A Canadian Armed Forces Boeing 707 (CC-137)
Role Military transport aircraft
Manufacturer Boeing
First flight 1970
Introduction 1972
Retired 1997
Status Retired
Primary user Canadian Forces
Number built 5
Developed from Boeing 707

The Boeing CC-137 is a retired 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


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. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (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.
Canadian Armed Forces post-1968 unified aircraft designations