John Travolta’s Beautiful 707

A380, Qantas

I may have spent today at the celebration for Qantas’ first scheduled A380 flight to the US, but as far as I’m concerned this plane stole the show.

John Travolta 707

Yes, that’s John Travolta’s immaculate 707. John is the Goodwill Ambassador for Qantas, and his 707 is painted in vintage Qantas colors. As he said in the press conference for the A380 today, “When I was 5 years old, I collected airline memorabilia from all airlines. I was . . . an airline geek.” Unlike most of us, however, he was able to buy his own private jet to fly around. I’ll have more on the A380 tomorrow, but I’ll leave you tonight with this great shot of the two aircraft meeting.

A380 and 707 at LAX

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21 comments on “John Travolta’s Beautiful 707

  1. Travolta flies this 707 around the world and then ‘claims’ to be green. Just another Hollyweirdo that says one thing and does another.

  2. The cool thing about is 707 is that it actually belonged to Qantas and it is the very rare “short-bodied” 707-138B. It’s body length is closer to a 720 than the standard 707-100 series. Only a handful of these aircraft were built, and they were precursors of the shorter body=greater range theory that led to the 747SP and L1011-500. Of course, the long-range 707-300 quickly eclipsed any range advantage that the -138 had. (oddly Braniff aquired some of these on a second-hand basis to supplement their equally rare 707-227s)

    flyairdave, I thnk the atmosphere can absorb a few relics of the glorious age of fast, belching, loud, luxurious aircraft. And, let’s don’t forget the restored, now flying ex-RAF Vulcan in the UK too.


  3. Oh and the V-Jet reference on the tail of the 707 is a bit esoteric. Vannus is fan in Latin. Qantas used V-Jet to show the aircraft had turbofans instead of straight turbojets.

  4. Cranky…thanks for bringing this post to us. Very cool. I assume you were at LAX for this…but even cooler if it was in SYD.

  5. JF – Yes, I was at LAX. The plane actually came from Melbourne, but Sydney starts soon. I can only wish I was down there.

  6. AN – It looks like it was built in 1964, just a few years before some of those DC-9s that are still flying for Northwest. Planes can last for ages, it seems, though some types seem to have more staying power. You may notice that Douglas-built aircraft seem to stay in service for longer than others. Heck, the DC-3 still flies in some places. But even the DC-8 still flies for cargo airlines while Boeing’s 707 doesn’t fly much at all.

  7. AN the life of a plane is also limited to it’s maintence, cycles, and flying time (the latter two are roughly equivalent to miles on the odometer of a car.)

    One other thing that also contributes to how long a plane will be used is operating costs, we saw a whole bunch of perfectally flyable planes come out of fleets over the past seven years because they cost too much to operate. A random example of this is John McCain’s 737. It’s an old -400 bird that used to be flown by US Airways. (BTW cranky that might make an interesting entry, the history of campaign planes.)

  8. I was about to buy one of the planes, but as I couldn’t decide between A380 and Travolta’s 707… I’ll finally buy a bycicle :P

  9. The US Air Force has MANY Boeing 707 airframes in current service — called the KC-135. Look it up — the old girl is still valuable for national defense!

  10. I did a little calculation, I tried to figure out the difference in carbon output, If you drove a car from denver to seattle, or take an airplane. You have more carbon output in a 2 1/2 day drive than a 2 hour plane flight. now you all figure it out yourself ok?

  11. Just spotted this 707 parked at LAX this morning, from the 105 bridge above Sepulveda (I assume it was the same one — how many 707’s are flying around these days in original Qantas livery?). Thanks for this post, which allowed me to identify the plane while driving at 55 mph or so.

  12. How do the libtards, explain “global warming” which occurred thousands of years ago, before there were any aircraft, automobiles, or vast acres of farting cows to blame it on?

  13. B.A. wrote:

    How do the libtards, explain “global warming” which occurred thousands of years ago, before there were any aircraft, automobiles, or vast acres of farting cows to blame it on?

    I’m not sure why I even bother responding to comments like these because they’re clearly not looking for a real answer. Otherwise you wouldn’t have used the disrespectful term “libtard” and would have instead looked for a thoughtful discussion.

    I don’t know of anyone who denies that there are global fluctuations in temperature that occur naturally. The question today is whether or not human output is impacting the climate of the Earth and I don’t see any credible scientists saying that isn’t the case.

  14. @ patrick:
    Never did like the Gawdy paint schemes on Braniff airplanes…..stuck out like a sore thumb when I worked on the DC-8 line at Douglas (Yes, Douglas) Aircraft.
    Besides, Braniff sunk! Qantas is still one of the best airlines in the world.

  15. @ AN:
    The answer to this is how much money do you have? It is conceivable that you could literally replace every single component. Aircraft are routinely taken apart and reassembled as part of their lifetime inspections. The cost factor is usually why they are sent to a graveyard. There are many many many WWII aircraft still in service. This is due to their owners love of the aircraft and very deep pockets.

  16. Spotted again this morning at LAX, on the ramp just west of the southern entrance to the Sepulveda Tunnel. It was also parked there Thursday morning (5 Nov).

  17. Technically, although based on the same prototype, the KC-135 is a different (smaller) fuselage than the 707 so while it is the military version, it’s not like these get windows and seats and go to an airline, while these go get fitted with a boom and fuel tanks and go to the Air Force. They are in fact different.

    What happened was that after the 367-80 prototype, they made the fuselage a little bigger and on that basis got an Air Force contract. Then they heard what Douglas was planning with the DC-8 and to be more competitive they upped the size again. I guess they didn’t want to go back to the AF and ask if they could make theirs a little larger too or if it was already in production. Surely hundreds of millions could have been saved with a common fuselage, but they didn’t or couldn’t so they are different by inches.

    The Air Force DOES have 707-based aircraft. Some of the E-something command & control planes are truly 707’s and some were built long after the commercial planes were out of production.

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