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TWA Passengers 1940This site celebrates the Boeing 307 Stratoliner, the world’s first commercial transport aircraft with a pressurized passenger cabin. The Stratoliner was the civilian version of Boeing’s famed B-17 heavy bomber, utilizing the wings, tail, rudder, landing gear, and engines from the production B-17C.

Only 11 Stratoliners were built by Boeing. The initial test aircraft was lost on March 18, 1939, while being demonstrated to KLM. Following additional testing and redesign, 10 Stratoliners were delivered to customers. First in line was Howard Hughes who hoped to use the 307 to break his own around-the-world record, but Germany invaded Poland before Hughes could make the flight. Of the remaining nine planes, four were delivered to Pan Am and five to TWA in March and April 1940.

The sole surviving Stratoliner was restored (twice) by Boeing and is part of the National Air and Space Museum’s permanent collection. It is on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles, Virginia.

Unless otherwise specified, all items displayed herein are owned by Fred H. Hutchison, one of the world’s leading collectors of Stratoliner memorabilia. (He’s still hoping to find a 307 in restorable condition somewhere in the jungles of Asia or South America.)