Mike Carriker spins the Boeing 247D around and prepares to shut it down for the final time at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
Photos and story by Brandon Farris in Seattle / Published: April 27, 2016
83 years after a successful delivery in 1933 the world’s oldest Boeing 247D returned back to Boeing Field, and landed for the final time at the Museum of Flight.
To date, only four of these aircraft are still in existence. All of them belong to museum collections in the UK, Canada and the United States. The aircraft belonging to the Museum of Flight has been part of its collection since 1966, and it was the last one ever to soar the skies.
The aircraft made the 15-minute hop down from Paine Field in Everett to the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field in Seattle on a nice sunny afternoon under the command of Mike Carriker and copilot Chad Lundy. They were greeted to a crowd of several hundred people who came down around noon to watch this plane make its final landing.
Museum of Flight Selects Special Pilots For Final Flight-
Lundy and Carriker are both former Boeing test pilots. Carriker being known as the former chief test pilot on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Talking with Carriker after the flight he said it was a smooth flight down. When asked to compare the Boeing 247D with the 787, he chuckled and explained how much more complicated it was to start the engines on this aircraft and what made the 787 easier, however this was more fun of a flight, especially being a tail dragger.
Built in 1933, the Museum’s 247D was the first recognized “modern” airliner at the time offering travelers speed and comfort at the time in an all metal design. Douglas Aircraft eventually adopted the design and improved on it when it created the DC-2 and eventually DC-3 that killed off the 247.
United promoted the launch of the Boeing 247. considered to be the world’s first modern airliner. With Boeing its sister company at the time, United received the first off the line blocking other carriers. This action, inspired TWA and American to go to Douglas for the DC-2 and DC-3. United’s advantage disappeared within two years and the 247 was yesterday’s news. (Credits: Chris Sloan)
Restoration began in 1979 on this aircraft and the Museum choose to put the 1930’s United scheme on the aircraft as this particular plane had a colorful career flying for carriers in the US and Latin America.
PHOTO GALLERY: The Boeing 247D at the Museum of Flight Restoration Center
The Museum plans to put the 247 next to its arch rival, the DC-2 in the Aviation Pavilion in the winter while sitting in the front of the Museum throughout the summer.
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