flights, the 727 can use fairly short runways at smaller airports. It has three Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines below the T-tail, one on each side of the rear fuselage with a center engine that connects through an S-duct to an inlet at the base of the fin. The 727 is Boeing's only tri-jet aircraft.

The 727 followed the 707, a quad-jet airliner, with which it shares its upper fuselage cross-section and cockpit design. The 727-100 first flew in February 1963 and entered service with Eastern Air Lines in February 1964; the stretched 727-200 flew in July 1967 and entered service with Northeast Airlines that December. The 727 became a mainstay of airlines' domestic route networks and was also used on short- and medium-range international routes. Passenger, freighter, and convertible versions of the 727 were built.

The 727 was heavily produced into the 1970s; the last 727 was completed in 1984. As of July 2013, a total of 109 Boeing 727s (5× 727-100s and 104× -200s) were in commercial service with 34 airlines. Airport noise regulations have led to 727s being equipped with hush kits.

Development

N289MT
1981 Boeing 727-223 - N289MT (sn 22467)
Raytheon Flight Test Operations 727
Photo taken Mar. 30, 2015
Los Angeles International Airport, CA - USA (LAX / KLAX)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler
N994AJ
1975 Boeing 727-233 Cargo - N994AJ (sn 20942)
Amerijet International B727-200 landing runway 30 at MIA.
Photo taken Nov. 09, 2010
Miami International Airport, FL - USA (MIA)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler
N30MP
1966 Boeing 727-21 - N30MP (sn 18998)
Photo taken Mar. 28, 2015
Chino Airport, CA - USA (CNO / KCNO)
Photo © AirplaneMart.com
C-GAAR
1979 Boeing 727-233 - C-GAAR (21671)
Air Canada
Photo taken 1989
Toronto Lester B. Pearson Intl Airport, ON Canada (YYZ / CYYZ)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler
N727VJ
1967 Boeing 727-44 Super 27 - N727VJ (sn 19318)
Kingfisher
Photo taken Oct. 30, 2011
Sacramento Mather Airport, CA - USA (MHR / KMHR)
Photo © AirplaneMart.com

The Boeing 727 design was a compromise among United Airlines, American Airlines, and Eastern Air Lines requirements for a jet airliner to serve smaller cities with shorter runways and fewer passengers. United Airlines wanted a four-engine aircraft for its flights to high-altitude airports, especially its hub at Stapleton International Airport at Denver, Colorado. American, which was operating the four-engine Boeing 707 and Boeing 720, wanted a twin-engine aircraft for efficiency. Eastern wanted a third engine for its overwater flights to the Caribbean, since at that time twin-engine commercial flights were limited by regulations to routes with 60-minute maximum flying time to an airport (see ETOPS/LROPS). Eventually the airlines agreed on a trijet.

In 1959 Lord Douglas, chairman of British European Airways (BEA), suggested that Boeing and de Havilland Aircraft Company (later Hawker Siddeley) work together on their trijet designs, the 727 and D.H.121 Trident, respectively. The two designs had a similar layout, the 727 being slightly larger. At that time Boeing intended to use three Allison AR963 turbofan engines, license-built versions of the Rolls-Royce RB163 Spey used by the Trident. Boeing and de Havilland each sent engineers to the other company's locations to evaluate each other's designs, but Boeing eventually decided against the joint venture. De Havilland had wanted Boeing to license-build the D.H.121, while Boeing felt that the aircraft needed to be designed for the American market, with six-abreast seating and the ability to use runways as short as 4,500 ft.

In 1960 Pratt & Whitney was looking for a customer for its new JT8D turbofan design study, based on its J52 (JT8A) turbojet, while United and Eastern were interested in a Pratt & Whitney alternative to the RB163 Spey. Once Pratt & Whitney agreed to go ahead with development of the JT8D, Eddie Rickenbacker, Chairman of the Board of Eastern, told Boeing that the airline preferred the JT8D for its 727s. Boeing had not offered the JT8D as it was about 1,000 lbs heavier than the RB163, though slightly more powerful; the RB163 was also further along in development than the JT8D. Boeing reluctantly agreed to offer the JT8D as an option on the 727 and it later became the sole powerplant.

With high-lift devices on its wing the 727 could use shorter runways than most earlier jets (e.g. the 4800-ft runway at Key West).

Later 727 models were stretched to carry more passengers and replaced earlier jet airliners such as the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 as well as aging prop airliners such as the DC-4, DC-6, DC-7 and the Lockheed Constellations on short- and medium-haul routes.

For over a decade more 727s were built per year than any other jet airliner; in 1984 production ended with 1,832 built with 1,831 delivered, the highest total for any jet airliner until the 737 surpassed it in the early 1990s.

Design

The airliner's middle engine (engine 2) at the very rear of the fuselage gets air from an inlet ahead of the vertical fin through an S-shaped duct. This S-duct proved to be troublesome in that flow distortion in the duct induced a surge in the centerline engine on the take-off of the first flight of the 727-100. This was fixed by the addition of several large vortex generators in the inside of the first bend of the duct.

The 727 was designed for smaller airports, so independence from ground facilities was an important requirement. This led to one of the 727's most distinctive features: the built-in airstair that opens from the rear underbelly of the fuselage, which initially could be opened in flight. Hijacker D. B. Cooper parachuted from the back of a 727 as it was flying over the Pacific Northwest. Boeing subsequently modified the design with the Cooper vane so that the airstair could not be lowered in flight. Another innovation was the auxiliary power unit (APU), which allowed electrical and air-conditioning systems to run independently of a ground-based power supply, and without having to start one of the main engines. An unusual design feature is that the APU is mounted in a hole in the keel beam web, in the main landing gear bay. The 727 is equipped with a retractable tail skid that is designed to protect the aircraft in the event of an over-rotation on takeoff. The 727's fuselage has an outer diameter of 148 inches (3.8 m). This allows six-abreast seating (three per side) and a single aisle when 18-inch (46 cm) wide coach-class seats are installed. An unusual feature of the fuselage is the 10-inch (25 cm) difference between the lower lobe forward and aft of the wing as the higher fuselage height of the center section was simply retained towards the rear.

Nose wheel brakes were available as an option to reduce braking distance on landing, which provided reductions in braking distances of up to 150 m.

The 727 proved to be such a reliable and versatile airliner that it came to form the core of many startup airlines' fleets. The 727 was successful with airlines worldwide partly because it could use smaller runways while still flying medium-range routes. This allowed airlines to carry passengers from cities with large populations but smaller airports to worldwide tourist destinations. One of the features that gave the 727 its ability to land on shorter runways was its clean wing design. With no wing-mounted engines, leading-edge devices (Krueger, or hinged, flaps on the inner wing and extendable leading edge slats out to the wingtip) and trailing-edge lift enhancement equipment (triple-slotted, aft-moving flaps) could be used on the entire wing. Together these high-lift devices produced a maximum wing lift coefficient of 3.0 (based on the flap-retracted wing area). The 727 was stable at very low speeds compared to other early jets, but some domestic carriers learned after review of various accidents that the 40-degree flaps setting could result in a higher-than-desired sink rate or a stall on final approach. These carriers' Pilots' Operation Handbooks disallowed using more than 30 degrees of flaps on the 727, even going so far as installing plates on the flap slot to prevent selection of more than 30 degrees of flaps.

Noise

The 727 is one of the noisiest commercial jetliners, categorized as Stage 2 by the U.S. Noise Control Act of 1972, which mandated the gradual introduction of quieter Stage 3 aircraft. The 727's JT8D jet engines use older low-bypass turbofan technology, whereas Stage 3 aircraft utilize the more efficient and quieter high-bypass turbofan design. When the Stage 3 requirement was being proposed, Boeing engineers analyzed the possibility of incorporating quieter engines on the 727. They determined that the JT8D-200 engine could be used on the two side-mounted pylons, but the structural changes to fit the larger-diameter engine (49.2 inches (125 cm) fan diameter in the JT8D-200 compared to 39.9 inches (101 cm) in the JT8D-7) into the fuselage at the number two engine location were prohibitive.

Current regulations require that a 727 in commercial service must be retrofitted with a hush kit to reduce engine noise to Stage 3 levels. One such hush kit is offered by FedEx, and has been purchased by over 60 customers. Aftermarket winglet kits, originally developed by Valsan Partners and later marketed by Quiet Wing Corp. have been installed on many 727s to reduce noise at lower speeds, as well as to reduce fuel consumption. Kelowna Flightcraft's maintenance division in Canada has installed winglets on Donald Trump's private 727-100. In addition, Raisbeck Engineering developed packages to enable 727s to meet the Stage 3 noise requirements. These packages managed to get light- and medium-weight 727s to meet Stage 3 with simple changes to the flap and slat schedules. For heavier-weight 727s, exhaust mixers must be added to meet Stage 3. American Airlines ordered and took delivery of 52 Raisbeck 727 Stage 3 systems. Other customers included TWA, Pan Am, Air Algérie, TAME and many smaller airlines.

From September 1, 2010, 727 jetliners (including those with a hush kit) are banned from some Australian airports due to noise.

Operational history

In addition to domestic flights of medium range, the 727 was popular with international passenger airlines. The range of flights it could cover (and the additional safety added by the third engine) meant that the 727 proved efficient for short- to medium-range international flights in areas around the world. Prior to its introduction, four-engine jets or propeller-driven airliners were required for transoceanic service.

The 727 also proved popular with cargo airlines and charter airlines. FedEx Express introduced 727s in 1978. 727s were the backbone of its fleet until the 2000s; FedEx began replacing them with Boeing 757s in 2007. Many cargo airlines worldwide employ the 727 as a workhorse, since, as it is being phased out of U.S. domestic service due to noise regulations, it becomes available to overseas users in areas where such noise regulations have not yet been instituted. Charter airlines Sun Country, Champion Air, and Ryan International Airlines all started with 727 aircraft.

The 727 saw some military use as well. Since the aft stair could be opened in flight, the Central Intelligence Agency used them to drop agents and supplies behind enemy lines in Vietnam.

The 727 has proven to be popular where the airline serves airports with gravel, or otherwise lightly improved runways. The Canadian airline First Air, for example, previously used a 727-100C to service the communities of Resolute Bay and Arctic Bay in Nunavut, whose Resolute Bay Airport and former Nanisivik Airport both have gravel runways. The high mounted engines greatly reduce the risk of foreign object damage.

According to the Boeing Jetliner Databook, the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System, also known as 'Con Air', currently uses four 727 aircraft to transport persons in legal custody between prisons, detaining centers, courthouses, and other places to where they must be transported

A military version, the Boeing C-22 was operated as a medium-range transport aircraft by the Air National Guard and National Guard Bureau to airlift personnel. A total of three C-22Bs were in use, all assigned to the 201st Airlift Squadron, District of Columbia Air National Guard.

At the start of the 21st century, the 727 remained in service with a few large airlines. Faced with higher fuel costs, lower passenger volumes due to the post-9/11 economic climate, increasing restrictions on airport noise, and the extra expenses of maintaining older planes and paying flight engineers' salaries, most major airlines phased out their 727s; they were replaced by twin-engine aircraft, which are quieter, and more fuel-efficient. Modern airliners also have a smaller flight deck crew of two pilots, while the 727 required two pilots and a flight engineer. Delta Air Lines, the last major U.S. carrier to do so, retired its last 727 from scheduled service in April 2003. Northwest Airlines retired its last 727 from charter service in June 2003. The 727 is still flying for some smaller start-up airlines, cargo airlines, and charter airlines. Many airlines replaced their 727s with either the 737-800 or the Airbus A320; both are closer in size to the 727-200. As of July 2013, a total of 109 Boeing 727s (5× 727-100s and 104× -200s) were in commercial service with 34 airlines.

Variants

There are two series of 727; the initial 100 (originally only two figures as in −30) was launched in 1960 and entered service in February 1964. The 727-200 series was launched in 1965 and entered service in December 1967.

727-100

The first 727- 100 flew on February 9, 1963 and FAA type approval was awarded on December 24 of that year, with initial delivery to United Airlines on October 29, 1963, to allow pilot training to commence. The first 727 passenger service was flown by Eastern Air Lines on February 1, 1964, between Miami, Florida, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A total of 571 Boeing 727-00/100 series aircraft were delivered (407 -100s, 53 -100Cs, and 111 -100QCs), the last in October 1972. One 727-100 was retained by Boeing, bringing total production to 572.

The −100 designation is a retroactive one to distinguish the original short-body version. Aircraft for United Airlines were delivered as 727-22, for American Airlines as 727-23 and so on — not -122 and -123 — and retained these designations even after the advent of the 727-200.

  • 727-100C
    Convertible passenger cargo version. Additional freight door and strengthened floor and floor beams. Three alternate fits:
    • 94 mixed-class passengers
    • 52 mixed-class passengers and four cargo pallets (22,700 pounds; 10,300 kg)
    • Eight cargo pallets (38,000 pounds; 17,000 kg)
  • 727-100QC
    QC stands for Quick Change. This is similar to the Convertible version with a roller-bearing floor for palletised galley and seating and/or cargo to allow much faster changeover time (30 minutes).
  • 727-100QF
    QF stands for Quiet Freighter. A cargo conversion for United Parcel Service, re-engined with Stage III-compliant Rolls-Royce Tay turbofans.
  • Boeing C-22A
    A single 727-30 acquired from the Federal Aviation Administration, which was originally delivered to Lufthansa. This aircraft served mostly with United States Southern Command flying from Panama City / Howard Air Force Base.
  • Boeing C-22B
    Four 727-35 aircraft acquired from National Airlines by the United States Air Force (USAF) for transporting Air National Guard and National Guard personnel.

727-200

Stretched version of the 727-100. The -200 is 20 feet (6.1 m) longer (153 feet 2 inches;46.69 m) than the −100 (133 feet 2 inches;40.59 m). A ten-foot (3-meter) fuselage section ("plug") was added in front of the wings and another ten-foot fuselage section was added behind them. The wing span and height remain the same on both the −100 and −200 (108 and 34 feet (33 and 10 m), respectively). The original 727-200 had the same max gross weight as the 727-100; however, as the aircraft evolved, a series of higher gross weights and more powerful engines was introduced along with other improvements, and, from line number 881, 727-200s are dubbed −200 Advanced. The aircraft gross weight eventually increased from 169,000 to 209,500 pounds (76,700 to 95,000 kg) for the latest versions. The dorsal intake of the number two engine was also redesigned to be round in shape, rather than oval as it was on the 100 series.

The first 727-200 flew on July 27, 1967 and received FAA certification on November 30, 1967. The first delivery was made on December 14, 1967 to Northeast Airlines. A total of 310 727-200s were delivered before giving way to the 727-200Adv in 1972.

  • 727-200C
    Convertible passenger cargo version. One was built.
  • 727-200 Advanced
    MTOW and range increased. Also, cabin improvements.
  • 727-200F Advanced
    A freighter version of the 727-200 Advanced became available in 1981 designated the Series 200F Advanced powered by the Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17A engines and featured a strengthened fuselage structure, an 11 ft 2 inch by 7 ft 2 inch forward main deck freight door and a windowless cabin. This was the last production variant of the 727 to be developed by Boeing, and 15 aircraft were built, all for Federal Express; the last 727 aircraft completed by Boeing was a 727-200F Advanced.
  • Super 27
    Speed increased by 50 mph (80 km/h), due to replacement of the two side engines with the JT8D-217 or the JT8D-219, which are also found on many MD-80s, along with the addition of hush kits to the center engine. Winglets were added to some of these aircraft to increase fuel efficiency. This modification was originally developed by Valsan Partners, but was later marketed by Quiet Wing Technologies in Redmond, Washington.
  • Boeing C-22C
    A single 727-212 aircraft operated by the USAF

Operators

As of June 2013, 188 Boeing 727 aircraft (all variants) are in commercial airline, private, and government service. Most airlines have small numbers but the following operate five or more aircraft:

  • Cargojet Airways (10)
  • Iran Aseman Airlines (6)
  • Kalitta Charters (9)
  • Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter (11)
  • Líneas Aéreas Suramericanas (8)
  • Rio Linhas Aéreas (5)
  • Total Linhas Aéreas (6)

Government, military, and other operators

In addition, the 727 has seen sporadic government use, having flown for the Belgian, Yugoslavian, Mexican, New Zealand, and Panama air forces, among the small group of government agencies that have used it. The United States military used the 727 as a military transport, designated as the C-22.

  • Afghanistan
    Afghan Air Force - 3 on order as of December 2014.
  • Benin
    Military of Benin (1)
  • Bolivia
    Bolivian Air Force (Transporte Aereo Militar) (1)
  • Burkina Faso
    Force Aérienne de Burkina Faso (1)
  • Colombia
    Colombian government
    Colombian Air Force (2)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Force Aérienne du Congo (4)
  • Djibouti
    Djibouti Air Force
  • Ecuador
    Ecuadorian Air Force (3)
  • Iraq
    Iraqi government, Salah Aldin (1)
  • Mexico
    Mexican Air Force (5)
    Federal Preventive Police (4)
  • Mongolia
    Mongolian Air Force (2)

Specifications

727-100
(Passenger)
727-200 727-200 Advanced
Seating capacity 131 passengers (one-class, maximum) 189 passengers (one-class)

145 passengers (two-class)

Crew 3 flight crew plus ca. 4 cabin crew
Total length 133 ft 2 in (40.59 m) 153 ft 2 in (46.69 m)
Cabin width 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m)
Wingspan 108 ft 0 in (32.92 m)
Wing area 1,650 sq ft (153 m2)
Tail height 34 ft 0 in (10.36 m)
Maximum Takeoff Weight
(MTOW) *
170,000 lb (77,000 kg) 184,800 lb (83,800 kg) 209,500 lb (95,000 kg)
Operating empty weight 80,602 lb (36,560 kg) 98,400 lb (44,600 kg) 102,900 lb (46,700 kg)
Max. fuel capacity 7,680 US gal (29,100 l) 8,090 US gal (30,600 l) 8,090 US gal (30,600 l) (Standard)
10,520 US gal (39,800 l) (optional)
Take-off distance at MTOW 8,300 ft (2,500 m) 10,000 ft (3,000 m) 8,500 ft (2,600 m)
Max range
(with full load)
2,300 nmi (4,300 km) 1,700 nmi (3,100 km) 1,900 nmi (3,500 km) (Standard)
2,600 nmi (4,800 km) (Optional)
Max cruise speed Mach 0.9
Typical cruise speed 540 mph (470 kn)
Service ceiling 36,100 ft (11,000 m) 42,000 ft (13,000 m) 42,000 ft (13,000 m)
Rate of climb 2,940 ft/min (14.9 m/s)
Engines (3x) Pratt & Whitney JT8D-1
14,000 lbf (62 kN) thrust each
Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9
14,500 lbf (64 kN) thrust each
Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17R
17,400 lbf (77 kN) thrust each

Accidents and incidents

As of July 2015, a total of 336 incidents involving 727s had occurred, including 118 hull-loss accidents resulting in a total of 4,209 fatalities. The 727 has also been in 178 hijackings involving 345 fatalities.

1965–69

  • On August 16, 1965, United Airlines Flight 389, a new 727-100, crashed into Lake Michigan 30 miles east northeast of Chicago's O'Hare Airport. The crew was told to descend and maintain 6,000 feet (1,800 m), which was the last radio communication with the flight. The CAB was not able to determine why the airliner continued its descent into the water.
  • On November 8, 1965, American Airlines Flight 383, a 727-100, crashed on approach to the Greater Cincinnati Airport. Of the 62 people on board, only three passengers and one flight attendant survived. The investigation determined that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of the crew to properly monitor the altimeters during a visual approach into deteriorating visibility conditions.
  • On November 11, 1965, United Airlines Flight 227, a 727-100, departed New York-LaGuardia for a flight to San Francisco via Cleveland, Chicago, Denver, and Salt Lake City. Flight 227 crashed on landing at Salt Lake City International Airport, causing the deaths of 43 of the 91 people on board. The Investigation determined that the cause of the accident was the captain's decision to approach the airport too steeply.
  • On February 4, 1966, All Nippon Airways Flight 60, a 727-100, was on approach to Tokyo's Haneda Airport at night when it crashed into the sea 6.5 miles (10.5 km) from the airport. All 7 crew and all 126 passengers died. A cause for the accident could not be determined.
  • On November 15, 1966, Pan Am Flight 708, a 727-100, crashed in the morning west-southwest of Berlin Tegel Airport, Germany while on initial approach. All three crew members on board perished. A cause of the accident could not be determined.
  • On July 19, 1967, Piedmont Airlines Flight 22 collided with a twin-engine Cessna 310 shortly after departing Asheville Regional Airport in Asheville, North Carolina. All 79 passengers and crew on board the 727 and all 3 people in the Cessna died.
  • On November 12, 1967, an American Airlines flight was flying over Alamosa, Colorado, when a bomb detonated in the rear baggage compartment, destroying three bags. The plane landed one hour and 45 minutes later. The FBI arrested the man responsible.
  • On February 16, 1968, Civil Air Transport Flight 010, a 727-100C, crashed on approach to Taipei, Republic of China. The flight carried 63 passengers and crew; 21 passengers, crew and one person on the ground died.
  • On March 21, 1968, United Airlines Flight 9963, a 727-100QC operating on a cargo flight from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago to San Francisco, crashed shortly after takeoff; all three crew members survived.
  • On July 1, 1968, a hijacker on Northwest Airlines Flight 714 demanded to be taken to Cuba, landing at José Martí International Airport.
  • On July 4, 1968, TWA Flight 329 was hijacked out of Kansas City.
  • On September 22, 1968, Avianca Flight 101 was hijacked shortly after takeoff from Barranquilla. The hijacker demanded to be taken to Cuba, landing at Camaguey Airport.
  • On November 23, 1968, Eastern Air Lines Flight 73 was hijacked after taking off from Chicago-O'Hare, en route to Miami, Florida. The four hijackers demanded to be taken to Cuba, landing in Havana.
  • On 5 January 1969, Ariana Afghan Airlines Flight 701 crashed short of the runway near London Gatwick Airport; 48 passengers and crew and 2 people on the ground died.
  • On January 18, 1969, United Airlines Flight 266 crashed into Santa Monica Bay, California due to an electrical failure. All 38 passengers and crew were killed. The reason for the electrical malfunction could not be determined.
  • On April 8, 1969, LAN Chile Flight 160 crashed near Santiago, Chile due to pilot error. There were no fatalities.
  • On 4 June 1969, Mexicana Flight 704 crashed near Salinas Victoria due to pilot error. All 72 passengers and 7 crew members died in the accident.

1970–79

  • On July 30, 1971 All Nippon Airways Flight 58 collided with a Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-86F fighter jet, while en route from Chitose Airport to Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan. All 162 passengers and crew on board the 727 died, the fighter jet pilot survived. All Nippon Airways Flight 58 was the worst crash in aviation history at the time.
  • On September 4, 1971, Alaska Airlines Flight 1866, a 727-100, crashed into a mountain while on approach to Juneau, Alaska. A contributing cause involved the aircrew receiving erroneous navigational information for the approach. All seven crew members and 104 passengers died.
  • On November 24, 1971, Northwest Airlines Flight 305 was hijacked by passenger D. B. Cooper while en route from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington. After receiving a payment of $200,000 and four parachutes when he was in Seattle, he told the pilots to fly to Mexico, and jumped out of the aircraft from the aft airstair over Washington or Oregon. Cooper's fate is unknown. This incident led to the addition of a device named the "Cooper vane" on all 727s to prevent the airstair from being lowered while in flight. The 'Cooper' 727 continued in service until scrapped in the early 1990s in Missouri.
  • On May 5, 1972, Frederick Hahneman hijacked Eastern Air Lines Flight 175 en route from Allentown, Pa, to Miami, Fl. After receiving $303,000 and 6 parachutes he ordered the pilot to fly to Honduras, his birth country, where he jumped out and went on the run before finally surrendering.
  • On May 25, 1972, an hour after an LAN Chile took off from Panama City, a pipe bomb detonated in the ice water fountain service compartment, causing a rapid decompression. The pilots managed to land safely in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
  • In 1972, during an attempted coup d'état, jets from the Royal Moroccan Air Force fired upon the 727 transporting King Hassan II of Morocco while he was traveling to Rabat. After the aircraft survived the attack, the king awarded it a medal of honor.
  • On February 21, 1973, Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114, a 727-200 flying over the Sinai Desert was fired upon by Israeli air force aircraft as it was suspected of being an enemy military aircraft. Of 113 people on board, 108 died.
  • On September 15, 1974, Air Vietnam Flight 706 was hijacked by a former South Vietnamese army officer who ordered that it be flown to Hanoi. The pilots attempted to land at Phan Rang Air Base, but the aircraft crashed just short of it for unknown reasons. It was thought that the hijacker exploded grenades in the cockpit after the crew refused to comply with his demands. All 75 persons aboard died.
  • On December 1, 1974, TWA Flight 514, a 727-200 (registration N54328), crashed on Mount Weather while flying from Indianapolis, and Columbus, Ohio, to Washington Dulles International Airport in turbulent weather. All 85 passengers and 7 crew members on board died.
  • On December 1, 1974, Northwest Airlines Flight 6231 crashed due to icing near Stony Point, New York. All three crew died.
  • On June 24, 1975, Eastern Air Lines Flight 66 crashed on approach to John F. Kennedy International Airport; 113 people died. The cause was determined to be a microburst.
  • On April 27, 1976, American Airlines Flight 625 crashed in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands due to pilot error while trying to land on a notoriously tricky runway. 37 of the 88 people on board were killed.
  • On 19 September 1976, Turkish Airlines Flight 452, a 727-200 (registration TC-JBH, named Antalya) on a domestic flight from Istanbul Yeşilköy Airport (IST/LTBA) to Antalya Airport (AYT/LTAI) struck high ground in Karatepe Mountains during an attempted landing in Isparta instead of Antalya by pilot error. All the eight crew and 146 passengers on board died.
  • On November 19, 1977, TAP Portugal Flight 425 overran the runway at Madeira Airport and plunged over a steep bank, bursting into flames; 131 of the 164 people on board died.
  • On May 5, 1978, National Airlines Flight 193 landed short of the runway at Pensacola Regional Airport coming down in Escambia Bay instead; 3 of the 58 passengers and crew on board died.
  • On September 25, 1978, Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 182 crashed after colliding with a Cessna 172 aircraft in San Diego; 144 people died.
  • On March 13, 1979, Alia Royal Jordanian Flight 600, a 727-200, crashed at Doha Airport in Qatar after an approach during a thunderstorm; 45 of the 64 passengers on board died.
  • On April 4 1979, TWA Flight 841 experienced a complete loss of control. The aircraft landed safely with no loss of life.
  • On November 15, 1979, American Airlines Flight 444 experienced an attempted bombing by the Unabomber. Although the bomb didn't detonate, it let off smoke. The pilots made an emergency landing at Dulles International Airport. Twelve passengers were treated for smoke inhalation. Ted Kaczynski was arrested in 1995.

1980–89

  • On January 21, 1980, an Iran Air Flight 291 crashed near Tehran, Iran; all 128 on board died.
  • On April 12, 1980, Transbrasil Flight 303, a 727-100C, crashed in Florianópolis, Brazil. 55 of the 58 people aboard died.
  • On April 25, 1980, Dan-Air Flight 1008, a 727-100 crashed in Tenerife. All on board died when the aircraft hit terrain while circling.
  • On November 21, 1980, Continental Micronesia Flight 614, a 727-92C crashed while attempted to land at Yap International Airport. All 67 passengers and 6 crews survived.
  • On June 8, 1982, a VASP Flight 168, 727-200 registration PP-SRK from Rio de Janeiro-Galeão to Fortaleza collided with a mountain while on approach to Fortaleza. The captain descended below a minimum descent altitude. All 137 passengers and crew died.
  • On July 9, 1982, Pan Am Flight 759 crashed due to a microburst shortly after take-off from New Orleans International Airport. All 145 on board the 727 as well as 8 people on the ground were killed.
  • On January 16, 1983, Turkish Airlines Flight 158, crashed short of the runway at Esenboğa International Airport. 47 of the 67 passengers and crew on board died.
  • On December 7, 1983, the Madrid runway disaster took place where a departing Iberia 727 struck an Aviaco Douglas DC-9 causing the death of 93 passengers and crew. 51 of the 93 passengers on board the 727 died.
  • On January 1, 1985, Eastern Air Lines Flight 980 crashed into Mount Illimani at an altitude of 19,600 feet. All 29 crew and passengers on board died. The flight was flying from Silvio Pettirossi International Airport and destined for El Alto International Airport.
  • On January 23, 1985, a passenger detonated a bomb in a lavatory on board a Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano flight from La Paz to Santa Cruz de la Sierra, killing him. The aircraft involved, a Boeing 727-200 registered CP-1276, was substantially damaged but could safely be landed. There were no fatalities among the other 119 passengers and seven crew members.
  • On February 19, 1985, Iberia Airlines Flight 610 crashed after striking a television antenna while landing in Bilbao; 148 people died. Flight 610 originated from Madrid-Barajas Airport.
  • On June 12, 1985, Alia Royal Jordanian Airlines Flight 402, a 727-200 (registration JY-AFW) operated on a flight from Beirut, Lebanon to Amman, Jordan. Shortly before takeoff, five Shiite Arab men armed with automatic weapons and explosives, hijacked the airplane. They demanded to be flown to Tunis, Tunisia. Due to fuel shortage, the flight was diverted to Larnaca, Cyprus. Permission to land at Tunis was refused, so the flight diverted to Palermo. After refueling there, the aircraft was flown back to Beirut. All occupants (three pilots, six flight attendants, eight sky marshals and about 65 passengers) were released and the plane was blown up using explosives.
  • On March 31, 1986, Mexicana Flight 940, a 727-200 (registration XA-MEM) crashed near Maravatío in the Mexican state of Michoacán. Shortly after takeoff and climbing to 29,000 feet (8,800 m), an overheated tire exploded in the right main wheel well, tearing through fuel lines and damaging the hydraulic and electrical systems. The resulting fire eventually rendered the aircraft uncontrollable. All 167 people (eight crew and 159 passengers) on board were killed.
  • On April 2, 1986, TWA Flight 840 was descending for landing when a bomb exploded, ejecting four passengers to their deaths. The plane landed safely at Athens International Airport. The Abu Nidal Organisation was responsible.
  • On February 27, 1988, a Talia Airways 727-2H9 registration TC-AKD had been cleared for a VOR approach, but cancelled IFR and descended to 2000 feet, disregarding the altitude of the mountain chain ahead (3130 feet). Noticing mountains ahead the pilot tried to turn left and climb, but struck the Girne Arap mountain in Cyprus. All 9 passengers and 6 crew members were killed.
  • On March 17, 1988, Avianca Flight 410, a domestic flight, crashed into low mountains near Cúcuta – Norte de Santander, Colombia, after take-off; all 143 on board died. It was determined that pilot error was also the cause of this crash, in a situation similar to that of Avianca Flight 011, five years earlier.
  • On May 23, 1988, Lineas Aéreas Costarricenses Flight 628, a 727-22 (registration TI-LRC) aboarded taking-off was abandoned after V1 because the aircraft. The aircraft overran runway 07, collided with a fence, crossed a ditch, struck a hill and caught fire at Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José, Costa Rica. There were no fatalities.
  • On August 31, 1988, Delta Air Lines Flight 1141, a 727-232 (N473DA) crashed on takeoff from Dallas–Fort Worth; 14 of the 108 passengers and crew on board died, 76 others were injured.
  • On January 31, 1989, ACES Colombia flight 385 was hijacked after taking off from Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport in San Andrés Island. The crew managed to land in Costa Rica where the hijacker was arrested.
  • On October 21, 1989, Tan-Sahsa Flight 414 a 727-200 (N88705) operated as TAN, crashed in the Cerro de Hula mountains after an unsuccessful approach method, killing 131 of 138 passengers and crew.
  • On November 27, 1989, Avianca Flight 203 crashed after a bomb exploded on board. All 6 crew and 101 passengers died.

1990–99

  • On November 10, 1991, an Aeronica 727-25 registration YN-BXW was damaged beyond economic repair and arrival at Managua Airport in Nicaragua. The Ignition of leaking high-pressure oxygen during replenishment of oxygen supplies. There were no fatalities.
  • On February 11, 1992, a Tunisair 727-2H3 registration TS-JHV was damaged beyond economic repair, the engines were started for an engine-run at Tunis-Carthage Airport in Tunisia. When engine power reached 80%, the aircraft ran over its blocks and ran into a hangar. There were no fatalities.
  • On December 22, 1992, a Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 1103, a 727-2L5 (registration 5A-DIA) was involved in a mid-air collision with a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 of Libyan Air Force over Tripoli, Libya. The crash resulted of the deaths of 147 passengers and 10 crew members on board the 727, there were two MiG pilots survived.
  • On May 19, 1993, SAM Colombia Flight 501, en route from Panama City, Panama, to Medellín, Colombia, hit Mt. Paramo de Frontino at 12,300 ft on approach to José María Córdova International Airport (SKRG). All 132 passengers and crew died.
  • On April 27, 1994, a Transafrik 727-100F registration S9-TAN from Quatro de Fevereiro Airport in Luanda, Angola and touched down 2m short of the runway at the Mbanza Airport in M'banza-Kongo, Angola. The undercarriage struck a drainage ditch and collapsed. The aircraft continued onto the runway, veered right off the side of the runway and crossed a road, striking a bus with its right wing. All seven occupants on the bus were killed and all three crew members on the aircraft survived.
  • On January 31, 1995, an Angola Air Charter 727-100F registration D2-TJB touched down 500m beyond the runway threshold at Huambo Airport in Huambo, Angola. Due to heavy rainfall the aircraft aquaplaned off the runway 11/29 and became stuck in the mud; the landing gear was torn off. All three crew members survived.
  • On November 7, 1996, an ADC Airlines 727-200 registration 5N-BBG went down near Ejirin, Nigeria when the pilots lost control after taking evasive action to avoid a midair collision. 144 people died in the crash.
  • On August 12, 1997, an Olympic Airways 727-230 registration SX-CBI, operated flight 171 and named Megas Alexandros was flown by two highly experienced captains. The weather was poor with a thunderstorm passing over Ellinikon International Airport in Greece. There were no fatalities.
  • On February 9, 1998, an American Airlines 727-200 (N845AA), crashed short of the runway at Chicago-O'Hare International Airport. All 121 persons on board survived but the aircraft was written off.
  • On 31 January 1999, an Air Algérie 727-200 registration 7T-VEH ran off runway and struck a mount of snow and made an emergency landing at Constantine-Ain el Bey Airport in Algeria due to a nose-gear collapsed. A total of 92 passengers and 7 crew members survived, but the aircraft was written off.
  • On July 7, 1999, a Hinduja Cargo 727-243F (registration VT-LCI), crashed shortly after takeoff from Kathmandu, Nepal at night due to a rain. Although the official findings listed crew errors as contributing factors, they failed to note the estimated cargo weight, (no scales there), was off by thousands of pounds due to the load of carpets having sat in the rain for many hours prior to loading on the aircraft. Due to the overweight, the aircraft was unable to make the required turns/climbs as per the SID to avoid the mountainous terrain. All 5 crew, including 2 mechanics, died in the crash.

2000–present

  • On January 28, 2002, a TAME 727-100 registration HC-BLF operating flight 120 from Mariscal Sucre Airport in Quito, Ecuador, stalled and crashed into the 27 km (16.9 mi) north-west of Ipiales, Colombia. All 87 passengers and 7 crew on board were killed.
  • On March 18, 2002, a Varig 727-100 registration PP-VLV operating Flight 9051 ran off the side of the runway and made an emergency landing at Belo Horizonte Airport in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Damage was sustained to the left main landing gear, nose landing gear, forward fuselage belly, left engine, and left wing and flaps. All three crew members on board survived.
  • On July 26, 2002, FedEx Express Flight 1478, a 727-200F (registration N497FE) had initially briefed the approach to runway 27 of Tallahassee Municipal Airport near Tallahassee, Florida. All three crew members survived.
  • On May 25, 2003, a 727-200, registration number N844AA, was stolen from Quatro de Fevereiro Airport in Luanda, Angola. The aircraft has not been seen since it took off.
  • On December 25, 2003, Union des Transports Aériens de Guinée Flight 141, a 727-200 on a charter flight, overran the runway at Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport into the sea. Of the 163 passengers on the manifest, 151 died; however, the manifest is believed to have understated the number of passengers on board. A French BEA investigation attributed the cause of the crash to overloading of passengers and cargo leading to out-of-limits center of gravity.
  • On October 31, 2005, an MIBA Aviation 727-22F registration 9Q-CPJ, operating a cargo flight transported seven tons of materials on behalf of Conader (Commission Nationale de Démobilisation et Réinsertion). The aircraft skidded off the wet runway on landing at Kindu Airport in Kindu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, ending up in marshy terrain. All seven occupants survived.
  • On January 25, 2008, a parked Boeing 727-247 Advanced (registration 9L-LEF), operated by Canadian Airways Congo, was hit by a taxiing Antonov An-12BP (registration EK-11660) of Aéro-Service at Pointe Noire Airport in Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo after the An-12's brakes failed. There were no fatalities and both aircraft were damaged beyond economic repair.
  • On January 9, 2011, Iran Air Flight 277, a 727-286 Advanced, registration EP-IRP, crashed shortly before landing, northwest of Orumiyeh, Iran. Of the 104 passengers and crew on board, 77 were killed.
  • On July 8, 2011, Hewa Bora Airways Flight 952, a 727-22WL, registration 9Q-COP crashed while trying to land at Bangoka International Airport in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during bad weather. A total of 74 were killed.
  • On June 2, 2012, Allied Air Flight 111, a 727-221F (registration 5N-BJN), overshot the runway while landing in a heavy thunderstorm at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana after flying from Lagos, Nigeria. The aircraft continued through the airport boundary fence and across a main road, hitting a minivan. 10 people in the minivan died along with a cyclist. The four crew members suffered minor injuries.

Orders and deliveries

Year Total 1984 1983 1982 1981 1980 1979 1978 1977 1976 1975 1974 1973 1972 1971
Orders 1,831 1 11 38 68 98 125 133 113 50 88 92 119 26
Deliveries 1,831 8 11 26 94 131 136 118 67 61 91 91 92 41 33
                               
Year 1970 1969 1968 1967 1966 1965 1964 1963 1962 1961 1960        
Orders 48 64 66 125 149 187 83 20 10 37 80        
Deliveries 55 114 160 155 135 111 95 6      

727 Model summary

Model Series Orders Deliveries
727-100 407 407
727-100C 164 164
727-200 1245 1245
727-200F 15 15
727 Total 1831 1831

Aircraft on display

The following U.S. museums have Boeing 727s on display or in storage:

  • Carolinas Aviation Museum Ex-US Air 727 trainer cockpit on display, ex-Roush 727 in storage at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.
  • Museum of Flight First 727 completed, still in restoration stage. To be flown to museum when finished. Another 727 is currently on display.
  • National Museum of Commercial Aviation, Atlanta, Georgia – ex-FedEx 727 in storage at Atlanta airport.
  • Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, walk-thru 727 donated by United Airlines on display featuring cut away sections showing airplane framework and lavatory, cockpit view, and a few rows of seating.
  • Kansas Aviation Museum, Wichita, Kansas- ex-FedEx 727-100C on display.
  • Florida Air Museum, Lakeland, Florida- ex-FedEx 727 on display.
  • Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee at Murfreesboro Municipal Airport (KMBT) ex-FedEx 727 on display.
Last updated February 16, 2016  
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Boeing 727".
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