Boeing’s stubby B747-SP
This Special Performance jumbo was introduced in 1978 in a makeshift response to the advent of the trijets, namely Lockheed Tristar and the DC-10. It was 48 feet shorter than a regular 747. The project was a commercial flop and only 45 were ever produced. In 1986, I had the privilege of flying in this aircraft from HKG to SFO and back via operator Pan Am.
it cruised higher (@45,000 feet) – supposedly above the turbulent layers of the atmosphere, and 10% faster. Among other operators were Saudi Arabian, Iran Air and South African Airways. The last Iran Air 747SP was retired on 23 September 2014.
In 1986, I had the privilege of flying in this aircraft from HKG to SFO and back via operator Pan Am. I cannot recall any difference in the flight experience : of course, I did make it back to tell the story.