Prototype Boeing 377 Stratocruiser takes its maiden flight on July 8, 1947.

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 9/14/2001
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3563
On July 8, 1947, the first Boeing Model 377 Stratocruiser lifts off on its first flight. The luxurious double-decked Statrocruiser is Boeing’s first postwar airliner. Pan American Airways and Northwest Airlines puchase most of the 55 aircraft to be produced.

Its design is based on the C-97 military transport and KC-97 aerial tankers (themselves variants on the B-29 and B-50 airframes). The upper fuselage of several aircraft were later enlarged to create the ungainly but effective “Pregnant Guppy” and “Super Guppy” cargo carriers. In spaciousness, comfort, and in its two-level cabin, the 377 ranks as an indirect antecedent of the 747 Jumbo Jet.


Sources: Peter M. Bowers, Boeing Aircraft Since 1916 (London: Putnam, 1989); Boeing Historical Archives, Year by Year, 75 Years of Boeing History (Seattle: Boeing, 1991); Harold Mansfield, Vision, The Story of Boeing (New York, Popular Press, 1966); Robert Redding and Bill Yene, Boeing, Planemaker to the World (San Diego: Thunder Bay Press, 1997); Robert Serling, Legend & Legacy: The Story of Boeing and Its People (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992); Boeing historical chronology, (www.boeing.com/companyoffices/history).

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