John Travolta, apart from being a great actor, is a pilot with a life long passion for aviation. Since earning his wings in 1974, he has logged close to an astounding 5,000 flying hours. Literally every cent of his first paychecks went to flying lessons. He achieved qualification as a captain in the Gulfstream II, Learjet 24, Hawker 1A, Citation 1 and 2, Tebuan and Vampire Jet. He owns the type rating for the Boeing 707 and is certified for SIC privileges (Second In Command). Travolta keeps his skill up-to-date through continual refresher courses, training at American Airlines, SimuFlite and others.
But what is the history behind John Travolta's Boeing 707? Take a look below...
His 707-138B was built in 1964, constructed at Boeing Seattle and has Boeing Construction Number 18740 Line 388.
1964 John Travolta was 10 years old. Travolta first became enamored of aviation as a child. He observed the flight paths of the nearest airports, read books on aviation, and took special interest in Constellations, DC-6s and DC-7s. Attesting to his early charisma, he persuaded the girls in his neighborhood to donate their Brownie uniforms to play flight attendants as he "captained" his backyard airliner.
On September 10, 1964 first owner became Qantas. It’s registration number became VH-EBM "City of Launceston".It was primary used for routes from Sydney to Asia and North/South America.
Since November 1, 1968 it was withdrawn from use and stored engineless at Sydney Airport. The same year in June it was already cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register.
On June 7, 1969 new owner became Braniff International Airways. It’s registration number changed to N108BN.
From February 24, 1972 till 1975 it was owned by Frank Sinatra.
From February 24, 1972 till 1975 it was owned by Frank Sinatra.
During this time, on October 20, 1973, it was again withdrawn from use and stored.
In June 1975 it was sold to Boeing.
In September 1975 it was again sold, this time to Kirk Kerkorian / Tracy Investments Corp (Tracinda / TIC).
Since September 26, 1977 it was owned by TAG Aviation, a holding company based in Luxembourg.
During this time it was also leased to Saudi Arabian Sheikh Akram, for short time.
On August 25, 1981 the 707 was again withdrawn from use, stored at Newark and ferried to Le Bourget for further storage in August 1983.
In December 1983 our 707 returned to service.
In November 1987 it has been sold to Trans Oceanic Aviation.
1988 - 1989 it was out of service again. During this time VIP interior was installed and it was modified with hush kits which converted it to a 707-138B(Q).
In July 1990, with a changed registration number to N707XX it returned to service.
In 1995 the ownage changed again to "Aviation Methods" and was ferried to Istanbul for storage on 29 October 1995.
In September 1996, with only 27,682 of total flying hours, it was offered for sale.
On May 20, 1998 it was finally registered to Jet Clipper Johnny LLC (John Travolta), sold on May 25 and changed registration on December 13, 1998 to N707JT "707 Jett Clipper Ella". Named after his children "Jett" and "Ella", Clipper in homage to legendary airline Pan Am, which used/uses "Clipper" in all their aircraft names.
In June 2002, the 707 finally returned home to Qantas, since Travolta participated in the Qantas "Spirit of Friendship" tour, because it was always his dream to be involved with a major airline in some way. He was piloting his own Boeing 707 on a thirteen city, 35,000 mile tour. He continues as Ambassador-at-Large for the Australia based Qantas Airways. For this campaign the plane was repainted in full classical Qantas "V-Jet" livery. The same livery that was used for the 707’s first flights, back in the old days.
On the other hand, his serious aviation habit means he is hardly the most appropriate person to lecture others on the environment. But John Travolta went ahead and did it anyway.
Travolta, encouraged his fans to "do their bit" to tackle global warming.
But although he readily admitted: "I fly jets", he failed to mention he actually owns five, along with his own private runway.
Clocking up at least 30,000 flying miles in the past 12 months means he has produced an estimated 800 tons of carbon emissions – nearly 100 times the average Briton's tally.
It has to be mentioned that Travolta made his comments at the British premiere of his movie, "Wild Hogs".
He spoke of the importance of helping the environment by using "alternative methods of fuel" , after driving down the red carpet on a Harley Davidson.
Travolta, a Scientologist, claimed the solution to global warming could be found in outer space and blamed his hefty flying mileage on the nature of the movie business.
But his appointment as a "serving ambassador" for the Australian airline Qantas doesn't seem to have much to do with the movies. Nor does a recent, two-month round-the-world flying trip.
"It [global warming] is a very valid issue," Travolta declared. "I'm wondering if we need to think about other planets and dome cities.
"Everyone can do their bit. But I don't know if it's not too late already. We have to think about alternative methods of fuel.
"I'm probably not the best candidate to ask about global warming because I fly jets.
"I use them as a business tool though, as others do. I think it's part of this industry , otherwise I couldn't be here doing this and I wouldn't be here now."
Travolta's five private planes – a customised £2million Boeing 707, three Gulfstream jets and a Lear jet – are kept at the bottom of his garden in the US next to a private runway.
Indeed, such is his enthusiasm for flying, he persuaded his wife, actress Kelly Preston, to name their son Jett when he was born 16 years ago.
Five years ago he piloted his own Boeing 707 on a 13- city "Spirit of Friendship Tour" for Qantas, taking in Los Angeles, Auckland, Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo, London, Paris and New York and amassing over 35,000 flying miles.
More recently, a gruelling promotional schedule for his two latest projects, "Hairspray" and "Wild Hogs", has seen him fly extensively over the past year.
This includes a country-wide tour of the US and a visit to Canada as well as this week's appearance in Leicester Square.
Such prolific mileage means that, over the past 12 months, he has accumulated around 800 tonnes of carbon emissions.
According to a recent study by the government-funded Carbon Trust, this means he boasts a carbon "footprint" nearly 100 times that of the average Briton, who is responsible for 10.92 tons of Co2, from his flights alone.
One of the world's leading climate change businesses, the Carbon Neutral Company, has written to Travolta, suggesting ways he could reduce these alarming levels.
He has yet to respond to their advice. Environmental groups were quick to criticise Travolta for "discrediting the cause".
John Buckley, managing director-of CarbonFootprint.com, stated: "John Travolta has such a high-profile celebrity status, so what he says carries an extraordinary amount of weight.
"So it is such a shame when someone of his standing is so outspoken about green issues, yet fails to practise what he preaches.
"Unfortunately someone of his standing ends up discrediting the cause itself, because he is saying people should protect the environment on one hand, yet travelling on a private plane on the other.
"Green issues are serious and should be treated as such.
"It is vital for celebrities to toe the line when they speak out in support of it."
John Travolta's home near Ocala, Florida is part house and part airport terminal. Naturally, he likes to be close to his airplanes which is why he's configured his home to provide easy access to the planes... and a nearby runway.
John Travolta recently purchased ( in 2011) a Bombardier Challenger 601 jet that he and his family will use to travel around the globe, much to the pleasure of his wife and kids.
"My family fortunately loves traveling," the newly announced Bombardier brand ambassador told PEOPLE. "Whenever I say, "I have to go to Australia or Paris," they say, "When are we going? I'm there." "
But Travolta admits that his wife Kelly Preston and their daughter Ella consider the new purchase to be a "whole new era for us."
The Challenger is the latest – and largest – in a line of aircrafts purchased by Travolta, who started taking lessons when he was just 15 years old. He had his license by 23.
"I love [flying] so much that I built my house next to a [runway] so I could fly my jet to my front door," he told reporters.
And while the avid aviator's baby boy Benjamin, 9 months, may be too young to earn his wings, Ella, 11, has already exhibited a fondness towards aircrafts.
"I was flying these little sports planes that I have and she showed interest in that," Travolta says.
"I just love being in the air. It has been my family time. I've enjoyed that."
What do you think of John Travolta's plane collection and life long aviation passion?
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