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Archives Spotlight: Mysteries at the Museum

Oct 31, 2016

Boeing 7N7 Model Airplane

From the depths of the Delta Flight Museum’s archival dungeon comes the story of a plane . . . a plane so unbelievable, so improbable, and so rarely seen that it has become the stuff of legend. This is the tale of the 7N7. Queue eerie music.

It has been said that in the late 1970s, engineers at The Boeing Company worked on a hush project of Frankenstein proportions. Whispers of an experimental assignment to create a low weight, high capacity, and more fuel efficient aircraft swept over the world of aviation. Thus, the legend of the 7N7 was born. Designed with the fuselage and T-tail of a 727, and the underwing twinjet engines as on a 737, the 7N7 was to be a monster mash-up of the two preceding jets but, alas, such a plane was never seen. Until now . . . dun-dun-duuun!

Reporting live from the Delta Flight Museum's Archives, I, Austin Coleman, Archives Assistant, am witness to the scarcest of sightings . . . a Boeing 7N7 model airplane was just spotted tucked away deep in our collections. 

Active Delta pilot and museum volunteer, Captain Jim Daigneau, was the first to report the mysterious model airplane.  Jim, your thoughts . . . “I think we have a pretty rare model here. I had heard of the 7N7 but had never seen a picture or model of one.” 

Thank you, Jim. As you can see, this model airplane, much like the infamous chupacabra, is both a rare and unusual find.

What we know – The model is painted in the Classic Delta Widget livery. Its scale is 1:90. It is equipped with the main landing gear. The last reported sighting of the model was by Delta CEO and President David C. Garrett, Jr. when he presented it to the Delta Archives on March 10, 1980.

The experimental 7N7 was never put into full scale production. So many modifications were made that it was never manufactured in its original form. The T-tail was replaced with a conventional tail, engines were mounted under the wings, and in March of 1979, Boeing formally introduced their new jet as the 757.

Another 7N7 model in Boeing House Colors has also been reported in the Boeing Archives, see the pics here

If you have any information regarding the mysterious 7N7, please leave it in the comments section below. 

Happy Halloween from all of us at the Delta Flight Museum!

Austin Coleman

Archives Assistant


 

1 Comment

  1. 1 Bill Sablesak 31 Oct
    This was the original design for the B757. A B727 from nose to leading edge of wing, including three man crew and Second Oficer-Flight Engineer, the B757 wing and engines as we know it today, and then B727 from trailing edge of wing through T-tail, minus the aft mounted engines. Then a couple of things happened - the US government (including FAA) compleyed their crew complement sudy & determined a two man crew was as safe as a three man crew. The Second Officer-Flight Engineer went away. Then Eastern Air Lines, who played a large part in the B757 design, decided that there was no need for a T-tail design since the engines were mounted below the wing and without the T-tail the ffuselage length could be reduced by 25ish feet. Advantageous in tight ramp areas. So Boeing redsigned the entire thing and came up with the B757 that we know & love today. Interwsting fact - EAL's first five B757s (the first delivered to an operator) came from Boeing with the no longer needed Second Officer-Flight Engineer seat tracks still on the Flight Deck floor.

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