As is well known the Boeing 707-138B was perhaps the ultimate expression of Boeing's willingness and ability to modify their baseline 707 to gain specific orders from airlines so that it would be the winner of the first jet equipment phase in the late 1950s. It was basically a shortened version of the 707-120 designed specifically for Qantas who required greater range than the series 120 could deliver. Only thirteen aircraft (VH-EBA-M) were ever built and these were delivered to Qantas from June 1959. Though initially groundbreaking for their range capabilities the 138Bs only served with Qantas a relatively short time. Their disposal began in early 1967 and ran until mid 1969 as they were replaced by 707-320Cs. Three went to the US supplemental airline Standard Airways, four went to Braniff International, two went to BWIA, two to Pacific Western and two to British Eagle.
The two 707-138Bs were purchased to operate a new Caribbean IT charter programme. All three of the 707s were actually owned by Kleinwort Benson and operated by Eagle under leae-purchase agreements. In February G-AVZZ landed at Nassau in the Bahamas marking six year since British Eagle had been able to serve the destination (under its previous Cunard Eagle ownership and name). Services were expanded to Jamica, Barbados and Antigua but unfortunately for Eagle its services attracted the eye of the litigious BOAC once again. BOAC successfully argued that Eagle had been abusing the terms and conditions of its charter agreement and advertising its services as scheduled ones. As a result Eagle lost its charter rights at the end of the summer season but proposed to restart services from Luxembourg instead. Sadly the loss of the charter licence was one of several factors that combined together and led to the collapse of British Eagle in November 1968.
Both 707s would however remain on the British register as we shall see in part 2.
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: