The Boeing Model 247 is an early United States airliner, considered the first such aircraft to fully incorporate advances such as all-metal (anodized aluminium) semimonocoque construction, a fully cantilevered wing and retractable landing gear. Other advanced features included control surface trim tabs, an autopilot and de-icing boots for the wings and tailplane.
“Ordered off the drawing board”, the 247 first flew on February 8, 1933, and entered service later that year. Subsequent development in airliner design saw engines and airframes becoming larger and four-engined designs emerged, but no significant changes to this basic formula appeared until cabin pressurization and high altitude cruise were introduced in 1940, with the Boeing 307 Stratoliner
Boeing had eclipsed other aviation manufacturers by introducing a host of aerodynamic and technical features into a commercial airliner. This advanced design, which was a progression from earlier Monomail (Models 200, 221, 221A) and B-9 bomber designs, combined speed and safety. The Boeing 247 was faster than the U.S. premier fighter aircraft of its day, the Boeing P-12, which was an open-cockpit biplane. Yet its flight envelope included a rather docile 62 mph (100 km/h) landing speed, which precluded the need for flaps, and pilots learned that at speeds as low as 10 mph (15 km/h), the 247 could be taxied “tail high” for ease of ground handling.
The 247 was the first twin-engined passenger transport able to fly on one engine. With controllable pitch propellers (standard equipment on the 247D), the 247 could maintain 11,500 feet (3,500 m) at maximum gross takeoff weight. Its combination of features set the standard for the Douglas DC-1 and other airliners before World War II.
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The Turner/Pangborn 247D still exists. Originally flown on September 5, 1934, it was leased from United Airlines for the 1934 MacRobertson Air Race and returned to United where it served in regular airline service until 1937. Subsequently, the 247D was sold to the Union Electric Company of St. Louis for use as an executive transport. The Air Safety Board purchased the aircraft in 1939 and it remained in use for 14 years before it was donated to the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C. It is displayed today with two sets of markings, the left side is marked as NR257Y, in Colonel Turner’s 1934 MacRobertson Air Race colors, while the right side is painted in United Airlines livery, as NC13369.
Capacity: 10 pax, baggage and 400 lb (181 kg) of mail
Length: 51 ft 7 in (15.72 m)
Wingspan: 74 ft 1 in (22.58 m)
Height: 12 ft 1.75 in (3.7021 m)
weight: 8,921 lb (4,046 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 13,650 lb (6,192 kg)
Fuel capacity: 273 US gal (227 imp gal; 1,030 l)
Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-1340 S1H1-G Wasp 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines, 500 hp (370 kW) each at 2,200 rpm at 8,000 ft (2,438 m)
Maximum speed: 200 mph (320 km/h, 170 kn)
Cruise speed: 189 mph (304 km/h, 164 kn) at 12,000 ft (3,658 m)
Range: 745 mi (1,199 km, 647 nmi)
Service ceiling: 25,400 ft (7,700 m)
Absolute ceiling: 27,200 ft (8,291 m)
Rate of climb: 1,150 ft/min (5.8 m/s)
On September 19, 2019, the USS Midway Museum acquired a 1:1 scale replica used in the World War II movie, Midway. The plane was donated from Lionsgate following the conclusion of filming and will become an exhibit on USS Midway (CV-41)'s hangar.[
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