707 / Western Airlines IndianItem Number: 2125
Western Airlines Boeing 707 model. In August 1952, the company took the bold step of gambling some 16 million dollars to build the prototype of a completely new turbojet-powered civil transport. Boeing was sufficiently realistic to appreciate from the very beginning that its large private-venture investment, even in 1952 dollars, was nowhere near the amount that would be needed if large-scale production of a civil airliner was to become a reality. Shrewdly, they developed the initial design to serve as a high-speed military transport, or inflight-refueling tanker, banking upon gaining a military contract which would underwrite the tooling costs and provide finance for the development of a first-class civil airliner. The prototype, known as the Dash-80, flew for the first time on July 15, 1954, and on October 5, 1954, Boeing's gamble paid off, they were awarded an initial contract for 29 KC-135A tanker/transports (the military version of the 707).
Mahogany Wood. Wingspan 17 1/2 inches, Length 18 1/2 inches.