The Boeing 727 is the ultimate pilot’s airplane. Its design is totally sensuous with its sleek phallic-like profile. Sitting on the tarmac it appears to be speeding along at about 80 knots. Every aspect of its engineering is a result of creative aeronautical engineers; for instance: each wing has 36 moving parts. The spacious cockpit allows for 3 flight crew members plus 2 jump seats and enough room for a small flight crew party; during the “golden age of aviation” there were many parties in 727 cockpits as the old head “three-holer” pilots from the 60s, 70s 80s, and 90s will verify. Ask any veteran pilot who has flown this magnificent air machine and they will tell you it is their favorite airplane.
Its aft airstair, designed for passenger boarding or disembarkation can also be opened in flight, allowing for high altitude sky diving as evidenced by DB Cooper in his daring adventure. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._B._Cooper) Ace Abbott has also experienced an aft air stair open in flight (see page 185 of The Rogue Aviator). Amazingly enough, the cockpit windows can be opened in flight. The antidote for heavy smoke in the cockpit is to open the windows. It is best to be at a low altitude and a slow airspeed for this procedure. As we mention airspeed I will relate that I once flew a Boeing 727-100 at 90 knots on final approach. At maximum gross landing weight a 727-100 can be stopped in less than 2000 feet of landing roll. For further elucidation of this capability, go to page 224 of The Rogue Aviator).
The first 727 was flown on Feb 1, 1963. Amazingly, there are still 727s being flown; primarily as freighters in Latin America. Unfortunately they are “gas-hogs” compared to today’s modern fuel efficient transport aircraft. If you are on a vacation “south of the border” keep your eyes peeled, you may see one of these classic air machines. Or, go to page 139 of The Rogue Aviator for a stunning color photo of an Air Atlanta 727. After 22 years and 11,000 hours of flight time in this glorious aircraft I still daydream of sitting in the left seat again. https://therogueaviator.com/special-offer/