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

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 9/14/2001
  • 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.


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, (

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You