Miami International Airport, Florida - June 9, 2013 (1:17pm)
♫ Leavin’ home, out on the road I’ve been down before. Ridin’ along in this big ol’ jet plane, I’ve been thinkin’ about my home. But my love light seems so far away and I feel like it’s all been done. Somebody’s tryin’ to make me stay, you know I’ve got to be movin’ on. Oh, big ol’ jet airliner, don’t carry me too far away. Oh, big ol’ jet airliner ’cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay. Goodbye to all my friends at home, goodbye to people I’ve trusted. I’ve got to go out and make my way, I might get rich you know I might get busted. But my heart keeps calling me backwards as I get on the 7-0-7. Ridin’ high I got tears in my eyes, you know you got to go through hell before you get to heaven. Big ol’ jet airliner, don’t carry me too far away. Oh, big ol’ jet airliner ’cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay. Touchin’ down in New England town, feel the heat comin’ down. I’ve got to keep on keepin’ on, you know the big wheel keeps on spinnin’ around. And I’m goin’ with some hesitation, you know that I can surely see. That I don’t want to get caught up in any of that funky shit goin’ down in the city. Big ol’ jet airliner, don’t carry me too far away. Oh, big ol’ jet airliner, ’cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay. Oh, big ol’ jet airliner, don’t carry me too far away.Oh, big ol’ jet airliner, ’cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Big ol’ jet airliner, don’t carry me too far away. Oh, big ol’ jet airliner ’cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay. Oh, big ol’ jet airliner, carry me to my home. Oh, big ol’ jet airliner ’cause it’s there that I belong. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Big ol’ jet airliner... ♫ This Boeing 707-138B was originally delivered to Qantas on September 4, 1964 but it flew for this Australian airline for only less than 5 years. This was a special short-fuselage long-range model specifically built for Qantas’ long haul “kangourou” routes and only 13 examples were produced, this one being the 13th (newest) one. Its fuselage is 128 feet and 10 inches in length, which is quite a bit shorter than the other early models of the 707 (the 120/120B/220 series), which were 144 feet and 6 inches long. The intercontinental version of the Boeing 707 (the 320/320B/320C/420 series), which came out a few years later had an even longer fuselage, which was 152 feet and 11 inches, and it also had a wider wing span than the previous models. Interestingly, the Boeing 720/720B (which were the the short-body and shorter-range version of the Boeing 707) had a fuselage that was 136 feet and 9 inches in length, still longer than this Boeing 707-138B!On June 24, 1969, this big ol’ jet airliner was sold to Braniff International. As a teenager, I saw it in Miami quite a few times and I even took several photos of it over the years. Back then, because of its longer range, it was perfect for Braniff’s long haul flights to South America. I actually went inside this aircraft back in April 1972 (when I was in 9th grade) and the pilots showed me the inside of the cockpit, which was way too cool! On May 20, 1998, John Travolta purchased this big ol’ jet airliner and even though it was the shortest Boeing 707 model built, it’s definitely plenty big for this movie star’s needs. It’s also one of several private jets that he currently owns and flies. John Travolta had this inside of this Boeing 707-138B converted from a passenger jet configuration to a VIP interior that is absolutely magnificent!In June 2002, this Boeing 707-138B finally returned home to Qantas, since Travolta participated in the Qantas “Spirit of Friendship” tour, because it was always his dream to be involved with a major airline in some way. He was piloting his own Boeing 707 on a thirteen-city, 35,000 mile tour. He continues as Ambassador-at-Large for the Australian-based Qantas. For this campaign the plane was repainted in its original Qantas “V-Jet” livery, which it still retains to this very day, as pictured in this photo. This flying palace visits Miami International Airport periodically, mostly for maintenance. Even though I have seen it many times, this is the first time that I finally got a good picture of it wearing this awesome retrojet livery!
(Photo by George, Nikon D3000)