Pima Air and Space Museum Aircraft
The 727-100 was Boeing’s first entry into the short to medium range, domestic jet airliner market. The aircraft was based on the requirements of United Airlines, Eastern Air Lines, and American Airlines. The decision to use three engines was based on the need to reduce costs over the four engined jets then in use and at the same time allow over water flights. In addition, the 727 was specifically designed to operate from short, high altitude airfields. To accomplish this feat the aircraft incorporated several new high-lift devices in the wings. The leading edge of the wing incorporates hinged “Kruger flaps” on the inboard part of the wing and moveable slats along the rest of the wing’s length. The rear flaps are of a triple slotted, rear rolling design these features greatly increase the lift available at low speeds. Between 1963 and 1981 a total of 1,831 Boeing 727s were built making it the most produced jet airliner up to that time. It held this record until 1991 when it was surpassed by the Boeing 737.
This is the fifth 727 built by Boeing at its Renton, Washington factory and was the first one delivered to a customer. It was handed over to United Airlines on October 29, 1963 and was the first 727 to make a commercial flight on March 28, 1964. It was operated by United until 1991 when it was donated to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. In February 2011 the aircraft was donated to the Pima Air and Space Museum by NASM.