The Boeing 720 in Nagpur

United Airlines B-720

Today I learned about a Boeing 720 (not the one pictured on the left) which was parked at the airport at Nagpur (my old home town where I was born) for 24 years. This is the first time I came across Nagpur mentioned in a tweet on my twitter feed.

It’s an interestingly crazy story. Here’s the introduction to a twitter thread that tells the backstory.

Kenneth Copeland ditched a B-720 he owned at the Brown Field Municipal airport around 1988. A couple of years later, Mick Croy, a mechanic at the airport, noticed a guy hanging out near the abandoned plane. It was Sam Veder Verma, an Indian tire magnate. Sam asked Mick if he could fix the 29-year old plane. Mick said yes and got on the job.

Click on the tweet by @ChrisCroy below to read the full story. His father is the mechanic who fixed the plane and took it to India. Just BTW, his claim about every pilot being warned about the B720 for the last 24 years is likely an exaggeration. It isn’t as if the B720 was parked on a runway, even an inactive one. Pilots aren’t that careless.

A little bit about Boeing 720s. The wiki says (edited):

The Boeing 720 is an American narrow-body airliner produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Announced in 1957 as a 707 derivative for shorter flights from shorter runways, the 720 first flew in 1959. It entered service with United Airlines in 1960. A total of 154 Boeing 720s and 720Bs were built until 1967. As a derivative, the 720 had low development costs, allowing profitability despite few sales.

For more on the 720s, click on the image at the top of this post.

PS: Correction on the “Sam Veder” — it is actually Sam Verma. Here’s an article about him from Jan 2014 — Sam Verma is the owner of the grounded aircraft since 1997.


Author: Atanu Dey


One thought on “The Boeing 720 in Nagpur”

  1. Yes,….it was there for as long as I remember. But now towed away to one corner of parking area. It indeed was annoying to see couple of meters away from main runway. I’m sure pilot must have horrid time landing aircraft on that runway


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