The Boeing 2707 stemmed from President Kennedy's June 1963 call for a
supersonic transport (SST) to compete with the Anglo-French
Concorde. Unlike Concorde and the Soviet Tu-144, the US SST was to be
made largely of titanium, making it capable of Mach 3. In 1966 Boeing's
variable-geometry (swing-wing) Model 2707 was chosen over proposals from
Lockheed and North American. Boeing built an impressive full-scale mockup
and estimated future sales of 700 - 1000 SSTs. The technical challenges of
a Mach 3 SST were greater than faced by its slower, smaller rivals.
The variable-geometry idea was abandoned in 1968 and a smaller fixed-wing version was
planned, with test flights planned for 1970 and commercial service in 1974.
Two prototypes were begun, but in 1971 the SST programme was cancelled.
Increasing oil prices and environmental concerns were the excuses.
The problem with SST's is they are limited in the routes they can fly. Trans-oceanic flights only, until the sonic boom problem is solved. You will not see an SST flying from New York to Los Angeles any time soon.
"Orville, 17.11.2009 I was a member of the SST test team at the Boeing High Speed Wind Tunnel near Philadelphia, Pa."
While Orville was in Philly, I was working at Boeing's Supersonic Wind Tunnel at Boeing Field, Seattle. We were testing vendor control systems for the engine inlet. The final configuration of the inlet (ramp vs spike) was never determined though models and mockups may show either. Went on to retire from Boeing on the F-22 program.
We need a plane that can fly from New York to Los Angeles in 3 1 /2 hours no more than that. With all out technology today we should be able to do that very easily. The faster we go across country which means they'll be more airspace. I flew on the Concorde two times and I loved it. When I got to my meeting I was wide awake wasn't sleepy and wasn't jet Lag. We also need a high-speed train
When I served in the Air Force I had many occasion to have TDY's in the DC area of Boeing...one day while wandering about I had found a small wooden door that lead to the SST containment and boy what an afternoon I had wandering about the many 'stacks' of serialized titanium bars and equipment including a handful of the GE engines, holy cow, you could stand up inside the cowls and reach skyward and not touch the top of the cowl...they were huge!!! I ventured into the full scale(left side)model in the room and was amazed at the size of the interior(seating was 2x2 if I remember correctly and wasp shaped) and the crew compartment was very comfortable and well laid out...I pulled the 'reposition nose' handle and to my surprise the entire foreward assembly dropped to the takeoff /landing position, scared the hell out of me...the trans sonic wing design amazed me...that was a very memorable day for me and I'll never forget thinking that Boeing was on the right track 'in the day' of SST developement only to be politically squashed, I found this to be true many times over the next few decades within my Boeing Military Flight Test career at Edwards AFB following my military retirement...LT
In the early 70s I was visiting the F.A.A. facility in OK City when I stumbled across the 2707 mockup (ha ha - it was humongous and real hard to miss). It was open so I just wandered up through the cabin and proceeded to get a little "stick" time in the cockpit. I assume that this was the mockup that later ended up in a church in FL for a period of time.
Charles: I read your account of SST. I was a materials and process engineer and worked on the SST at Seattle. I produced Boeing's first composites process specifications for boron and then carbon. We intended to use boron unidirectional filaments applied to the spar caps to the floor beams. I also got involved in the bonding preparation of titanium and drilling the stuff. We all had a shot for developing a insulation material ;to prevent the fuel from boiling at cruse speed.
I remember the whole conversation. Probably a good thing that the project was abandoned but plenty learned from the effort.
I would like a local artist to do a pencil sketch of the 2707 for me. I still have my lapel pin.
If you can send photos that we can use for the sketch, it would be greatly appreciated.
Also I would be interested in the models
Thank you for help in this matter.
Eugene Schulte Parks College of St. Louis University
I was a design engineer on the the SST working on the droop nose structure. It was a very interesting project and when it was cancelled I thought it was the right decision but for all the wrong reasons.
I may never see the SST mock-up, as my military days are over flying around. However you guys may be interested in the fact that the Paul Garber facility in Suitland Maryland, had one of the GE4 /J5's for the SST, all 8 stages of it. It was complete and on an engine stand ready for insertion to an aircraft that never was. You may wish to check on its location, the Smithsonian at Dulles / Richard Hazy or whatever its name is has been opened for several years, and a lot is being transfered there. The Suitland facility is were all the aircraft are restored prior to display in the Smithsonian, and you need an appoinment to enter. Tours are usually on Wed's. There is a treasure trove of aircraft their.
As a licensed engineer on many Boeing A /C I am sure it would have been as succesful had it been built but it wasn't and to compare it to Concorde ( I am also licensed on it ) is not a fair comparison, Concorde was limited to 2.2 Mach as it was constructed mostly of conventional aluminum, the only Titanium being used on the propulsion nozzle area as Titanium is far more difficult to work and is more prone to cracking, this is not a good feature for an A /C in daily use and has a significant impact on cost in production and operation. Concorde on the other hand was built and operated very succesfully for many years and contributed an operating profit for British Airways even though it was hampered by limitations on supersonic flight over many countries. Boeing 2707SST on the other hand ( and this is only my opinion )was compromised by the additional costs of being too big,too fast and too soon. Had it been built in conventional aluminium I am sure it would have been equal in its success as all other Boeing pax A /C
I have a photo of the mockup that I took in Florida in 1976 . I don't recall where exactly it was. We saw a sign on the road and stopped to see it. I also have a color shot of the interior. I do not know how to post them on this site. Perhaps someone will tell me