The Boeing 247 is remembered for the many firsts it introduced which became design standards for aircraft around the world. First flying on 8 February 1933, it entered service with Boeing Air Transport only a few months later on 22 May 1933.
It is the first passenger airliner to feature things like retractable landing gear, all metal construction and a fully cantilevered wing. Other advanced features for the era were an autopilot, de-icing boots for the wings and tailplane and control surface trim tabs. All of these are common today.
Boeing 247 Video
Following on from the last videos about the French Latécoère 521 and 522 Flying Boats, this time we head back to the USA for a look at the Boeing 247. First up is a 7 minute video from the Museum of Flight of the last flyable example landing on its final flight on 26 April 2016. From 3 minutes 35, the video is closer and gives a good feel for the aircraft.
For a more vintage feel, here’s some footage of a Pennsylvania Central Airlines plane. While it is completely without sound, it does show the exterior and interior. This includes the cabin showing the one seat either side of the aisle configuration, as well as the cockpit.
The first sixty Boeing 247s were allocated to Boeing Air Transport. TWA tried to place and order but were rebuffed. Instead, they went to Douglas with their requirements and funding which resulted in the Douglas DC-1 prototype. That led directly to the Douglas DC-2 and very successful DC-3.
With a seating capacity for 10 passengers, airlines found other aircraft of the era more economical to operate. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Wasp piston engines, the 247 had a range of 1,199 kilometres (745 miles) and a cruising speed of 164 knots (304 km/h / 189 mph).
Due to the fact the first 60 were allocated to a single carrier, plus the economics of the aircraft, only 75 examples ended up being produced in total. Even so, the advanced features that Boeing incorporated into the design had a lasting effect on the industry.
Have you ever flown aboard a Boeing 247? Perhaps you saw the one flyable example at an airshow sometime? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image by Ken Fielding via Wikimedia Commons.