Boeing SST
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Boeing SST

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.

Boeing SST

 ENGINE4 x 28690kg General Electric GE4/J5P afterburning turbojets
    Take-off weight306175 kg675004 lb
    Wingspan54.97 m180 ft 4 in
    Length93.27 m306 ft 0 in
    Height14.10 m46 ft 3 in
    Cruise speed2900 km/h1802 mph

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Forrest, 15.02.2015

"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.

Tony Martino, 12.07.2014

I designed the rolling engine stand for the P & W SST engines. Are there any pictures available out there.

Tim, 22.09.2013

Continued from earlier post if the plane in the Hiller Museum is the plane from The SST museum in Fl. what happened to the rest of the mock-up i.e. wing tail and the rest of the fuselage

Tim, 22.09.2013

I'm wondering if the mock-up on display is the same one from the SST Museum in Kissimmee Fl. I would Love to know as I grew up playing in that mock-up as a child

Paul Simon, 09.03.2013

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

Larry Thorold, 03.08.2012

When I served in the Air Force I had many occasion to have TDY's in the DC area of 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

Tc, 02.07.2012

I have two Lockheed items I am trying to find out if there would be an interest in. More importantly Are they still considered a classified item.

Supersonic Transport SST volume A-IV Structural Report
A large notebook marked Supersonic Transport Development Phase II-A Volume VI-A airframe design

Both have hundreds of pages filled with diagrams, test results etc. Any info on these would be appreciated. Thank you.

William S. Vaughn, 21.05.2012

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.

Eugene Schulte, 26.11.2011

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

940 393 1626
Age 77

Howard Syder, 09.09.2011

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.

Mike, 27.08.2011

Great write up.

May I use the image for my college essay?

Mike Schofield, 17.06.2011

I forgot to make it more interesting, 65,000 ibf in afterburner, x 4.

Mike Schofield, 17.06.2011

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.

Mick Skinner, 26.01.2011

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

Richard Staight, 31.12.2010

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

Maurice Gunderson, 02.12.2010

The mockup in the photo is displayed in the Hiller Aircraft Museum in San Carlos, California. It's a very good museum, and worth the price of admission just to see the Boeing SST.

Chuck, 07.11.2010

It was Democratic Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin who was key in killing the SST. I remember him saying the sonic boom would have an adverse effect on this cow's milk production.

jeff, 15.10.2010

HHHmmmmmm(?) kinda like the CF100? All about the upper crust wanting the best and "keeping up with the Jones's". But it's really funny, all it takes is some politicians on the other side of the fence to "ney" technology that we as humans drive to succeed. Funny that! Politicians are only good for thier term (pending on what country you live in) but engineers/developers/physisists and yes.... even dreamers work all there life for something to (pardon the expression) we should have told Albert Einstien to get lost? Wonder how much longer the war in the pacific would have lasted? Anyway..... Back your soldiers... or get in front of them!!!!!!!!! PEACE JLS

Charles Field, 24.08.2010

Previous e-mail address correction.

Charles Field, 24.08.2010

I was employed as Technical Service Engineer at Titanium Metals Corp. of America (Timet) the Largest Titanium producer. They supplied all the Ti in heavy CIA secrecy for the Blackbird starting in 1960. The British and French knew nothing of it. Nor did anyone else.

Whenever I was around a British ehgineer/metallugist at a Major Air or Metals Show, I would always be kidded in a friendly yet serious way because America "Thought" we could build a titanium SST. Little did they know the Blackbird was flying. The Timet and AF money spent on the Ti metallurgy, especially, alloy developmet and how to roll high strength Ti was incredibly exhausting in time, money and new equipment. All in secret. I will never forget that Satrday in 1964 when Johnson, for political reasons announced the A-11, the Mach 3 interceptor. Goldwater was criticising Johnson because no new manned aircraft was in development. What a joke., can you immagin a mach 3 intercepter/fighter. It takes 50 miles to turn around. Two weeks later he announced a new Mach 3 bomber called the YF-12A, essentially the same aircraft, then two weeks later, he announced a new mach 3 reconisence aircraft, the SR-71. He screwed up the name..RS-71 was correct) We were instantly told to pass all media question to Timet's PR person. "We knew nothing" was the reply. Johnson did not authorize declassification because he did not want anyone to know that all were essentially the same aircraft.(Goldwater and I talked about this in his home three years before his death.) I can't repeat what he said (#@&*#). Remember he was a General in the AF Reserve.
Point being however, my metallurgy counterparts in the UK and France avoided me forever after because they were stunned and embarassed. The governments and Concord builders were in SHOCK. We joked about their mach 2 "kiddy cart but could say no more because the Blackbird was still classified. Boy, did we want to....
I was soon hired by GE to be responsible for all the materials and processes for the massive compressor and frame of the GE -4 SST, 60,000 pound thrust engine. Ninty percent was titanium.
The Seantor ? from Wisconsin led the huge very devisive battle to kill the SST program after millions upon millions had been spent and America had a titanium mach 3 qircraft flying. I stopped buying Wi cheese. That is when they "turned the lights out" in Seattle. I don't recall any discussion about environmental reasons for the death. Johnson and congress soon would need money for welfare and Vietnam.
In my opinion, even though distasteful It was correct to cancel the program. The economics to fly and maintain a titanium fleet of SST's would not have been justifible. The estimated passenger numbers were in the thousands but I did not believe it.
BUT, one or two should have been built for a flying scientific test bed and to keep from laying off hundreds of talented engineers.
The large tough question , "could an untried material like titanium sheet withstand 600F temperatures at stress and long term stability" had been answered.
Also Timet, a relative small company had commited millions for the design, development and actual construction of a first ever ten story continuously 36" sheet vacuum annealing line based on the governments assurance that an SST would be built. The Blackbird had been built with 3'X 8' batch vacuumed annealed sheets, the industry capability at the time. The cost nearly broke Timet.
If you desire a picture of Boeing's two full sized mock ups of the swept wing SST, (one in cruise mode and the other in landing mode) let me know. No cost. I have them on my PC photo library.
I could go on and on about titanium and secret stuff.. If any of you feel I'm wrong, please correct this 76 year old geezer. One last thing, Barry Goldwater and I were "neighbors" in Paradise valley, AZ for 30 years. I will also send you a photo of a framed famous comment he wrote and autographed to me.
C. W. Field
PS, I will sell these two unique models for $250. Reportedly, they are the only models built by Revelle of an aircraft that never flew.

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The cabin of the full-scale mock-up had room for 277 seats - 30 first class and 247 tourist in a seven-abreast layout.

The Anglo-French and Soviet SSTs were only Mach 2 capable because speeds above Mach 2.7 required much greater use of heavy and expensive steel alloys and titanium to withstand frictional heating.

The 2707 was to have an 18-wheel undercarriage, with the main wheels grouped in four bogies with four wheels each, arranged to spread the great weight and not overstress the runway.

The swing-wing version could sweep its wings between 20 and 72 degrees. Minimum sweep gave better take-off and landing performance.

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