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The Boeing
Boeing
747SP is a version of the Boeing
Boeing
747 jet airliner which was designed for ultra-long-range flights. The SP stands for "Special Performance". The 747SP is similar to the 747-100 except for the shortened fuselage, larger tailplane, and simplified trailing edge flaps. The weight saved by the shorter fuselage permits longer range and increased speed relative to other 747 configurations[2] at the time. Known during development as the short-body 747SB, the 747SP was designed to meet a 1973 joint request from Pan American World Airways and Iran
Iran
Air, who were looking for a high-capacity airliner with sufficient range to cover Pan Am's New York–Middle Eastern routes and Iran
Iran
Air's planned Tehran–New York route. The aircraft also was intended to provide Boeing
Boeing
with a mid-size wide-body airliner to compete with existing trijet airliners. The 747SP first entered service with Pan Am
Pan Am
in 1976. The aircraft was later acquired by VIP and government customers. While in service, the 747SP set several aeronautical performance records, but sales did not meet the expected 200 units, and production ultimately totaled 45 aircraft.[3]

Contents

1 Development 2 Design 3 Operators

3.1 Deliveries 3.2 Current operators 3.3 Aircraft on display 3.4 Former operators

3.4.1 Africa 3.4.2 America 3.4.3 Asia 3.4.4 Europe 3.4.5 Oceania

4 Records 5 Incidents and accidents 6 Specifications 7 See also 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

Development[edit] The idea for the 747SP came from a request by Pan Am
Pan Am
for a 747 variant capable of carrying a full payload non-stop on its longest route between New York and Tehran.[4] Joined with Pan Am's request was Iran Air; their joint interest was for a high capacity airliner capable of covering Pan Am's New York–Middle Eastern routes and Iran
Iran
Air's planned New York-Tehran route.[5] (New York to Tehran may have been the longest non-stop commercial flight in the world for a short time, until Pan Am
Pan Am
started Tehran to New York in mid-1976.) The aircraft was launched with Pan Am's first order in 1973 and the first example delivered in 1976.[6] A shorter derivative of the 747-100, the SP was developed to target two market requirements.[6] The first was a need to compete with the DC-10 and L-1011 while maintaining commonality with the 747,[6] which in its standard form was too large for many routes. Until the arrival of the 767, Boeing
Boeing
lacked a mid-sized wide-body to compete in this segment. The second market requirement was an aircraft suitable for the ultra-long-range routes emerging in the mid-1970s following the joint request. These routes needed not only longer range, but also higher cruising speeds. Boeing
Boeing
could not afford to develop an all-new design, instead opting to shorten the 747 and optimize it for speed and range, at the expense of capacity.[2] Originally designated 747SB for "short body", it later was nicknamed "Sutter's balloon" by employees after 747 chief engineer Joe Sutter.[7] Boeing
Boeing
later changed the production designation to 747SP for "special performance", reflecting the aircraft's greater range and higher cruising speed.[8] Production of the 747SP ran from 1976 to 1983. However, a VIP order[6] for the Royal Flight of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
led Boeing
Boeing
to produce one last SP in 1987. Pan Am
Pan Am
was the launch customer for the 747SP, taking the first delivery, Clipper Freedom, on March 5, 1976.[8] The 747SP was the longest-range airliner available until the 747-400 entered service in 1989. Despite its technical achievements, the SP never sold as well as Boeing
Boeing
hoped.[6] Increased fuel prices in the mid-1970s to early 1980s, the SP's heavy wings, expensive cost,[6] reduced capacity, and the increased ranges of forthcoming airliners[6] were some of the many factors that contributed to its low sales. Only 45 were built and of those remaining, most are used by operators in the Middle East. However, some of the engineering work on the 747SP was reused with the development of the 747-300 and 747-400. In the 747SP, the upper deck begins over the section of fuselage that contains the wingbox, not ahead of the wingbox (as is the case with the 747-100 and 747-200). This same design was used in the 747-300 and newer, resulting in a stretched upper deck. A special 747SP is the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) astronomical observatory,[6] which had its airframe modified to carry a 2.5-meter-diameter reflecting telescope to high altitude, above 99.9% of the light-absorbing water vapor in the atmosphere. The telescope and its detectors cover a wide wavelength range from the near infrared to the sub-millimeter region; no window material is transparent over this whole range, so the observations are made through a 13 ft (3.96 m) square hole in the port upper quarter of the rear fuselage, aft of a new pressure bulkhead. A sliding door covers the aperture when the telescope is not in use.[9] Astronomers take data and control the instrument from within the normally pressurised cabin. Originally delivered to Pan Am
Pan Am
and titled "Clipper Lindbergh", NASA
NASA
has the name displayed in Pan Am
Pan Am
script on the plane. Design[edit] Apart from having a significantly shorter fuselage and one fewer cabin door per side, the 747SP differs from other 747 variants in having simplified flaps and a taller vertical tail[6] to counteract the decrease in yaw moment-arm from the shortened fuselage. The 747SP uses single-piece flaps on the trailing edges, rather than the smaller triple-slotted flaps of standard 747s. The SP could accommodate 230 passengers in a 3-class cabin or 331 in a (303 economy, 28 business) 2-class cabin, and a maximum of 400 passengers in one class. Operators[edit]

Iran Air
Iran Air
747SP at London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport
in 1992

Luxair
Luxair
747SP at Zurich in 1981

Deliveries[edit] Forty-five 747SP aircraft were built between 1974 and 1989 with two more planned but never constructed.[10][verification needed] The production line was ended in 1982 but reopened in 1987 to fulfill an order for the United Arab Emirates.[11]

Type 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 Total

747-SP 14 4 2 5 9 6 4

1 45

Current operators[edit] As of December 2016[update], there were 10 Boeing
Boeing
747SPs still in active service with 9 more stored and 1 preserved. The remaining 21 were either scrapped, otherwise destroyed or abandoned.[10][verification needed] In 2016, the last 747SP in commercial service was withdrawn from service after 40 years by Iran Air.[12][13][14] As of 2017[update], the majority of the ten aircraft still in service are used for governmental or VIP transport.

2 Government of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
(painted in Saudia
Saudia
livery) 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada (used as an engine testbed)[15] 1 Pratt & Whitney 1 Ernest Angley Ministries 1 NASA
NASA
Armstrong Flight Research Center 1 Government of Bahrain 1 Government of Oman 1 Government of Qatar 2 Las Vegas Sands 1 NASA/DLR (used as the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA)

Aircraft on display[edit]

An ex- South African Airways
South African Airways
747SP nicknamed "Maluti" is on static display at Rand Airport
Rand Airport
in South Africa, where it is maintained by the South African Airways
South African Airways
Museum Society.

Former operators[edit]

A Qantas
Qantas
747SP, the first 747SP to land at Wellington International Airport, New Zealand in 1981.

The 747SP used as the NASA
NASA
Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

Saudi Royal Flight Boeing
Boeing
747 SP

Bahrain
Bahrain
Royal Flight Boeing
Boeing
747SP

This list also includes organizations that used the aircraft temporarily, besides main operators. Africa[edit]

 Cameroon

Cameroon
Cameroon
Airlines[16]

 Democratic Republic of the Congo

Kinshasa Airways[17]

 Malawi

Air Malawi

 Morocco

Royal Air Maroc

 Mauritius

Air Mauritius[18]

 Mozambique

LAM Mozambique
Mozambique
Airlines[19]

 Namibia

Air Namibia[20]

 Uganda

Alliance Air[21]

 South Africa

Avia Airlines[22] South African Airways[23] Trek Airways[24]

America[edit]

 Argentina

Aerolíneas Argentinas[25]

 United States

American Airlines[26][27] Braniff International Airlines[28][29] Global Peace Ambassadors Pan American World Airways[30] Trans World Airlines United Airlines[31]

Asia[edit]

 Brunei

Brunei
Brunei
Government Sultan's Flight[16]

 Iran

Iran
Iran
Air[32]

 Iraq

Iraqi Airways[33]

 Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Airlines[34]

 Lebanon

Middle East Airlines

 People's Republic of China

Air China Civil Aviation Administration of China[16]

 Qatar

Qatar
Qatar
Airways[35]

 Republic of China

China
China
Airlines Mandarin Airlines[36]

 South Korea

Korean Air

 Saudi Arabia

Saudia[37]

 Syria

Syrian Air[38]

 Tajikistan

Tajik Air[39]

 United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Amiri Flight[16] Dubai Royal Air Wing[16]

 Yemen

Yemen
Yemen
Government[40][41][42]

Europe[edit]

 France

Corsair International Union de Transports Aériens[43]

 Iceland

Air Atlanta Icelandic[16]

 Luxembourg

Luxair

Oceania[edit]

 Australia

Australia
Australia
Asia Airlines[16] Qantas[44][45]

Records[edit] There were three significant commercial around-the-world record-setting flights flown by 747SP: two operated by Pan Am
Pan Am
and the other operated by United Airlines
United Airlines
with the aircraft being "loaned" to Friendship Foundation, in order to raise money for the foundation. Those flights are:

Liberty Bell Express[6]—Flown from New York/JFK May 1–3, 1976. 2 stopovers at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi and Tokyo-Haneda Airport. The round-the-world flight took 46 hours and 26 minutes over 23,137 miles.[6] Pan Am
Pan Am
Flight 50—to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pan Am. Flown October 28–30, 1977 from San Francisco/SFO, with a time duration of 54 hours, 7 minutes, 12 seconds. 3 stopovers at London-Heathrow Airport, Cape Town International Airport
Cape Town International Airport
and Auckland Airport. Flight 50 flew over both the North Pole and the South Pole. Friendship One[6]—Flown January 29–31, 1988 from Seattle/SEA, to raise funds for Friendship Foundation. Two stopovers were made, at Athens Airport and Taipei- Taiwan
Taiwan
Taoyuan International Airport (formerly the Chiang Kai-shek International Airport). The record lasted less than a month, as it was beaten by a Gulfstream IV piloted in part by Gulfstream Aerospace CEO Al Paulson. The round-the-world flight took 35 hours and 54 minutes over 23,125 miles.[6]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

On February 19, 1985, China Airlines
China Airlines
Flight 006, a 747SP-09 (aircraft registration N4522V) with 274 passengers and crew on board on a flight from Chiang Kai-shek Airport to Los Angeles International Airport suffered an inflight failure on engine number four. While the flight crew attempted to restore power the aircraft rolled to the right and started a steep descent from the cruising altitude of 41,000 feet, pulling 4.8 G and 5.1 G on two occasions. The captain managed to stabilize the aircraft at 9,500 feet and the aircraft diverted to San Francisco International Airport which was 550 km (343.8 mi.) away. Two passengers were injured and the aircraft suffered major structural damage.[46] On October 5, 1998 a South African Airways
South African Airways
Boeing
Boeing
747SP-44 (ZS-SPF) operated by LAM Mozambique
Mozambique
Airlines suffered an engine failure shortly after take-off from Maputo International Airport, Mozambique. The no. 3 engine suffered an uncontained failure – flying debris caused damage to the no. 4 engine and the wing. A fire broke out that couldn’t be extinguished immediately, forcing an emergency landing. All 66 people on board survived. As a result the aircraft was withdrawn from service and scrapped.[19] During the Yemeni Civil War (2015-Present), a 747SP owned by the President of Yemen, 7O-YMN, was struck by gunfire on March 19, 2015. Subsequent photographs show that the aircraft was then completely destroyed by fire afterwards.

Specifications[edit]

Model 747SP[47]

Cockpit crew 3 (2 pilots, flight engineer)[48]

Seating capacity 331 (28F + 303Y)[47] or 343 (30F + 313Y)[49] 276 (25F + 57J + 194Y)[49]

exit limit 400[48]

Overall length 184 ft 9 in (56.31 m)

Wingspan 195 ft 8 in (59.64 m)

Wing area 5,500 ft² (511 m²)[50]

Overall height 65 ft 10 in (20.06 m)

Operating empty weight 325,260–336,870 lb (147,690–152,780 kg)

Maximum take-off weight 696,000 lb (315,600 kg)

Engine models (x 4) PW JT9D-7(A/AH/F/FW/J) RR RB211-524(B2/C2/D4)

Engine thrust (x 4) PW 46,950–50,000 lbf (208.8–222.4 kN) RR 50,000–53,000 lbf (220–240 kN)

Maximum speed Mach 0.92 (542 kn; 1,004 km/h)[51]

Cruising speed Mach 0.86 (493 kn; 914 km/h)[51]

Service ceiling 45,100 feet (13,700 m)[51]

Maximum range 5,830 nmi (10,800 km; 6,710 mi)[a][49]

Max Fuel capacity 50,360 USgal (190,610 l)

Note

^ JT9D, 276 passengers

See also[edit]

Related development

Boeing
Boeing
747

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Airbus A300 Ilyushin Il-86 Lockheed L-1011
Lockheed L-1011
TriStar McDonnell Douglas DC-10

Related lists

List of Boeing
Boeing
747 operators List of civil aircraft

References[edit]

^ "747 Model Summary". Boeing. Retrieved December 29, 2010.  ^ a b "The Boeing
Boeing
747 Classics". Boeing
Boeing
Commercial Airplanes. Boeing. Retrieved 2009-01-23. Boeing
Boeing
also built the 747-100SP (special performance), which had a shortened fuselage and was designed to fly higher, faster and farther non-stop than any 747 model of its time.   ^ Norris & Wagner 1999, p. 20 ^ Eden, Paul. (Ed). Civil Aircraft Today. 2008: Amber Books, pp. 92–3. ^ Jenkins 2000, p. 76. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Eden 2008, pp. 96–7. ^ Sutter, Joe (2006). 747: Creating the world's first jumbo jet and other adventures from a life in aviation. HarperCollins. p. 218. ISBN 0-06-088241-7.  ^ a b Norris, Guy (1997). Boeing
Boeing
747: Design and Development Since 1969. Motorbooks International. p. 74. ISBN 0-7603-0280-4.  ^ "NAS's new airborne observatory". Sky and Telescope. 120 (4): 22–28. October 2010.  ^ a b 747sp.com – Production List retrieved 4 June 2016 ^ "The Story of the B747SP." 747sp.com. Retrieved: July 14, 2017. ^ Chini, Amin. " Iran Air
Iran Air
Grounds Boeing
Boeing
747SP, Suspends Kuala Lumpur Service (Jun 21, 2016)". AviationIran.com. Retrieved 1 January 2017.  ^ "Production List – airframe 21093". 747SP.com. Retrieved 1 January 2017.  ^ "Review: Farewell Iran Air
Iran Air
B747-SP Tehran to Mumbai". Sam Chui Aviation & Travel. Retrieved 1 January 2017.  ^ MRJ Geared Turbofan Starts Flight Tests On 747SP. Aviationweek.com. ^ a b c d e f g "Operators". Boeing
Boeing
747SP Website.  ^ Kinshasa Airways
Kinshasa Airways
747SP. Airliners.net (November 3, 2003). ^ Ben R. Guttery (1998). Encyclopedia of African Airlines. McFarland & Company. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-7864-0495-7.  ^ a b " Boeing
Boeing
747SP". Zap16.com. Retrieved December 30, 2010.  ^ Air Namibia
Namibia
747SP. Airliners.net. ^ Alliance 747SP. Airliners.net. ^ Avia 747SP. Airliners.net (January 3, 2006). ^ " Boeing
Boeing
747SP Maluti ZS-SPC". SAA Museum. 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2012.  ^ The Boeing
Boeing
747SP of Trek Airways. Trekairways.co.za (September 4, 1993). ^ Argentinas 747SP. Airliners.net (January 5, 2012). ^ "Airfleets aviation – Airline Fleet, plane, airport : Boeing Airbus Embraer Atr Fokker Dash Beechcraft]". airfleets.net.  ^ "Vintage Airline Seat Map: American Airlines
American Airlines
Boeing
Boeing
747SP". Frequently Flying. Retrieved September 11, 2015.  ^ http://www.braniffinternational.org/aircraft/747sp.htmArchived August 31, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Mercury Star News: Ballet's Head-turning Move, Fry's Owner Loans Decorated 747 For S.J. Dancers' Tour. Nl.newsbank.com (November 21, 2007). ^ 1977/78: PanAm Routes. Airline Route (December 19, 2008). ^ 1992/93: UNITED International Network. Airline Route. ^ ch-aviation.com – Iran Air
Iran Air
retires the B747SP from service 26 November 2014 ^ Iraqi 747SP. Airliners.net (September 7, 2011). ^ Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Airlines 747SP. Airliners.net (September 4, 1994). ^ " Qatar
Qatar
Airways Fleet Details and History". planespotters.net.  ^ Mandarin Airlines
Mandarin Airlines
will make maiden flight to Australia. None. ^ Saudi Arabian Airlines – History of the 80's. Saudiairlines.com. ^ Syrian Air
Syrian Air
747s status at January 2012. Ch-aviation.ch. ^ Tajik Air
Tajik Air
747SP. Airliners.net. ^ "Soldiers loyal to Yemen's former president storm Aden airport". The Guardian. Associated Press in Aden. 19 March 2015.  ^ Tommy Mogren (April 6, 2015). "Yemenia 747SP damaged during attacks". B747SP Website.  ^ Gulf News
Gulf News
(July 17, 2015). "Aden may tilt scales in conflict" (PDF). Gulf News.  ^ UTA 747SP information ^ "Red, White And Q Farewell For Qantas
Qantas
Aircraft". Qantas. March 4, 2002. Retrieved 2008-06-04.  ^ "QFOM – Qantas
Qantas
747 VH-EBQ". Qantas
Qantas
Founders Museum. Archived from the original on December 9, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2012.  ^ Aviation Safety Network report – 19 February 1985 accident. Aviation-safety.net. ^ a b "747 Airplane Characteristics for Airport Planning" (PDF). Boeing
Boeing
Commercial Airplanes. May 2011.  ^ a b "Type Certificate Data Sheet" (PDF). FAA. February 27, 2015.  ^ a b c "747-100/-200/-300/-SP" (PDF). Boeing. 2007.  ^ " Boeing
Boeing
747SP". Airliners.net.  ^ a b c Gregory Maxwell (January 13, 2014). "The Life and Times of the Boeing
Boeing
747SP". 

Further reading[edit]

Davies, R.E.G. (2000). TWA : an airline and its aircraft. McLean, Virginia: Paladwr Press. ISBN 1-888962-16-X.  Jenkins, Dennis (2000). Boeing
Boeing
747-100/200/300/SP (AirlinerTech Series, Vol. 6). North Branch, Minnesota: Specialty Press. ISBN 1-58007-026-4.  Norris, Guy; Wagner, Mark (1999). Modern Boeing
Boeing
Jetliners. Osceola, Wisconsin: Zenith Imprint. ISBN 0-7603-0717-2.  Baum, Brian (1997). Boeing
Boeing
747SP. Miami, Florida: World Transport Press. ISBN 0-9626730-7-2. 

External links[edit] Media related to Boeing
Boeing
747SP at Wikimedia Commons

boeing.com – 747 family 747SP fan site – Production Lists & Photographs

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