1960 to 1969

The 1960s saw the Jet-Age take hold with all major airlines replacing their aging piston engined types with jet airlines. 

Boeing 707s, DC8s, Convair 880s and VC10s replaced the earlier DC7s, Stratocruisers, and Constellations on the long-haul routes.  Boeing 727s, Caravelles, DC9s, BAC111s and Tridents replaced the piston-twin types on medium and short-haul routes.

The new turbo-prop short-haul types like the Fokker 27 and Viscount which were introduced in the 1950s became the main types for many regional airlines where pure-jet aircraft were less economical on very short routes.

Avro 748

Airline: BKS Air Transport 'Prop-jet' Avro 748 in 1963
20+ Passengers
3 Rolls Royce engines

The early model Avro 748 was marketed as the Prop-jet Avro when turboprops were still new to the public and the quiet and smooth turbines were a selling point for potential passengers.

By the mid-1960s Avro had become part of Hawker-Siddeley Aviation and the aircraft is more readily known as the HS-748.

BAC One-Eleven series 200 to 400

Airline:  British Eagle One-Eleven series 304   (FF:1964)
89 Passengers
2 Rolls-Royce RB163 Spey engines
526 mph cruise

British Aircraft Corporation was formed from several smaller British aircraft manufacturers. It's first jet airliner was a second-generation type, One-Eleven jet which first flew in 1964.

The BAC 1-11 was the second success of the British aircraft industry. First orders were from scheduled independent, BUA and from the US airline, Braniff International, both of whom ordered the 200 series jet. British Eagle then ordered jets.

BAC One-Eleven series 500

Airline:  Court Line 1-11 series 517 in 1971  (1967)
89 Passengers
2 Rolls-Royce RB163 Spey engines
526 mph cruise
Span 93 feet
Length 107 feet

The One-Eleven was stretched for a new series 500 version which BEA did purchase. Many charter airlines in Europe also liked the new higher capacity jet, one of which was Luton-based Court Line which flew a fleet of the jets in pretty pastel liveries.

The One-Eleven series 500 continues to operate passenger services to this day.

thanks to Caz Caswell/AirTeamImages

Boeing 720

Airline: Pacific Northern - PNA IN 1962  (FF:1960)
115 Passengers
4 Pratt&Whitney JT3D engines
610 mph cruise
Span 131 feet
Length 137 feet

The Boeing 720 and Boeing 720B jets were introduced as medium-haul versions of the 707. The 720B was successful and was used alongside the 707-320 in fleets around the world.

The 720B was also used by holiday charter companies for medium-haul flights requiring heavy passenger loads.

Boeing 727 series 100   

Airline:  Pan American used the early model 727  (1967)
100+ Passengers
3 Pratt&Whitney JT8D engines
598 mph cruise

The early model 727 models 30 to 100 were used by airlines the world over as their first effective medium haul jetliner. It was used extensively in Europe.

Boeing 727-200Adv

Airline:  prototype Boeing 727-200 in 1967
134 Passengers
3 Pratt&Whitney JT8D-11 jet engines
598 mph cruise
Span 108 feet
Length 153 feet

The Boeing 727-200 Advanced was the final 727 variant and it was used extensively throughout the world's airlines.

Boeing 747-100

Airline:  First prototype and demonstrator 747 in 1969
385 Passengers
4 Pratt&Whitney JT9D engines
583 mph cruise

This was the world's first widebody 'Jumbo-jet' type.
The Boeing 747 series 100 was introduced by Pan American and Trans World Airlines in 1969 to great acclaim. The age of the 707 and DC8 was gone when this huge airliner entered the market.

By the mid 1970s most long-haul airlines had purchased the series 100 or 200. In its battle against the latecomer Douglas DC10-30 it won hands down.

Britten-Norman BN.2a Islander

Airline:  VOTEC Aero Taxis of Brazil
Country: UK
8 passengers
2 piston engines

The BN.2A was designed as a rough strip and STOL (short take off and landing) feederliner. The Islander is still used as an island-hopper due to it's STOL and rough-strip capabilities.

Britten-Norman BN2 Trislander

Airline:  Loganair served the Scottish islands with Trislanders
10-12 passengers
3 engines

The Trilander was a larger variation on the successful BN2a Islander twin. The Trislander is still used as a regional feeder liner and island-hopper due to it's STOL and rough-strip capabilities.

Convair CV-990 'Coronado'

Airline:  VARIG Cv-990 showing speed pods (1962)
97 Passengers
4 General Electric CJ805-23B engines
615 mph cruise
Span 120 feet
Length 139 feet

The Convair 990 was used by many airlines including Modern Air, VARIG and Northeast. Swissair used them extensively in Europe and named the aircraft the 'Coronado'.

The 990 was the fastest jetliner ever, with an amazing 615 mph! It had speed pods on the training edges of the main wings unlike the more conventional CV-880. It's CJ805 engines were very dirty at full power leaving a black trail in the sky on takeoff.

It was still in use into the 1980s with Spanish holiday airline Spantax who still operated a fleet of Coronados.

Dornier Do-28 Skyservant

Airline:  Corsair (picture taken 1978)
+8 passengers
2 engines

The 'Skyservant' was a 1970s attempt to produce a small feeder liner. The Do.28 was used by some small airlines and by the German Air Force.

Douglas DC8-61 and -63CF   

Airline:  Trans International -TIA -in 1978  (FF:1962)
220 Passengers
4 Pratt&Whitney JT3D engines
581 mph cruise
Span 142 feet
Length 187 feet

The Super-61 and Super-63 variants of the DC-8 were very successful considering that this was the first time anyone had seen an airliner 'stretched' beyond what would seem reasonable. The extra payload the extra 30 feet of fuselage gave was a commercial winner for many airlines.

The jet was used on trans-Atlantic services until the wide bodies came along in the 1970s. Even then airlines continued to use the Super 63 and later it was used effectively on charter flights. When noise regulations came along in Europe Many Super-DC8 jets were re-engined with modern fan units and flew as series 71 and 73 airliners.

Douglas DC9-30

photo:  Prototype Douglas DC9-30 (1964)
95 Passengers
2 Pratt&Whitney JT8D engines
574 mph cruise
Span 93 feet
Length 119 feet

The DC9-30 was the most successful of the DC9 series. Used all over the world as a general purpose fleet type it can still be seen in use today, mainly as the series 32.

Fokker F-28 Fellowship series 1000

Airline:  F-28 series 1000 of Aviaction  (1971)
Country: Holland
50+ Passenger
2 Rolls-Royce RB-183 engine
502 mph cruise

This original Fellowship variant was designed for short runways and regional routes. This lovely little feeder jetliner used air-brakes in the tail that opened sideways into the airflow and could be used in flight.

It was used in Europe by airlines like Iberia, Aviaction - a German charter airline and Braathens SAFE but it was sold worldwide in small quantities for civil and military operators. In America it was used by Empire and Piedmont.

thanks to Caz Caswell/AirTeamImages

Fokker F-28 series 4000 and 6000

Airline:  Fokker series 6000 demonstrator aircraft  (1974)
75+ Passenger
2 Rolls-Royce RB-183 engine
502 mph cruise

The Fellowship was made in longer-fuselage variants including the series 4000 and 6000 (pictured above). At this point the new Fokker 70 and Fokker 100 jets replaced it.

It was used in Europe by NLM Cityhopper, SAS, Martinair and many other small operators. Again the later model Fellowship can still be found working around the world.

Handley Page H.P.7 Herald 200

Airline:   British United Airways in 1968 (FF:1961)  Country: UK
40 Passengers
4 Rolls-Royce Dart engines
272 mph cruise
Span 95 feet
Length 72 feet

The Herald was a British turboprop designed in competition with the Fokker Friendship regional airliner. It was originally destined for the state airline BEA and also for the Royal Air Force.

When Handley-Page chose not to join a nationalisation merger of British aircraft manufacturers the government of the time cancelled the RAF contract and the Herald project fell on commercial hard times.

Many Heralds were sold though, to independent British airlines like BUA, Jersey Airlines, Channel Airways, BMA and Air UK. BEA even purchased a couple for the Scottish islands services and many were sold abroad. Sadly, this was not enough to save Handley-Page who needed the cancelled large RAF order for the type. By the mid 1980s the Herald fleets were mostly retired, the last operators in Europe were Air UK and Channel Express.

Hawker-Siddeley HS.121 Trident 2

Airline:  BEA Trident Two at Farnborough Airshow in 1968 
115 passengers
3 Rolls-Royce RB163 Spey mk.512 turbines
605 mph cruise
Span 98 feet
Length 115 feet

The Trident Two-E was an effort to bring the Trident 1C closer to the Boeing 727-100 which was winning over most of Europe's airlines. It carried more passengers and had an extended range of 3600 miles.

By this time BEA had decided that, like everyone else, it also needed a jet with a bigger cabin and with more powerful engines. Being the state airline it could not purchase the American-made Boeing 727 although it wanted the jet. The Trident 2E variant - build in Britain - was what it was forced to order.

The Trident Two was the most elegant of the three variants. The wings were a few feet longer and came to a graceful tip. It was an all-round nice looking jet. BEA ordered a large fleet of jets.

Other operators of the Trident Two were Cyprus Airways whose planes were destroyed during the civil war there, and CAAC, the Chinese state airline ordered the type.

Hawker-Siddeley HS.121 Trident 3b

Airline:  BEA Trident 3B prototype and first production jet  (1969)
130+ Passengers
3 RB163 Spey engines and 1 RB-162 Booster engine
605 mph cruise

In the late 1960s BEA again asked the government for permission to purchase a fleet of Boeing 727 jets but as a nationalised airline it was ordered: 'Buy British'. BAC offered the Three-Eleven still on the drawing board but BEA needed a new jet fast so a 'stretched-cabin' Trident 3B variant was quickly put together by Hawker-Siddeley and it entered service with BEA by 1969.

Hawker-Siddeley could not get a more powerful British-built engine for the Trident Three so a smaller fourth jet engine was placed in the tail above the central number two engine, in place of the ground power unit. This forth engine was used for takeoff and climb-out only. Not surprisingly the Trident was known by those who flew it as 'Gripper'! The Tridents were scrapped in the early 1980s and no other airline except CAAC - Chinese Airlines bought the 3B.

Ilyushin IL-62M

Airline:  LOT Polish Airlines in 1980
140 Passengers
4 Soloviev D-30KU engines
571 mph cruise
Span 141 feet
Length 116 feet

The ILYUSHIN IL-62 was a long-haul passenger airliner, one of a few jet types being designed purely for civilian use. It resembled the Vickers VC-10 except that it was very underpowered. If the crew lost an engine on take-off they would usually abort and keep the jet on the runway (or where-ever), even if the jet had passed the V1 position.

It was used extensively internationally by Aeroflot and by Soviet Block nation airlines like LOT, CSA, Interflug and even Cubana.

VFW-Fokker 614

Airline:  Prototype number w D-BABB in 1974

The VFW-Fokker 614 was a strange concept for a passenger airliner with 2 jet engines mounted on wing upper surface directly opposite the passenger cabin windows! This jet was like a Fokker Fellowship gone badly wrong!

Only three operators used it: the Luftwaffe, Air Alsace of France and Cimber Air of Denmark. However in those pre-twin-engined, computer designed days it is interesting to see variation in airliner design was not quite dead!

Vickers 1101 VC-10

Airline:  BOAC Standard VC-10 in 1967 (FF:1963)
150+ Passengers
4 Rolls-Royce Conway engines
581 mph cruise

The Vickers VC-10 was probably the most aesthetic and elegant of the British airliners. It was designed purely for the needs of state airline BOAC for long-haul routes especially to the USA. They ordered a large fleet of Standard VC-10s.

The Comet 4 fleet needed replacing and the VC-10 design was behind schedule by a couple of years. But when they finally got it in the air what a beautiful shape it was! Pilots liked for its large and well lit cockpit and great handling characteristics.

Several other airlines also used the VC-10 i small numbers including MEA, Air Malawi, Ghana Airways, BUA and Gulf Air. The Royal Air Force ordered a large fleet of a special series similar to the Standard model VC-10.

thanks to Caz Caswell/AirTeamImages

Vickers 1151 Super VC-10

174 Passengers
4 Rolls-Royce Conway 43 engines
581 mph cruise
Span 159 feet
Length 158 feet

The Super VC-10 was an improvement on the original design with a longer fuselage to carry more passengers. It even looked sleeker and more elegant.

BOAC ordered a large fleet of the Super VC-10. The only other airline to use the type was East African Airways. The Super-Ten was all curves and clean wings. Gone are the days of beautiful aircraft.