Pan Am hedged their bets with their first jetliners ordering 20 B707s and 25 DC-8s on the same day in October 1955. Boeing’s willingness to widen the 707 fuselage and offer the stretched 707-320 successfully countered the Douglas product and subsequently Pan Am ordered a huge number of 707s whilst only taking nineteen of their DC-8 order (several went to their Brasilian airline Panair). The first DC-8 eventually arrived in February 1960, more than fourteen months after the first 707 deliveries.
This frame, which became N800PA, though first flying in February 1959 wasn’t delivered until mid 1961. She operated with Pan Am only briefly as, along with a sistership and two of Pan Am’s undelivered original orders, she went to their Brazilian affiliate Panair do Brasil. N800PA ‘Jet Clipper Flying Cloud’ became PP-PEA. She transferred to Varig in 1965 and was written off in March 1967 when she crashed on approach to Monrovia.
In fact if I was to criticise this mid 2014 Pan Am Models Co (Aeroclassics) release it is the choice of N800PA. Though she was the first in the reg series she wasn't the first delivered and stayed with PA for a very short time. The first eight in service with Pan Am seems to have been N803PA and most frames stayed with Pan Am until late 1968.
I am so glad to see the first DC-8s get good releases. It'd be nice to see the early 707s get likewise releases. There are no good early 707 moulds at all. Only the 707-320B/C has a decent mould. So we are missing good moulds for:
Such a shame. Anyway as close as I can get to a comparison of the two first jets for PA is the DC-8 with one of the later 707-320Bs. Same livery but note the 707 doesn't have a Jet Clipper name (plus of course the nosegear doors and tail / ventral fin etc denote it is a 320B and not a 320).
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: