The Boeing Whisperjet
Introduced in the early 1960s, the Boeing 727 was designed to replace propliners such as the Douglas DC-6 and Lockheed Constellations on short- and medium-haul routes to smaller airports unsuitable for the 707. The -100 made its maiden flight in 1963 and entered service with Eastern Air Lines and a stretched -200 series followed three years later with Northeast Airlines. During the 1970s, the 727 became the mainstay of several airlines and its distinctive T- tail and three rear-mounted Pratt & Whitney JT8D turbofans were a common sight around the world. In 1984, the last example rolled off the production line and the type was gradually retired from passenger service during the 1990s although it was widely used as a freighter during the following decade. Fifty years on, it is still used on selected routes for special flights.