Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Museum of Flight Completes Successful Final Flight of the First Boeing 727

By: Brandon Farris and Royal Scott King in Seattle / Published: March 2, 2016

The Museum of Flight has successfully completed the final flight of the first ever made 727, N7001U, from Paine Field in Everett, where it has been stored for the last 25 years while it was being restored for eventual display at the museum's restoration facility at Boeing Field.

RELATED: The First Boeing 727 Prepares For a Last Flight

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With a special flight permit granted by the FAA, and a crew of four: Captain Tim Powell, Co-Pilot Mike Scott, Flight Engineer Ralph Pascale, and restoration manager Bob Bogash, the 727 was pushed back from its stand at Paine Field (PAE) at 10:30 PST (18:30 GMT), for a ceremonial water cannon salute from PAE fire department after engine start-up.

With no hush kits installed, the Stage II aircraft deafeningly roared down the runway to the delight of all in attendance, taking off from runway 16R at 10:50 local time (18:50 GMT). As an anecdote, one of the engines experienced a noticeable backfire during the takeoff roll. However, it was transient and did not cause a rejected takeoff.

Though the Boeing 727 is considered today as an obsolete aircraft, the technology used to promote its last flight ever certainly is not. Social media channels were very active keeping up with the action using in Twitter the hashtag #727FinalFlight, and live streaming videos of the takeoff and landing through different Periscope and website feeds.

As the trijet soared to the sky for a last time, a trail of black smoke emanated from the three Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7s. As a technical detail, gear and flaps at 15 degrees were deployed during all the flight. During the flight, the 727 was escorted by two chase planes. landing took place at Boeing Field at 11:07 (19:07 GMT) on a short 17-minute hop. The route is not one unfamiliar with this aircraft as it was once a test aircraft with Boeing, being the first 727 ever made, completing its first flight in 1963.

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RELATED: Boeing 727 Rollout Pictures, Sales Brochures and Memorabilia


The first Boeing 727 sporting its mustard and red Boeing livery in a test flight. (Photo credits: Boeing)


Following the aircraft's time with Boeing on the flight test certification campaign, the 727 was delivered to United Airlines in 1964, where it spent its entire 27 year flying service. Over the course of its career, N7001U carried around 3,000,000 passengers and generated an estimated $300,000,000 for the airline. It was repainted in the original 60's United Airlines scheme when the airline flew it on its last flight in 1991 from San Francisco to Seattle/Tacoma, where it was later flown up to Everett as a donation to the Museum of Flight, much like the first ever made 737 and 747.

This flight has been 25 years in the making, as volunteers have spent thousands of hours along with blood, sweat and tears during that time. It is the beneficiary of many donations of parts from FedEx and other airlines throughout the world over the years as they retired the iconic 727 from their fleets. The final push came in May of 2004, when FedEx donated another 727 that was destined for a retirement in the desert. Five engines were also donated by the cargo carrier, and with efforts from ATS and volunteers, the aircraft appeared as though it would be ready to go early in 2016.

RELATED: Pictures from Restoration Works in 2010

The 727 will be on temporary display in the Museum of Flight's Airpark through the summer. Then, it will be placed inside the new covered Aviation pavilion, which will also include a 1960's era VC-137 Air Force One, the first Boeing 737-100, the first 747-100, the 3rd Boeing 787-8, a Concorde and many other noteworthy aircraft.

Story to be Updated.

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The post Museum of Flight Completes Successful Final Flight of the First Boeing 727 appeared first on Airchive.

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