On this Wed. the first Boeing 727 (tail number N7001U) to ever take to the skies will take its last flight. The 727 prototype will fly from Paine
field, Everett to the Boeing Museum of flight almost exactly 52 years and one month after its first flight in 1963. There it will join its Boeing
brethren in permanent display for museum goers to walk through.
For the last 21 years a small yet intrepid team of aviation specialists have been painstakingly restoring the aircraft to its former glory while
serving with United Airlines from 1964 to 1984. The 727 has the distinction of being one of only two Boeing built airliners (the 777 as the other) who
never had a dedicated prototype. The prototype was built, tested and delivered to the kick-off customer, United Airlines, after the testing program
was completed in 1964.
The Museum of Flight in Seattle has a small, but dedicated band of volunteers working on a 727-100 owned by the Museum. This particular
airplane, N7001U, was the first 727 built, and after flight testing, spent its entire life in-service with United Airlines, until donated to the
Museum. The Crew Chief for this airplane is Bob Bogash, retired after 30 years with Boeing, the last ten of which were as Director of Quality
Assurance in the Materiel Division of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group. Bob was instrumental in obtaining this historic aircraft from United
originally, and with his new found "free time" has stepped up his level of involvement with the Museum and the care of this airplane.
If all goes to plan (weather permitting) the restoring team will take off at 10 am PST from Paine field this Wed. and land at Boeing field. I hope to
be there to document the flight with pictures and videos. If I get really lucky, I hope to be there around the time it lands at Boeing field 45
minutes later. Check back hopefully Wed. evening for updates......
A recent photo op. with the jet next to a brand new United 787 fresh from paint. It really shows off the size of the two jets.
It's been a lot of fun to follow along and see them reaching the milestones. It's been incredibly successful as it moves along, with only a few minor
hiccups along the way. They actually pushed it back about a month to allow more time to fix any minor issues.
Lol. Not quite. They're pretty easy to line up at max zoom. I'm planning on leaving the Coolpix fairly wide angle though and doing 1080p video while
The D3300 will be working the stills with a 55-200mm lens.
Qatar Dreamliner decided he'd had enough and took off:
Biz. 737 got out of dodge too:
Waiting for the party:
And now the maid of honor ready for her close-ups:
Moment of truth:
Over all it looked like it took off without any issue minus a quick engine back-fire that could be heard on spool-up. She then turned the West, out
over the water and headed South with a couple news helicopters buzzing around.
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