The 727 was built around the same fuselage cross section as the 707 with a smaller lower fuselage due to less baggage being carried on shorter range flights. Also, a newly designed wing incorporating triple slotted Krueger flaps and power supplied by three Pratt and Whitney turbofans gave it excellent field and climb performance. Since the aircraft was going to be used at smaller regional airports with fewer facilities, an auxiliary power unit (APU) was added to the design to supply its own ground power as well as a built in rear airstair to supplement passenger loading.
The first 727-100 took to the air on February 9, 1963 and entered service with Eastern one year later. Several variants were offered including a 727-100C "convertible" and a 727-100QC "quick change". Freight was loaded through a large side cargo door located on the left side of the aircraft just aft of the main entry door. Production of the 727-100 ended in 1973 with 582 being produced. More than 300 still remain in commercial service today.
CP Air took delivery of its first two 727-100s in early 1970 followed by two more in early 1971. The type was used on domestic routes as well as to the US. However, the 727 did not have the range or passenger capacity for its international routes and turned out to be too large and inefficient for its domestic network. CP Air decided that the 737 was the aircraft of choice for its domestic routes and sold all of its 727-100s by mid 1977.
In 1965, barely a year after the 727-100 entered service, Boeing began development on a stretched version, the 727-200. The newer version was essentially a 20 ft stretch of the 727-100 increasing the maximum passenger capacity to 189. This fuselage stretch consisted of two 10 foot plugs, one forward and one aft of the wing. Otherwise the 727-100 and 200 shared identical engines, fuel capacity and maximum takeoff weight.
The 727-200 first took to the air on July 27, 1967 with certification granted three months later. In December 1967 the 200 was placed into service by launch customer Northeast Airlines and by early 1968 orders for the 727 had surpassed the 500 mark. Although the 727-200 garnered significant sales, it was restricted in its range due to having the same fuel capacity as the 100. In answer to this Boeing developed the longer range Advanced 727-200. First flown in March 1972 major changes included on the Advanced model were increased fuel capacity, thus longer range, the option of more powerful engines and structural improvements. When production of the 727-200 ceased in 1984 more than 1200 had been sold.
CP Air took delivery of its two 727-200s in early 1975 and used them primarily on domestic routes. As with the 727-100, the 200s were found to be unsuitable for these routes as they were too large and inefficient. Deciding that the 737 fit better into the domestic network, CP Air sold off its two 727-200s in early 1984.
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