Flying at more than 400 miles per hour just 400 feet above the water, Johnston commenced a sudden ascent. The jet's swept-back wings spiraled as the 128-foot-long, 160,000 pound plane rolled, flying for a short time upside down. Then, for extra measure, Johnston performed a second barrel-roll. (Although what Johnston did was generally called a barrel-roll, some consider it an aileron roll in which a plane rotates on its long axis, rather than describing a "barrel" loop. However, unlike a conventional aileron, or snap, roll, Johnston maintained positive gravity through the maneuver.)
Boeing President Allen asked a guest with a heart problem if he could borrow his pills. The potential jet buyers were duly impressed. By the time Johnston broke the transcontinental speed record in 1957 by flying from Seattle to Baltimore in three hours, 48 minutes, orders for the new 707 were pouring in.