Composite image of an Air Algerie Boeing 737-700C – Image: Boeing
The Boeing 737-700C is an interesting aircraft. What makes it unique is its ability to convert from passengers to cargo depending on how the airline wants to use it. If you have heavy passenger flow during the summer, but more cargo during the winter, being able to convert between the two is quite helpful.
What also makes the 737-700C unique is that, like the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ), it has strengthened wings, different than the standard passenger 737-700. When in passenger configuration, the plane can hold 120-140 seats and fly 3,205nm. In an all-cargo set up, it can haul 40,000 pounds and fly 2,880nm.
The model was launched back in September 1997, when the US Naval Reserve ordered two and called them the C-40A Clipper. This was a big deal, since there had not been a convertible version of the 737 built from the Next Generation-version of the 737 at the time.
The US Navy currently operates 12 C-40As to move personnel and supplies around the world. Think of it as an airliner for the military.
Often I am asked what some of my favorite aviation experiences has been. No question, being able to fly in a Boeing 737-700 Business Jet from Boeing Field (BFI) to Anchorage (ANC) was one of those moments.
I have previously shared in the trip in great detail on a previous story, but I haven’t yet shared my video. Although the back of the plane is quite something, I was more interested in being able to sit in the flight deck during takeoff and again during landing. I have never had that experience before in a large jet and what else can I say other than… it was amazing.
Yes, my trip was almost a year ago, but I got held up with the video – at least I get to spread the BBJ love! My only regret is not wearing the top hat in the flight deck – maybe next time.
A ride like this deserves a top hat. BBJ parked at Boeing Field and me ready to fly.
BOEING BUSINESS JET 737 REVIEW BASICS
Airline: Haha, who flies on airlines?
Aircraft: Boeing 737-700 BBJ1
Departed: King County International Airport [aka Boeing Field] (BFI)
Arrived Airport: Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
Class: Yes, there was lots of class
Seat: Jump seat, big chair, nice couch, bed and another big chair.
Length: About 3 hours.
Cheers: Too many to list. It also gave me an excuse to purchase and wear a top hat. Jeers: I had to get off. Overall: If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up. Also, if you do, can I have a ride?
Mystery 747-8 VIP (VQ-BSK) parked at the fuel dock at the Boeing Factory in Everett. Photo Mal Muir / AirlineReporter.com
Who does the newest Boeing 747-8 VIP seen at Paine Field belong to? I am not sure, but I have to say I love the livery.
As the 747-8 program continues to produce aircraft, the majority of these have been freighters (747-8F). Of the passenger variants (the 747-8 Intercontinental) only one airline has taken delivery of the type: Lufthansa. All the rest, with the longer upper decks (Freighter’s are shorter), have been sold as Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) to private buyers, or governments, marketed as the 747-8 VIP.
The First 747-8 VIP Departs Everett Bound for Vancouver. Photo David Parker Brown, Airline Reporter
The 747-8 VIP painted for the State of Kuwait – Photo David Parker Brown, Airline Reporter
More recently, the first 747-8I unveiled, which was painted in the Sunrise Livery has been repainted and delivered its new owner. Once again, neither Boeing nor any government identity has confirmed it, but one can assume that this aircraft was for the State of Kuwait (see photo above and decide for yourself).
The Logo Adorning the tail of this Mystery 747-8 VIP – Photo Mal Muir, Airline Reporter
The newest Boeing 747-8 VIP came out of the paint hangar with a mysterious livery on December 1st. Rumors have flown about who might own this plane. Boeing Business Jet is not able to confirm who owns the aircraft, respecting the wishes of the customer.
However, the logo and registration number might provide some clues. The first VIP Intercontinental flew out with an A7 registration, which showed the plane was registered in Qatar. The newest aircraft is registered VQ-BSK. VQ is Bermuda based and not in Qatar, like A7. This adds to the mystery of the aircraft.
Also, most of the aircraft in the Qatar Amiri Fleet wear a very similar livery to Qatar Airways, which this plane obviously does not. The logo on the tail first struck me as something from the Middle East. After some additional research, I found, it is actually the logo for the ’œState of Qatar.’
Boeing 747SP (VP-BAT) which shares a very similar livery. Photo by Robin Kearney / Flickr CC.
Then you have the Boeing 747SP (VP-BAT), as seen above, in a very similar livery. This plane is also registered in Bermuda and is assumed to have belonged to Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, who was deposed at the ruler of Qatar in 1995, but returned in 2004.
Could this new 748 VIP be Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani’s new personal jet? Is this aircraft the first ’œofficial’ 747-8 VIP of the Qatar Amiri Fleet with a new livery? Is it destined for the Amiri Fleet and registered in Bermuda for reasons unknown? Or is it destined to someone else affiliated with the state of Qatar?
It seems that the biggest game at Everett at the moment is: Who owns this 747-8 VIP and can I get a ride?
Story will continue to be updated. Thanks to Steven Frischling for additional background information.
This story written by…Malcolm Muir, Lead Correspondent. Mal is an Australian Avgeek now living and working in Seattle. With a passion for aircraft photography, traveling and the fun that combining the two can bring. Insights into the aviation world with a bit of a perspective thanks to working in the travel industry.
The exterior of the new Boeing Business Jet 737. Hi-Res, click for larger. Photo from Boeing.
The Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) is one awesome machine. The airplane is a 737-700 with the wings and landing gear from the 737-800. This provides the ability to carry up to nine fuel tanks and gives the aircraft additional range. The biz jet is capable of going up to 5,600 nautical miles at Mach 0.80. Yea, all the facts are interesting, but what interests me the most are the photos of this aircraft.
The first version of the new BBJ was delivered to a private businessman from the US in early March after it went through interior modifications at Jet Tech, located in Spokane, WA.
Not too shabby. The interior of 737 BBJ. Hi-Res Image: click for larger. Photo by Boeing.
This BBJ is the second for the customer. “Our repeat customers aren’t limited to governments and charter companies, but include private individuals who love the comfort and capability of their BBJ so much, they buy another one,” said Captain Steve Taylor, BBJ president.
The master bedroom of this 737 BBJ. Hi-Res photo: click for larger. Photo by Boeing.
This aircraft is configured to carry only 19 passengers. Knowing that the commercial version can be configured to carry up to 149 passengers, that means this BBJ has plenty of space for each person.
According to Boeing, the aircraft, “has all the amenities of a home including a large personal stateroom with a king-size bed, private lavatory and shower. It also has a smaller guest stateroom with divans that convert into beds enabling the BBJ to sleep up to 8 passengers.”
One could get a lot of good cooking done in this kitchen in the BBJ 737. Hi-Res Image: click for larger. Image by Boeing.
In the well appointed kitchen, there is island, convection/microwave ovens, a refrigerator, wine cooler and trash compactor — not too shabby.
The BBJ starts out at $57million, which is not cheap and will that will only get you the airplane. Most customers will spend an additional $20-25million on the VIP interior. Of course, this is chump change compared to get the Boeing 747-8VIP, which is listed at about $300million and costs, on average, $140-250million for the interior. Better start saving now.