What happened to the Boeing 717 Airplane?
A website visitor named Riley asks, What happened to the Boeing 717 airplane? Iím delighted to report that, for once, mrlucky got lucky. A quick Hotbot search turned up an article at the Fortune Magazine website written by Ed Brown, dated February 2, 1998, titled "Whatever Happened to the 717?"
Mr. Brown reports that the original 717 was an offshoot of the prototype which produced the better known 707. The 717 was a military cargo and airborne-refueling jet which ended up being renamed by the USAF according to their own classification system, as the KC-135. Everyone, Boeing included, adopted this nomenclature for the jet, which ended its production run in 1965. Far from being defunct, some 550 KC-135s are still in service today.
Thereís a new 717 on the horizon, however, and, amusingly, its existence is owed to an inversion of the process which "un-named" its predecessor. Boeing has announced that it will soon rename the McDonnell Douglas MD-95 as the Boeing 717-200. Boeing's Website has several items about the new craft. Built by a global partnership, it will take to the air sometime in 1998, with deliveries expected in 1999. It will carry 100 passengers, and fly nearly 2000 statute miles nonstop. It will be powered by two advanced high-bypass ratio engines, the BR715 produced by BMW/Rolls-Royce. The engine features lower fuel consumption, reduced exhaust emissions and significantly lower noise levels than the power plants on earlier, similar-size aircraft.