On March 17,1960 Lufthansa launched its first transatlantic non-stop service from Germany when Lufthansa’s First Boeing 707, named Hamburg (D-ABOB) took off from Hamburg, arrived at Frankfurt then proceeded non-stop to New York’s Idlewild Airport (Renamed to John F. Kennedy in 1963). Previously, Lufthansa’s transatlantic flights required a fueling stop in England or Ireland. This was also Lufthansa’s first Jet Aircraft to enter service.
Even though service did not start until 1960, Lufthansa had begun daily simulations of operating the Frankfurt-New York route in 1956. Known as “Operation Paper Jet”, Lufthansa’s flight operations department would simulate flights between Frankfurt and New York (and return) everyday for 4 years between 1956 and 1960. They would take into account real time weather data each day, as well as simulated load factors to perfect the route years before the route would go “live”. From 1956-1958, while the 707 was still in design phase and had no accurate data, Lufthansa would assume data from Boeing’s Dash 80 for its simulations. Beginning in 1958, enough data was in place for the future 707 which allowed Lufthansa to fine tune their strategies. Leave it to the Germans to be meticulous and thorough in their preparations!
This moment in Lufthansa’s history would change the airline forever. As the 707 fleet grew, Lufthansa was able to expand their timetable to include jet service to the West Coast of the US, Asia and to South America.
Lufthansa would ultimately operate 23 707 jetliners. 5 were the 707-430 versions delivered between 1960 and 1961 and the remaining 18 were 707-300B or 330C variants that were delivered between 1963 and 1970. The last Lufthansa 707 , known as Hannover (D-ABUF) was retired from the fleet on May 7, 1984.
Images Of Lufthansa’s First 707-430 (D-ABOB):
source: Lufthansa Archives
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