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Boeing 707 prototype first flew in 1954 and the first order were made by Pan American in 1955. Later in 1956 BOAC ordered 18 of the larger 707-420 ‘Intercontinental’ version of this Boeing, powered by Rolls Royce Conway engines.
Second World War had seriously affected Great Britain’s capacity to proceed with airliner developement, and it was realised that the USA should have virtual domination in this field unless efforts were maked to catch up.
The first Vanguard made its maiden flight on 20th January 1959, and BEA ordered 20 of the V951 model. They entered service to replace Viscounts on many European routes. In the event BEA only accepted six of these aircraft, having the remainder delivered as V953 Vanguards IIs. The fuselage of the Vanguard allowed considerable freight to be carried below...