A 727 (or 747?) making a loop (or a roll?)?

I have heard that a retiring airline pilot, on his last trip, made a loop (maybe a "victory roll"?) with his 727 (and passengers!)

I thought this was impossible, as the auto-pilot prevents even a banking of 20-30º.

Was this a joke?

Even disconnecting the A-P, I can't see one of these doing such manoeuvre...


(sorry if it is a stupid question - or I am gullable! :-) )

10 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you have a good roll rate, a roll is no problem, any airplane...!

    The 707 had a very poor roll rate (but Tex Johnson did roll it) -

    For the 727 (and 747) the roll rate is excellent thanks to spoilers -

    I used to roll the 727 simulator at PAFA in Miami, upsets the technicians -

    I have heard 727s being rolled a few times -

    A Continental Airlines pilot got fired doing it in the late 1960s -

    Airplane was ferrying empty, but flight attendants reported it (nice girls) -

    Did not hear about roll in 747, but I am sure it has been done -

    l rolled Lear 24s quite a few times in my life, while training pilots for type rating -

    I called it "training for unusual attitude recovery" -

    If you follow a heavy airplane (wake turbulence) you might get upside down -

    Recovering from wake turbulence might be a complete roll -

    Loop = forget it -

    Technicalities about rolls in - say a 747 -

    I would worry about side loads (side Gs) on the engine pods -

    The engine pods can sustain good positive/negative Gs -

    But they are not designed for side loads - You might lose a pod...!

    Did happen to a guy I know (then a Boeing factory test pilot) -

    He rolled a 720, he lost the 2 outboard pods (engines nº 1 and 4) .-

    Got fired - His name, Rodney, became known as "Two-pods Rod" -

    Nice guy, got hire by Lokheed - became one of the L-1011 test pilots -

    Source(s): Retired pilot -
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/av0Wl

    Boeing named its first passenger jet Boeing 707. It was such a success that 707 is actually now part of pop culture. Steve Miller sang "...as I get on a seven oh seven." 717 was Boeing's internal designation for the Air Force's KC-135 tanker, a twin of the 707. When the airlines wanted an even smaller plane, Boeing shortened the 707's fuselage, put three engines on the back of it, added a T-tail and called it a 727. When the airlines wanted an even smaller jet, Boeing shortened the 727 even more, put two engines under the wings, and it became a 737. By mid 1960s the 7x7 numbering convention was known throughout the world, so for its next design of an all new commercial jet Boeing simply called it 747. And so on, until 787. DC stands for Douglas Commercial. The DC-1 was the prototype of what would become DC-2 and the immortal DC-3. Douglas used this numbering system uninterrupted all the way up to the DC-10. A little known fact: There was a DC-5 too, but only 4 went into service with KLM, one was lost in 1941 on Java, one was captured by the Japanese, and two escaped to Australia. where one crashed. The other one found its way to Israel in 1948 and flew for the Israeli Air Force, where it was broken up sometime in the 1950s. Seven DC-5 were used by the US Army and US navy and Marines, but were retired after the war. When Douglas merged with McDonnell, it changed the aircraft designation to MD, starting with the DC-9-80 which, for marketing purposes, became the MD-80. The airworthiness certificate wasn't changed however, so "officially" the are called DC-9-80, -81, -82, -83, -87, and -88. These were numbered, more or less for the year they were introduced. There is actually very little external difference between them, except the -87 which is shorter than the other four, and the -88 comes with electronic flight instruments, while the others still use the "round dials." When McDonnell-Douglas did a major update of the DC-10, it called it the MD-11. There was talk of the MD-12, but nothing came out of that. Also, around 1990 McDonell-Douglas introduced a stretched, re-engined version of MD-88 called MD-90, and later an MD-95 to be introduced by middle of the decade. When Boeing took over McDonnell-Douglas in 1997 ended the production of all other models, except for MD-95, which it renamed 717. By that time the production of KC-135s ended decades ago, and nobody really used the 717 name anymore, so there was little confusion. In Europe, when Airbus was formed, it originally proposed a 300 passenger widebody two engine aircraft that it called A300: A for Airbus and 300 for 300 passengers. To save money on development Airbus used the existing version of the General Electric CF-6 engine. However, this engine wasn't large enough for a 300 passenger jet, so the aircraft that finally emerged from the assembly line at Toulouse had only 250 seats, but it was still called the A300. By early 1980s Airbus introduced a smaller version of the A300. It kept the same layout, but used 10 fewer fuselage frames. During design, this version was originally called A300-10 as in A300 minus 10, and then simply as A310. This had established the Airbus' A3XX naming convention for its models, which it continued with the A320 family, and then with the A330 and A340. In 2000 Airbus skipped the A350, A360, and A370 to the A380 because it could carry as many as 800 passengers, but then went back when it introduced the A350.

  • 4 years ago

    727 Barrel Roll

  • Todd
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Doable, maybe, but done, no. The factor of safety on those jets is pretty high so they can withstand some pretty substantial forces. Would somebody actually do it with passengers on board? No way in hell, though it's a nice urban legend to hear. Some people think you run the risk of stalling, also.

    A roll would be much easier than a loop but still hard to execute.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 9 years ago

    Rolls are not a problem, see Tex Johnson and his roll of the prototype 707 over the Seattle Regatta (it's a 1g manuever). Loops are different and would be pretty spectacular and difficult in a Transport Category airplane.

    And the autopilot has nothing to do with it.

  • 9 years ago

    Never heard of one other than the empty 707 intro flight! However, if done correctly a roll can be done at 1 g which wouldn't even spill coffee! See Bob Hover prove that http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOZEgKXJMCE

    Youtube thumbnail

    look around 2.30-end. He even refills a tea glass while rolling.

    add Here is the 707 roll http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vHiYA6Dmws

    Youtube thumbnail

    Source(s): TL
  • Tex Johnston performed a barrel roll in a 707 prototype (no paying passengers aboard)

    Not a stupid question

  • Mark
    Lv 6
    9 years ago


    Not at all impossible; 25º of bank is typical with an automatic pilot.

    Not a joke--just incorrect.

    Looping or rolling a B727 or a B747 is entirely possible, and not dangerous.

  • 9 years ago

    It is impossible

    Well not exactly but very dangerous

    If he was very very high and tried it mayb he could succeed but I doubt anyone would ever try that

    He is just lying

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I'm shure it is not.

    Source(s): But if it was it would be funny as hell
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.