When first introduced into commercial service, the 727's original market forecast was for only 250 planes. But over 1,800 of the versatile and economic "trijets" were built between the early 1960s and 1984, and they were used by hundreds of airlines.
The Museum's 727 is equipped with three Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17 engines with 16,000 pounds of thrust each. The three-engined airliner was the first of its type in the U.S., flying shorter routes, and able to operate from smaller airfields than Boeing's 707 and 720 aircraft. The aft location of the 727's engines allowed for improved ground clearance, less cabin noise on take-off, and reduced control problems should one engine become inoperative.
Before the 737 surpassed it, the 727 was the world's highest-selling jet transport. As of 2001, nearly 1,300 727s were still in service and the planes have flown well over 4 billion miles.