Role Long range piston airliner
National origin United States
Manufacturer Boeing Commercial Airplanes
First flight July 8, 1947
Introduction April 1, 1949, with Pan American World Airways
Primary user Pan American World Airways
Number built 56
Developed from Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter
Variants Aero Spacelines Pregnant Guppy
Aero Spacelines Super Guppy
Aero Spacelines Mini Guppy
The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser was a large long-range airliner developed from the C-97 Stratofreighter military transport, itself a derivative of the B-29 Superfortress. The Stratocruiser’s first flight was on July 8, 1947. Its design was advanced for its day; its innovative features included two passenger decks and a pressurized cabin, a relatively new feature on transport aircraft. It could carry up to 100 passengers on the main deck plus 14 in the lower deck lounge; typical seating was for 63 or 84 passengers or 28 berthed and five seated passengers.
The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser was a civil derivative of the Boeing Model 367, the Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter, which first flew in late 1944. William Allen, who had become president of the Boeing Company in September 1945, sought to introduce a new civilian aircraft to replace reduced military production after World War II. Boeing saw in their large-bodied, fast, and long-ranged military transport potential for a passenger aircraft suited for premium service on long transoceanic routes, expanding on the precedent set by their Boeing 314 Clipper with Pan American World Airways.
You are definitely intrigued to discoverBoeing 377 Stratocruiser (1947)
In addition to the Israeli Anaks a company called Aero Spacelines was converting old 377s to aircraft called Guppys in the 1960s. There were three types: the Pregnant Guppy, Super Guppy, and Mini Guppy. They had an extension to the top of the fuselage to enable them to carry large aircraft parts between manufacturing sites.
By 1960 Stratocruisers were being superseded by jets: the de Havilland Comet, Boeing 707, and Douglas DC-8. The last flight of the 377 with United was in 1954, the last with BOAC was in 1959, and the last with Northwest was in September 1960. In November 1960 only a weekly Pan Am Honolulu to Singapore flight remained, and the 377 was retired by Pan Am in 1961. High operating costs (notably the fuel consumption and maintenance of the Wasp Major engines) led to rapid abandonment of the 377 with the onset of the jet era
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