1970 to 1979

The 1970s was the decade of the wide-body 'Jumbo' jets.  Douglas DC10s, Lockheed L1011 Tristars and Boeing 747s were introduced into airline service at the beginning of the 1970s replacing the Boeing 707s and DC8-63s on the long-haul prestige routes.

This decade saw the second generation of jet airliners for the medium and short haul routes with Boeing's 737 and the Airbus A300 showing their colours.

The Concorde Super Sonic Transport (known as SST back then) also entered service (in 1974) with Air France and British Airways.  The 1970s was, arguably, the most interesting decade for jet transports with the wealth of interesting aircraft and interesting shapes.

Aerospatiale-BAC Concorde

Airline:  UK prototype 002 G-AXDN   (FF: 1969, service 1974)
100 Passengers
4 Rolls-Royce Olympus 593-610 engines
1,357 mph cruise / Mach 2.04
Cruise Altitude: 59,000 feet (Flight Level 590)
Span 84 feet
Length 204 feet
Range 3,800 miles

The Concorde first flew in 1969 in France followed quickly by Britain's prototype 002 (above) at Filton, England. It was introduced to British Airways and Air France service in 1975.

Originally intended for 3hour supersonic flights to America it spend its first years flying (at times) subsonic to Bharain in the Gulf. Finally it was allowed into New York after demonstrations against its noise.

Antonov An-24

Airline:  Air Moldova
2 turboprop engines

Antonov An-26

Airline:  Cubana
passenger or freight
2 turboprop engine
This variant of the An-24 had a cargo tail ramp.

Airbus A300-B4

Airline:  prototype F-WUAA at Farnborough airshow  (1972)
267 Passengers
2 engines
552 mph cruise

The first of the now successful Airbus range of airliners, the A300-B4 first flew in 1972.

Boeing 737-200

Airline:  Aer Lingus series 200 in 1972  (1972)
102 Passengers
2 Pratt&Whitney JT8D engines
562 mph cruise

The series 200 quickly followed on the good work done by the success of the series 100 jet. This was the most popular of the two and stayed in fleets until the fan-engined series 300 came along in the 1980s.

Boeing 747-200    

Airline:  Lufthansa series 200   (1971)
366 Passengers
4 Rolls-Royce RB211 engines
583 mph cruise

This was the second of the 747 series of wide body Jumbo jets that would dominate the world. It was distinguished from the 1969 series 100 jet by the many extra windows in the upper deck wall. The 100 series only had three windows.

Dassalt-Breguet Mercure 100

Airline:  Prototype Mercure '02' F-WTMD in 1973
120 Passengers
2 engines
575 mph cruise

The Mercure was a French venture that never paid off. Only Air Inter, a large French airline now part of Air France, purchased the type.

Lockheed L.1011 Tristar -500

Airline:  Air Canada used the long-haul series 500 jet (1972)
230 Passengers
3 Rolls-Royce RB-211 engines
596 mph cruise

The Tristar was fairly successful given the 747 and DC10 also in the new wide-body market. A long-range version of the jet was made - the series 500 - with a smaller cabin.

McDonnell-Douglas DC10-30

Airline: Douglas prototype DC10-30 long-range variant 1973
280+ Passengers
3 CF6-50 engines
610 mph cruise

The series 30 had a smaller cabin allowing greater range and height for inter-continental flights. It was used by airlines across the world.

Tupolev Tu-134

Airline:  CSA Tu.134A -1972
70+ Passengers
2 Soloviev engines
559 mph cruise

The Tupolev 134 was built at the beginning of th 1970s. The early model had a glass nosecone (presumably for spying over NATO nations while en-route on passenger services). The 134 series 'A' had a weather radar in the nose.

Tupolev Tu-144

Airline:  Aeroflot
140 Passengers
4 Kuznersov Nk144 engines
1,451 mph cruise

The Tu-144 was Russia's own super sonic transport. It was nicknamed 'Concordski' in the west as it was remarkably similar to the European Concorde at first look. However the jet was quite different but unfortunately it came out of the cold-war race for technology and its demonstration to the world.

The jet crashed at the 1973 Paris Air Show in dubious circumstances. It was flown only within Russian airspace on Aeroflot freight flights when it was rumoured to have had two further losses.

Tupolev Tu-154

Airline:  Aeroflot (1975)
128 Passengers
3 Kuznersov Nk8-2 engines
604 mph cruise

The Tu-154 was used extensively by Aeroflot and Soviet Block nations.