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60 years ago: The famous Boeing 707 prototype barrel roll over Lake Washington

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posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 03:46 AM
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It was a promotional stunt that in today’s dollars used a $144 million investment by Boeing.

And it was done without the knowledge of Bill Allen, then president of the company, who was watching. And fuming.

He was not a happy man. The firm’s future was on the line. No time for tricks.

But 60 years ago, on Aug. 7, 1955, Boeing’s chief of flight testing, the legendary Alvin “Tex” Johnston, pulled an impressive stunt in the prototype of the Boeing 707.
The famous Boeing 707 barrel roll over Lake Washington


still pretty cool today.

also read this




Shortly after 3:30 p.m. on July 15, 1954, at Boeing Field in Seattle, a pilot who would have been tall even without his cowboy boots climbed down from the cockpit of Boeing’s Model 367-80 and allowed that “she flew like a bird, only faster.” Alvin M. “Tex” Johnston had just completed the maiden flight of what the Boeing crew had come to call Dash 80, after the final digits in its model number. Now that its first flight had been smooth as silk, the big four-engine jet, the prototype for the country’s first jet airliner, could finally be called an airplane



Dash 80 - The story of the prototype 707




posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 04:21 AM
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"Tex" was said to be the inspiration for the 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove.
Should be a good thread to divide the stoners from the military observers.

edit on 8-8-2015 by Cauliflower because: not read



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 04:35 AM
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It's weight became apparent as soon as it inverted. What a spectacle! Thanks for sharing.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 05:39 AM
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a reply to: bigx001
If I remember right (it´s not in your article)

Bill Allan said something like this to him (Tex) before another presentation of the airplane:

"...and Tex... -no barrel rolls this time!"

That last link is a true gem.

It´s not that often that I say: S&F for more attention.
Amazing how much luck they had and what they learned from those test flights.


originally posted by: Cauliflower
Should be a good thread to divide the stoners from the military observers.

Why that? Because boing was building bombers back then and wasnt it the first jet powered airliner(public transportation), too?


edit on 8-8-2015 by verschickter because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 09:29 AM
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a reply to: verschickter

I believe it was Phil Condit that told Boeing Chief Test Pilot John Cashman "No barrel rolls" just before the maiden flight of the 777 in June of 1994.
Too bad, I would have loved to see him do that one. I remember seeing the prototype 777 flying all over the place around the Puget Sound region while it was testing.

The first commercial jet liner was actually the British De Havilland Comet in 1949 but it was deferentially the 707 that brought that type of air travel to the masses and it was due in large part to the display "Tex" did at Seafair that day.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 09:47 AM
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That's how you sell an airplane.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: Sammamishman
Yes you are right, I was unsure so I looked up my history for that:



Boeing Chief Test Pilot John Cashman stated that just before he piloted the maiden flight of the Boeing 777 on June 12, 1994, his last instructions from then Boeing President Phil Condit were "No rolls".


Here is the link, complete with video:
www.military.com...
The sound and video has a better quality than the YT video.


I thought it was the same plane (707) and also around the timeframe of the maiden flight but I was wrong.

edit on 8-8-2015 by verschickter because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 11:42 AM
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It's of note that you don't find a lot of jumbo jet barrel rolls…anywhere.

Once kids starting doing backflips on bicycles, that simple inversion was soon ratified as a rite of passage. A brief search of jumbo jet barrel rolls, however, brought me to a ridiculously fake Virgin 747 roll, near ground level, and eventually to St Maartens.

Could be I'm easily distracted though. Is Johnston's stunt that rare?

# 490
edit on 8-8-2015 by TheWhiteKnight because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 12:04 PM
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a reply to: TheWhiteKnight

I suppose controlls simply do not allow for such maneuvers in recent and current airliners and why would you do that? It´s a risk. Remember you have cargo in your trunk and passengers. You want to get from A to B and not screw around.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 12:32 PM
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Certainly there is that…risk factor, costs involved. Even if you do it flawlessly, especially if you do it at all, you will find yourself out of a job. As for controls which prevent the maneuver? It's a pretty simple 1 G move. The plane that Johnston piloted didn't know or care that it was momentarily upside down. I'd be surprised if modern controls were to disallow the pilot's barrel roll steering input. I have seen a few banks which ended in catastrophic failure (due to load shift) which may have been better off following through with a full roll. It'd be a programming nightmare to avoid the computer becoming disoriented as to 'balance', knowing vertical from everything else there is to know, through a malfunction, due to governors to prevent extreme roll. Airbus's pitons come to mind. The device fell out of the input chain, and the pilot was literally left guessing for altitude, speed, etc...

But what about Travolta, or Cruise? Doesn't one of these guys own their own jumbo jets? The hell….if anyone could it'd be these guys.

a reply to: verschickter

# 491


edit on 8-8-2015 by TheWhiteKnight because: (no reason given)

edit on 8-8-2015 by TheWhiteKnight because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 12:45 PM
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a reply to: TheWhiteKnight

Well think about it, even if it happens more often, who would be there to tape the whole thing. Maybe that´s the reason you wont find another stunt like this (-> rare)

You basically answered your own question


edit on 8-8-2015 by verschickter because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 12:48 PM
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Yeah I do that
a lot. Thanks.

It keeps one... quiet.

a reply to: verschickter

# 492



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 12:49 PM
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a reply to: TheWhiteKnight

Also, I don´t know the specs for cargo fixing. If something goes wrong, for example g-forces drop because you are rolling not fast enough, would the cargo fixing hold it on the floor of the plane safely? I don´t know. I suppose they would but I would not risk finding out.
edit on 8-8-2015 by verschickter because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 01:17 PM
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Ha, immediately thought of the movie Flight with Denzel Washington...



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 01:39 PM
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a reply to: Kromlech
It´s not a real barrel roll although, I too thought of that movie.

If I´m right what he did is called "English Bunt" with half roll at the end.
First he nosedived until the plane was upside down and heading into the opposite direction then he used the ailerons to roll the craft 180°.
Kind of like a "Split S" but starting upright and not belly up.


Here is a nice overview I found
en.wikipedia.org...

Although, I am a little confused because some sources say a barrel roll is something else:

en.wikipedia.org...

A barrel roll is an aerial maneuver in which an airplane makes a complete rotation on both its longitudinal and lateral axes,
(emphasis added)

So Tex did not do a barrel roll, instead he did a roll. Somebody call me out if I´m wrong.
edit on 8-8-2015 by verschickter because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 02:24 PM
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originally posted by: verschickter
a reply to: Kromlech
It´s not a real barrel roll although, I too thought of that movie.

If I´m right what he did is called "English Bunt" with half roll at the end.
First he nosedived until the plane was upside down and heading into the opposite direction then he used the ailerons to roll the craft 180°.
Kind of like a "Split S" but starting upright and not belly up.


Here is a nice overview I found
en.wikipedia.org...

Although, I am a little confused because some sources say a barrel roll is something else:

en.wikipedia.org...

A barrel roll is an aerial maneuver in which an airplane makes a complete rotation on both its longitudinal and lateral axes,
(emphasis added)

So Tex did not do a barrel roll, instead he did a roll. Somebody call me out if I´m wrong.


Yes, it was a roll. It was a barrel roll. Any airplane can barrel roll due to the low "G" load required. The plane is pitched nose up about 10-15 degrees with full aileron right or left and full rudder pedal to the same side. Only one G is required and the nose will fall through the roll by 10-15 degrees nose down.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 02:36 PM
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a reply to: buddah6
No it was not.
See:


I made that mistake in my first post on the thread where I also call it barrel roll. It only later came to my mind I wrote barrel roll.
My question/supposing was not if every airplane is capable or not, it was about the computer/controlls and if they would allow for such a maneuver.

(I´m talking about the 707 now)
edit on 8-8-2015 by verschickter because: (no reason given)


But the description of the flight movie maneuver was incorrect, I watched that part again and it´s not like I described.
edit on 8-8-2015 by verschickter because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 05:58 PM
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a reply to: verschickter




originally posted by: Cauliflower Should be a good thread to divide the stoners from the military observers. Why that? Because boing was building bombers back then and wasnt it the first jet powered airliner(public transportation), too? edit on 8-8-2015 by verschickter because: (no reason given)


The military B47 was the predecessor to the 707, I think it was the antics of the test pilot "Tex" in similar high profile public roles that caused the inspiration for the movie Dr Strangelove.

1954 was still early in the jet age, the thrust to weight ratio of the JT3D turbojets was 3.5 to 4 so there was no danger of lacking power for a climb out, even inverted. Just an odd maneuver that didn't fit the image of a commercial passenger plane. The only upside down thing about jet engines is their fuel mileage.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 06:07 PM
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originally posted by: verschickter
a reply to: buddah6
No it was not.
See:


I made that mistake in my first post on the thread where I also call it barrel roll. It only later came to my mind I wrote barrel roll.
My question/supposing was not if every airplane is capable or not, it was about the computer/controlls and if they would allow for such a maneuver.

(I´m talking about the 707 now)

But the description of the flight movie maneuver was incorrect, I watched that part again and it´s not like I described.

I am a retired airline pilot and a former military pilot. Please, excuse my ignorance for not knowing what a barrel roll looks like. It's not like I haven't done a few in my time.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 06:13 PM
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a reply to: buddah6

Ok I have no problem being wrong.
Here is my reasoning:
I went on google after you explained the 15° pitch and found the above image.
Then I noticed the little arrow upwards in the aileron roll and compared it to what you said (15° pitch).
Honestly, I looked an extra 5 seconds on the angles and decided -compared to the video of the 707- it was more an aileron roll because that parabelum was not nearly that steep as in the video. Yes it does that helical motion but not as heavy as it´s depicted in the image I posted.

I gave you the star to highlight your answer against mine.
In the video tex says he did a "short barrel roll".
But in the end, yes you are right!
edit on 8-8-2015 by verschickter because: (no reason given)



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