Last Boeing 720 Retired

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The last operational flight of a Boeing 720 took place in Canada on Sept. 29. The aircraft, the engine test bed for Pratt & Whitney Canada, flew for four hours with a turboprop mounted on the nose. At the end of the flight, its airframe time was up. It will make one last flight, either to a museum or a scrapyard. The engine maker has replaced it with a Boeing 747 SP. The fate of the 720 has not been decided but a Canadian classic airliner fan is hoping the aircraft can be preserved.

Henry Tenby of AirlineHobby.com told Wings Magazine the end of the 720 era happened with no fanfare and that's why he's afraid the last one will be lost forever. He said he's hopeful a museum will step forward to take the aircraft and maintain it in engines-running condition. The 720 was a stubby version of the 707 and was designed for shorter fields. Paradoxically, even though it could get into tighter places, it was faster than the 707. There were 64 720s built along with 88 720B models with turbofan engines.