Boeing 727 Spotting Guide


The Boeing 727 is a mid-sized, narrow-body three-engined jet aircraft built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes from the early 1960s to 1984. The 727 was designed to carry 149 to 189 passengers, and later models could fly up to 2,700 nautical miles (5,000 km) nonstop.

 

American Airlines Boeing 727Boeing 727 of American Airlines

Intended for short and medium-length flights, the 727 can use relatively short runways at smaller airports.

The aft location of the 727's engines allowed for additional ground clearance, less cabin noise during take-off, and increased reliability and sustainability during the loss of one engine.

Background and Development

The 727 followed the Boeing 707, a quad-jet airliner, with which it shares its upper fuselage cross-section and cockpit design. The 727-100 first flew in February of 1963 and entered service with Eastern Air Lines in February of 1964.

The stretched 727-200 flew in July of 1967 and entered service with Northeast Airlines that December. The 727 became a mainstay of airlines' domestic route networks and was also used on short- and medium-range international routes. Passenger, freighter, and convertible versions of the 727 were built.

A total of 1,832 727 airliners were manufactured.

Boeing 727 Spotting Tips

The 727 is powered by three Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines below the T-tail, one on each side of the rear fuselage with a center engine that connects through an S-duct to an inlet at the base of the fin.

The front of the fuselage features the classic "Boeing pointed nose" and V-shaped windshields on each side of the cockpit.

These features can be seen in the Boeing 727-200 of Delta Air Lines shown below.

The 727 is powered by three Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines below the T-tail, one on each side of the rear fuselage with a center engine that connects through an S-duct to an inlet at the base of the fin.


Boeing 727 Photographs

Boeing 727-223, N874AA in American Airlines livery, on display at the Museum of Flight, Seattle, Washington, May 2013. This aircraft was delivered to American in April of 1978. It was transferred to the National Airline History Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, in March of 2016. (Staff Photo)
Boeing 727-223, N874AA in American Airlines livery, on display at the Museum of Flight, Seattle, Washington, May 2013. This aircraft was delivered to American in April of 1978. It was transferred to the National Airline History Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, in March of 2016.

Continental Air Lines Boeing 727 (postcard from the author's collection)
Continental Air Lines Boeing 727

Evergreen International Boeing 727 (postcard from the author's collection)
Evergreen International Boeing 727

Pan Am Boeing 727 (postcard from the author's collection)
Pan Am Boeing 727

Northeast Airlines Boeing 727 (postcard from the author's collection)
Northeast Airlines Boeing 727

American Airlines Boeing 727 (postcard from the author's collection)
American Airlines Boeing 727