Boeing CC-137


Boeing CC-137 (707-347C), Canada - Air Force AN1849852.jpg
A Canadian Armed Forces Boeing 707 (CC-137)
Role Military transport aircraft
Manufacturer Boeing
First flight 1970
Introduction 1972
Retired 1997
Primary user Canadian Forces
Number built 5
Developed from Boeing 707

The Boeing CC-137 was a transport and tanker aircraft which served with the Canadian Forces from 1970 to 1997. The Boeing 707-347C aircraft provided long range passenger transport for the military, VIP transport for government and air-to-air refueling for fighters such as the CF-116 Freedom Fighter and CF-18 Hornet. It was replaced by the Airbus CC-150 Polaris in the transport role and much later in the tanker role.

Design and development

During the 1960s, the Royal Canadian Air Force set out a requirement to replace the aging fleet of Canadair CC-106 Yukons and Canadair CC-109 Cosmopolitan transports. Initially, the Boeing KC-135 was being considered because the versatile design could also fulfill a yet-unspecified aerial refuelling role.[1] Although a "purpose-built" aircraft would have suited the RCAF requirements better, an opportunity to acquire Boeing 707s as an alternative, soon presented itself.[2]

Operational history

Boeing CC-137 tanker in 1994

Canada purchased five Boeing 707s in 1970–71 to replace the RCAF's CC-106 Yukons in the long range transport role and the CC-109 Cosmopolitan as an executive or short-range transport.[3] The first four aircraft had been built for Western Airlines, but that order was subsequently cancelled; the fifth was bought separately a year later. To fulfil Canada's requirements for aerial refueling, two aircraft were fitted with Beechcraft made probe and drogue refueling pods in 1972.[4] The two sets of refuelling equipment were moved from aircraft to aircraft to keep fleet utilization even between the airframes.

The CC-137 fleet had a combined total of 191,154 hours, remaining in service in the transport role until 1995, with two aircraft continuing in use as tankers until 1997.[4][5]

Most of the fleet ended up with the Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint STARS programme either for spare parts or conversion to E-8C standard for the United States Air Force.[6]



Specifications (CC-137)

Data from Boeing CC137 (707-347C)[7]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Capacity: 170 passengers and 90,000 lb (41,000 kg) payload
  • Length: 152 ft 11 in (46.61 m)
  • Wingspan: 145 ft 9 in (44.42 m)
  • Height: 42 ft 5 in (12.93 m)
  • Wing area: 3,010 sq ft (280 m2)
  • Empty weight: 140,000 lb (63,569 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 327,000 lb (148,000 kg)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Pratt & Whitney JT3D-7 turbofans, 19,700 lbf (88 kN) thrust each


  • Cruise speed: 618 mph (994 km/h, 537 kn)
  • Range: 7,638 mi (12,290 km, 6,636 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 39,000 ft (12,000 m)

See also

Related development

Related lists



  1. ^ Stachiw 2004, p. 18.
  2. ^ Stachiw 2004, p. 18–19.
  3. ^ Bowers 1989, p. 454.
  4. ^ a b Canada's Air Force, Aircraft, Historical Aircraft, Boeing 707 (CC-137) Canadian Department of National Defence. Retrieved: 1 March 2008.
  5. ^ Stachiw 2004, p. 23.
  6. ^[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Stachiw 2004, p. 26.


  • Bowers, Peter M. Boeing Aircraft since 1916. London: Putnam, 1989. ISBN 0-85177-804-6.
  • Stachiw, Anthony L. Boeing CC137 (707-347C). St. Catharine's, Ontario, Canada: Vanwell Publishing Ltd., 2004. ISBN 1-55125-079-9.

External links

  • Canadian Forces Historical Aircraft – Boeing 707 (CC-137)
  • Boeing CC-137 B707-320 at