Why was the Boeing 707 so popular with British airlines?

Despite protectionist objections from politicians, UK carriers embraced the Boeing 707 during the 1960s and 1970s. Lee Cross explores the US type’s introduction with various British airlines.

The race to enter the jet age in the 1950s was a hard-fought battle between the British-built de Havilland Comet and the American Boeing 707. Despite the Comet beating the US type to the skies and becoming the first to cross the North Atlantic, the 707 would quickly overtake its rival in terms of reliability, economics and overall performance. British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) – the UK's state-owned long-haul carrier – could only watch as its rivals ordered the 707.

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