The Boeing Model 377 Stratocruiser was a commercial transport development of the Model 367 (military C-97), and based on the improved-structure YC-97A with Pratt & Whitney R-4360 engines. The first flight of the prototype Model 377-10-19 was made on 8 July 1947, and it was delivered subsequently to Pan American World Airways, which was the biggest user of the Stratocruiser. There were a variety of interior configurations in the Models 377-10-26, -28, -29, -30, -32 accommodating from 55 to 112 passengers or, if equipped as a 'sleeper', with 28 upper- and lower-berth units, plus five seats. The main cabin was in the upper lobe of the 'double-bubble' fuselage, with a luxury lounge or cocktail bar seating 14 on the lower deck, reached via a spiral staircase.
Of the total of 55 that were built, Pan Am was operating 27 at one period. Of these, 10 were given additional fuel capacity to make them suitable for transatlantic operations, and were known as Super Stratocruisers. At a later date the entire fleet was equipped with General Electric CH-10 turbochargers, enabling each engine to develop an additional 37.3kW. British Overseas Airways Corporation also acquired a fleet of 17: only six of these were original purchases from Boeing, the remainder acquired from other airlines. After just over nine years' service with BOAC, 10 were sold to Transocean Airlines in the USA during 1958. Of these, four were converted to 117-passenger high-density seating, the remainder each having an additional 12 seats added to their standard 63- and 84-seat layouts. Before Stratocruisers disappeared from service during 1963, a few had been modified to a cargo configuration, but by far the strangest conversion resulted from those airframes acquired by Aero Spacelines Inc. Under the designation 377-PG, this company built an oversize cargo aircraft which it named 'Pregnant Guppy' and subsequently built other examples, using both Model 367 and 377 airframes, under variations of the Guppy name.
| MODEL||Boeing 377|
| ENGINE||4 x Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major radial piston engines, 2610kW|
| Take-off weight||66134 kg||145801 lb|
| Empty weight||37875 kg||83501 lb|
| Wingspan||43.05 m||141 ft 3 in|
| Length||33.63 m||110 ft 4 in|
| Height||11.66 m||38 ft 3 in|
| Wing area||164.34 m2||1768.94 sq ft|
| Max. speed||604 km/h||375 mph|
| Cruise speed||547 km/h||340 mph|
| Ceiling||9755 m||32000 ft|
| Range||6759 km||4200 miles|
|Howard Wahl, hwahl=sbcglobal.net, 09.01.2014|
A. Martin commented, 31.12.2011, "My father-in-law, BB Lien (Buckshot) rode as check pilot on one of these for Pan Am. 1st flight to Japan. Remember seeing news pic of the event. Anyone out there remember Buckshot?"
Very well. Buckshot and my dad, Milo Wahl, were great friends from their college days in Moorhead, MN. Buckshot convinced my dad to move to Seattle in 6/41 and work for PAWA, later PANAM, as a mechanic. Buckshot was a "bush pilot" in Alaska at the time, but moved to Seattle during the war. I have lots of memories of Buckshot to share. Hope this finds you.
|jay stapleton, lindajake=bellsouth.net, 01.11.2013|
OOOPS!!! Acft. retained the 4 4360 big eng...jet pods was added...giving the KC97 six engs....now it was able to refuel the B-47,,B-52, and several fighters. with ease...
|jay stapleton, lindajake=bellsouth.net, 01.11.2013|
several of the KC-97 are on display Wright Pat.Ohio,,,and at Az.bone yard....the USAF after 1962 install jet pods (jet eng.) on the acft. made a fine acft....I was based at Whiteman AFB, (MO) 1958 thru 1962...I have over 5 years on the acft. remember it very well....Anyone remember the 340th OMS..group/././.was in 8th AF HDG. at Barksdale...
|Matthew Sharp, matthew=matsha.me.uk, 04.08.2013|
In 1957 or thereabouts, when I was about four and a half years old, my mother, my baby sister and I flew with BOAC from London Heathrow to Accra to join my father. The journey was made in several legs and I remember landing at Rome; it was hot and dark, the plane was apparently refueling, and for some reason we all had to disembark. The walk to the terminal, I remember as a tired and very thirsty toddler, seemed to go on forever, and I complained vociferously to mum. Later in the journey we encountered severe turbulence and a storm with big air pockets. The plane was tossed from side to side and up and down. I thoroughly enjoyed bouncing around in my seat and threw myself from side to side to increase the fun. Mother, on the other hand, was absolutely terrified, presumably along with most of the other adults on board. My sister was thrown out of her cot and had to be retrieved from the other side of the cabin, and thereafter the stewards had difficulty serving food because most of the crockery had been smashed. Children have a different perspective on events. Sadly I don't remember being allowed to go down the spiral staircase or explore the other areas of plane.
|Paul, luapdrapsag=outlook.com, 12.07.2013|
As a youngster 7, I flew from hawaii...twice in this aircraft. Left Honolulu headed for LA, got almost halfway, only to have to feather an engine. Erring on the side of caution we returned to honolulu for repairs while we remained on board. After an hour or more Of the mechanics working on the engine we took off again bound for LA. Again, near the halfway point the same engine failed for the same reason.but it was decided to divert to SF. flew the heck out of the remaining three and finally made it. Years later an aircraft of this type was lost on the same run
|L Yannotti, lyannotti=yahoo.com, 17.04.2013|
My Air force Career started with the C-97 at Travis 57-58 then with Transocean Airlines on Wake Island 59-60 where I met my Wife and on to the Utah ANG in SLC 1961- 1973 when they went to the Bone Yard. Great Aircraft with 28 VDC Landing gear and little Hyd. Systems over 18 years Service
|loomas marshall, ljmarsher=gmail.com, 21.01.2013|
does anyone remember what happened to the 377 which served lt.gen Old at march afb?? tail #8411?? it was so shinny it looked like sterling silver..
|barbara gregorio, barbgreg=cox.net, 22.09.2012|
Many fine memories of "flying the cabin" as a flt. attd.
I was in the "Presidents Special" with Pan Am. We had 44 seats & 17 sleeping berths. Food was prepared by Maxims of Paris. Those "were the days". barb.g.
|Ed Hausafus, Ethaus=aol.com, 15.08.2012|
I once "flew" it sitting in dad's lap who was PAA Capt for 30 some years. It was during a ferry flight from SFO to LAX. I loved that moment which I still remember at 71.
|Jerry Plumbley, Jerryca31=gmail.com, 23.07.2012|
In late 1953 and into 1954 I flew in the KC97 as a Radio operator and we were refueling the B-47 Jet bomber.I was based at Barksdale AFB.
|Roger Breakspear, rjbreakspear=gmail.com, 14.06.2012|
One of my most memorable flights was as an unaccompanied minor on a BOAC B377 from Montego Bay, Jamaica to London, England in 1958 to attend school in the UK at age 14. The 377 was previously operated by Ghana Airways and their name was still visible under the overpainted fuselage. The runway in Kingston, Jamaica was too short for the 377 so we ferried to MBJ by DC3. The initial leg (MBJ to Nassau) was delayed 24 hours for 377 maintenance in MBJ so back home to try again the following day. We taxied out for takeoff from Kngston in the DC3 only to return to the terminal for a tailwheel control problem. We eventually left later that day on a BWIA Viscount for MBJ. I was stunned by the elegance of my first glimpse of the 377. We routed Montego Bay - Nassau - New York - Bermuda - Shannon - London, 27 hours including stops. The exhaust flame from those engines at night on the Atlantic crossing will forever be remembered. I learned from the cabin crew that this flight was the last for that 377 as it was being scrapped for metal fatigue! I was so starstruck with aviation from that experience that I later learned to fly as an instrument rated private pilot, owned my own Piper Cherokee and often took our family leisure flying from our home base in Jamaica and to various destinations in the Caribbean. My son got the flying bug too and is now captain on a B777 with Emirates Airlines in Dubai, all indirectly from my 377 flight! I think I still have my Speedbird Junior pilot's wings and Logbook from that B377 flight somewhere!
|Dan Keeslar, dankeeslar=gmail.com, 02.06.2012|
I recall about 1970 I was able to climb inside one of these aircraft, in line to be dismantled at the airport at Mojave, California. I was amazed at its two decks, seats above and bunks and cargo bay below, and a little bar area under the tail, with windows wrapping around it. As they say: What a way to travel! Looking forward through the cockpit was like the Millennium Falcon of Star Wars, windows every direction. So sad that the Stratocruiser and others were just waiting in the desert to be cut up.
|Don Branom, flagston=frontiernet.net, 20.05.2012|
Did any of these survive to make it into a museum? Don't suppose there is even one in operation?
|John Carey, carey=flightline.com, 21.03.2012|
My mother and I flew from LaGuardia, NY to Orly field in Paris France on the Stratocruiser, I was 12 years old in 1954. We had berths on that plane. I actually got to ride in the jump seat behind the captain up in the cockpit for about an hour before we began the descent into Paris. Many years later from Aug of 1968 until August of 1986 I worked for Western Airlines in San Diego California and saw the "Guppy" versions of this plane come to SAN and pick up saturn rocket sections and DC-10 fueslage sections that were built by General Dynamics to be flown to their final assembly plants. There was also a Turboprop conversion on some of them. It was amazing to watch the cockpit section of the Guppy swing open to the right and see them load that plane up. On takeoff it actually lifted off in a slightly nose low attitude before it would pitch nose up for climb. That flight in that plane was what inspired me to become a pilot and eventually have a 50 year aviation career. I am still flying as a contract corporate pilot and flight instructor. I still remember sitting in that seat behind the captain very clearly. What A view!
|Jack Selby, jselby=tampabay.r.com, 26.02.2012|
As a retired TWA Capt.retired Airforce Col.Corp chief pilot,general aviation pilot. working on 40000hrs I must say that some of the most enjoyable flying was in the stratacruser/KC97/C97ACFGH and even a couple of flights in Jack Conroy's first Guppy. We who flew the 97's called them The old girls..To many stories to tell....
|A. Martin, ampm=eot.com, 31.12.2011|
My father-in-law, BB Lien (Buckshot) rode as check pilot on one of these for Pan Am. 1st flight to Japan. Remember seeing news pic of the event. Anyone out there remember Buckshot?
|Jane Kemp, janekemp=xtra.co.nz, 18.09.2011|
On 19th October 1948 I flew with my parents from San Fransisco to Auckland on a Pan Am aircraft. I remember stopping in Fiji to refuel and arrived at Whenuapai airport, Auckland. Do you have any details of this flight i.e. number of passengers and fuel stops. I am now 70 and in the process of writing my memories for my grandchildren.
|Tony Patteson, tony-patteson=hotmail.com, 12.06.2011|
As a schoolboy I flew by BOAC in the Srtat from Heathrow to Accra, I think an 18 hour flight, via Rome and Kano. Plenty of time to get up to the flight deck. This plane was replaced by the Britannia, knocking 6 hours off the journey, but it was never the same as the Strat.
|Bruce Arnold, brucee.arnold=gmail.com, 04.06.2011|
Actually the C-97 is built on the B-50 airframe. The B-50 is like the Silverplate B-29 of the 509Th atomic bomb wing, with enhancements, so they are very similar except the B-50 and C-97 have a higher vertical stabilizer.
|Joel Bader, joelbader3=msn.com, 04.06.2011|
I would have liked to flown in one of those aircraft as well, but I also believe Vern Baisden's comment. Robert Serling once commented that Boeing's reputation before its line of jetliners was practically nil; as an example, he cited the Stratocruiser as a "plumber's nightmare". On the other hand, the Guppy conversions played a valuable role in transporting rocket boosters and (correct me if I'm wrong) the Lunar Module which would take the Apollo astronauts to the moon. And the parts for the first of the Airbus airliners were ferried to their final assembly points in Guppy transports. I imagine many a Boeing staffer cracked a joke over this situation of events!
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?