Boeing's only trijet is powered by Pratt & Whitney JT8D low-bypass turbofans below a T-tail - one on either side of the rear fuselage and a center one fed through an S-duct. It shares its six abreast upper fuselage cross-section and cockpit with the 707. The 40.5m long 727-100 typically carries 106 passengers in two classes over 4,170km, or 129 in a single class. The 727 was used for many domestic flights and on some international flights within its range. Airport noise regulations have led to hush kit installations. Besides the airliner, a freighter and a Quick Change convertible version were offered as well.
The range of flights it could cover (and the additional safety added by the third engine) meant that the 727 proved efficient for short- to medium-range international flights in areas around the world It also proved popular with cargo and charter airlines.
The 727 was phased out of production by 1984, Faced with higher fuel costs, lower passenger volumes due to the post-9/11 economic climate, increasing restrictions on airport noise, and the extra expenses of maintaining older planes and paying flight engineers’ salaries, most major airlines phased out their 727s; replacing them with twin-engined aircraft, which are quieter and more fuel-efficient. Modern airliners also have a smaller flight deck crew of two pilots, while the 727 required two pilots and a flight engineer.
As of January 2019, a total of 351 incidents involving 727s had occurred, including 119 hull-loss accidents resulting in a total of 4 211 fatalities. In 1965 in the space of three months, the 727 saw three fatal crashes. The aircraft has been the victim of 11 hijackings or attempted hijackings up to December 2019. Several 727s have also had bombs explode on board.
Hijackings, Bombs, and theft
1 July 1968
A hijacker on Northwest Airlines Flight 714 demanded to be taken to Cuba, landing at José Martí International Airport.
4 July, 1968
TWA Flight 329 was hijacked out of Kansas City.
22 September, 1968
Avianca Flight 101 was hijacked shortly after takeoff from Barranquilla. The hijacker demanded to be taken to Cuba, landing at Camaguey Airport.
23 November, 1968
Eastern Air Lines Flight 73 was hijacked after taking off from ChicagoO'Hare, en route to Miami, Florida. The four hijackers demanded to be taken to Cuba, landing in Havana.
24 November, 1971
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