The Philippine Airlines Boeing 727 - Mond Aviation Shop

The Philippine Airlines Boeing 727

In 1979, Philippine Airlines needed to upgrade its fleet further with more jets. During that time, the best-selling aircraft was the tri-jet Boeing 727, which combined capacity with outstanding take-off and landing characteristics, especially in short runways.
PAL leased two B727-200s as interim equipment to replace the aging DC-8s while waiting for the Airbus A300 to become available. The B727-200 was used in PAL's pioneering flight to Beijing and Canton (Guangzhou) in August 1979.
The Boeing 727s were replaced in 1984 with the Airbus A300B4.
However, up to now, we still don't know why the B727-200 had a different vertical stabilizer livery as compared to the other aircraft.

History of the Boeing 727

It was the first commercial airplane to break the 1,000-sales mark, but it started as a risky proposition. The 727 was designed to service smaller airports with shorter runways than those used by Boeing 707s. U.S. companies already working to compete in this market included Lockheed, Convair, and later Douglas, with what would become the DC-9. Boeing also faced overseas competition from such airplanes as the de Havilland Trident, Sud Aviation Caravelle, and British Aircraft Corp. BAC 1-11.

Adding to Boeing’s challenges were conflicting demands from customers: some wanted four engines, another wanted a twin, still others were satisfied with prop planes. Boeing was also still grappling with the startup and production costs of the 707. The decision to go forward on a new commercial plane was a risk that many at Boeing advised against. On Dec. 5, 1960, Boeing announced the three-engine 727, with 40 orders each from launch customers United Airlines and Eastern Air Lines.

Of all the early Boeing jets, the 727 had the most distinctive appearance, with its rakish T-shaped tail and its trio of rear-mounted engines. It carried billions of passengers on everything from short hops to cross-country flights.

The 727 was the first Boeing jetliner to undergo rigorous fatigue testing, the first to have completely powered flight controls, the first to use triple-slotted flaps, and the first to have an auxiliary power unit (APU). The APU was a small gas-turbine engine that eliminated the need for ground power or starting equipment in the more primitive airports of developing countries.

The first 727 rolled out Nov. 27, 1962, bearing a lemon-yellow and copper-brown color scheme similar to the livery of the Dash 80. However, by the time of its first flight, on Feb. 9, 1963, orders were still below the estimated break-even point of 200. To help spur sales, Boeing sent a 727 on a 76,000-mile tour of 26 countries.

Originally, Boeing planned to build 250 of the planes. However, they proved so popular (especially after the larger 727-200 model, which carried up to 189 passengers, was introduced in 1967) that a total of 1,832 were produced at the Renton, Wash., plant. Variants included a convertible passenger-cargo model with a Quick Change (QC) option — seats and galleys attached to removable pallets.

In September 1984, after a 22-year production run, the last 727 was delivered (a 727-200F to Federal Express). The once “very risky” 727 had become one of the greatest selling commercial jets in history.

First flight Feb. 9, 1963
Model number 727-100
Classification Commercial transport
Span 108 feet
Length 133 feet 2 inches
Gross weight 170,000 pounds
Top speed 632 mph
Cruising speed 570 mph
Range 3,110 miles
Ceiling 36,100 feet
Power Three 14,000-pound-thrust P&W engines
Accommodation 131 passengers


    • Philippine Airlines 75 Years Commemorative Coffee Table Book
    Back to blog