Tag Archives: Museum of Flight

539 Boeing 747 First Flight

We mark the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the Boeing 747 with a member of that flight test team, now a docent at The Museum of Flight in Seattle. Also, the NTSB Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, the last commercial flight of the Boeing 727, Airbnb may be doing something with air travel, SFO’s new outdoor observation deck, two Virgin Galactic pilots earn astronaut wings, and the Collier Trophy nominees list is released.

Boeing 747 ceremony.

Boeing 747 ceremony, courtesy The Museum of Flight.

Guests

Sean Mobley, Docent Services Specialist with The Museum of Flight joins us. Sean also hosts the Museum’s Flight Deck Podcast. In addition, Docent Thomas Gray brings us recollections of the Boeing 747 flight test program and the first flight, fifty years ago.

From 1968 to 1985, Thomas was a member of the Boeing 747 first flight test team. That airplane, the “City of Everett,” resides at The Museum of Flight. Thomas was also the lead instrumentation engineer when RA001 was later used as the flying test bed for the 757/767 engines.

Thomas graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering in 1961. He served in the New Mexico Air National Guard as a Radio Technician for one year where he provided maintenance service on F-100 fighter aircraft radio equipment. After that, he joined the Washington Air National Guard until 1967 as a Radio Technician, providing maintenance service on the mobile teletype and cryptographic equipment.

Thomas was hired by Boeing as the Systems Test Engineer on the Dyna-Soar program. From there he moved over to the Flight Test organization as an Instrumentation Engineer for 24 years. Thomas worked on the 737, 747, 757, 767, the Boeing Hydrofoil Test Craft, and John F. Kennedy’s Air Force One 26000. He also served as the test engineer on the Space Shuttle Carrier aircraft during Space Shuttle Landing tests at Edwards AFB, California. Thomas then worked as a Commercial Sales Support Engineer for three years and worked seven years as a Customer Service Engineer until retiring in 1995.

Boeing 747.

Courtesy The Museum of Flight.

Boeing 747 First Flight

The first flight took place on February 9, 1969 and we learn that the three initial flights were around Paine Field with a pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer, and F-86 escort. It wasn’t until the fourth flight that the full crew was aboard and the plane was allowed to fly over populated areas.

Thomas helps us understand the mood at Boeing leading up to the B747 first flight, as well as his role as part of the first flight test team. He explains the 747 test Instrumentation, the telemetry system, and the ballast system that moved water between barrels to change the airplane’s center of gravity.

The first flight Boeing 747 is on display at The Museum of Flight in the test configuration. An excellent 3D tour of the plane is available from the Museum. See Aviation Pavilion Virtual Tour for that aircraft tour and others in the collection.

Boeing 747 test aircraft virtual tour. Courtesy The Museum of Flight.

Boeing 747 test aircraft virtual tour. Courtesy The Museum of Flight.

Videos of interest:

To learn more about upcoming activities, visit The Museum of Flight Calendar of Events. Be sure to look at Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission. This is an exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. This traveling exhibit comes to the Museum April 13th through September 2nd, 2019.

Aviation News

NTSB 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements

The National Transportation Safety Board (the NTSB) has issued its 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements. The NTSB would like the FAA to close the gap in safety requirements between commercial airlines and those operating under Part 135. The NTSB argues that all flights should be safe, no matter the purpose of the flight or the type of aircraft. Most Part 135 organizations don’t have a safety management system (SMS), flight data monitoring (FDM), or a controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) avoidance training program.

Boeing’s famous trijet 727 makes last commercial flight

In mid-January, 2019, a 38-year-old Boeing 727-200 owned by Iran Aseman Airlines became the last 727 on a commercial passenger flight. See the Boeing history page for more on the 727.

Airbnb Hires Aviation Industry Veteran to Lead New Transportation Division

Home-sharing service Airbnb has hired long-time aviation industry veteran Fred Reid to be the company’s global head of transportation. His task is “building partnerships and services that make travel seamless while delivering the kind of people-to-people hospitality Airbnb is known for around the world.” CEO Brian Chesky says, “I’m not interested in building our own airline or creating just another place on the Internet where you can buy a plane ticket, but there is a tremendous opportunity to improve the transportation experience for everyone.”

SFO unveils dramatic outdoor observation deck

A $55 million upgrade at San Francisco International Airport’s International Terminal includes a new, 3,000 square foot roofless observation deck on the Terminal G side. Since the outdoor lounge is behind security, only passengers using Terminal 3 (United) and the International G-side will have access to it. The deck offers a 180+ degree view of the ramp and runways on the north side of the airport.

San Francisco International Airport’s observation deck. Credit: Chris McGinnis | Tim Jue

San Francisco International Airport’s observation deck. Credit: Chris McGinnis | Tim Jue

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Pilots Awarded FAA Astronaut Wings

The two Virgin Galactic test pilots who flew the SpaceShipTwo “VSS Unity” into space on December 13, 2018, were recognized in a ceremony at the Department of Transportation in Washington, DC. Mark “Forger” Stucky and Frederick “CJ” Sturckow were awarded Commercial Astronaut Wings by the FAA on February 7.

Credit: FAA/Virgin Galactic via collectSPACE.com.

Credit: FAA/Virgin Galactic via collectSPACE.com.

Collier Nominees Released

The National Aeronautic Association announced that eleven aviation and space achievements will compete for the 2018 Robert J. Collier Trophy:

The Collier Trophy Selection Committee will meet on April 4, 2019, in Arlington, Virginia, and the recipient will be announced publicly the following day. The formal presentation of the Collier Trophy will take place on June 13, 2019, at a location to be determined.

Mentioned

Red Bull Air Race app

Evening With Enshrinees Dick and Burt Rutan February 22, 2019

#PaxEx Podcast

Two podcast episodes recommended by Max Trescott:

Chicken Wings Comics

Eat at the Airport

Call for Nominations for the 2019 Aerospace Media Awards

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

533 Bits & Pieces XXIII

This is a Bits & Pieces episode with recorded segments from the hosts, contributors, and listeners.

The segments that make up this episode [with start times]:

Flight Deck PodcastSean Mobley from The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington hosts the Museum’s “Flight Deck Podcast” and he has two clips from that show. [2:16]

 

Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari speaks with Jim Dimatteo, the race director for Red Bull Air Race. [12:26]

The decorated former TOPGUN Commander Jim DiMatteo, now Race Director of the Red Bull Air Race. Courtesy of Red Bull Air Race Media Service.

The decorated former TOPGUN Commander Jim DiMatteo, now Race Director of the Red Bull Air Race. Courtesy of Red Bull Air Race Media Service.

Red Bull race control . Photo by Launchpad Marzari.

Red Bull race control. Photo by Launchpad Marzari.

Main(e) man and Contributor-at-Large Micah tells his story called New Years Dad. The new year comes at least once annually, sometimes with thoughts of airplanes, and sometimes those thoughts come in combination with other things. Micah gives us some thoughts that occurred to him over two New Years. [32:28]

Micah and his Dad

Micah and his Dad, leaving London and headed to Paris.

Max Flight gives an update on the Eat at the Airport project. [41:36]

Eat at the Airport

Eat at the Airport

Launchpad Marzari talks with Capt Skip “Loose” Lussier (USN retired) who flew President George W. Bush in an S-3 to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln for a televised address on May 1, 2003. [47:41]

Preflight brief.

Preflight brief.

Navy 1

Pacific Ocean (May 1, 2003) — President George W. Bush successfully traps aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in a S-3B Viking assigned to the Blue Wolves of Sea Control Squadron Three Five (VS-35) designated “NAVY 1”. President Bush is the first sitting President to trap aboard an aircraft carrier at sea. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Gabriel Piper.

Dave Homewood from the Wings Over New Zealand Show has a history segment on the de Havilland Mosquito. [1:12:57]

de Havilland Mosquito at the Warbirds Open Day at Ardmore, on the 18th of November 2018.

de Havilland Mosquito at the Warbirds Open Day at Ardmore, on the 18th of November 2018.

Mossie in the Avspecs hangar during the  WONZ Christmas party visit, 8th of December, 2018.

Mossie in the Avspecs hangar during the WONZ Christmas party visit, 8th of December, 2018.

Dr. Ellen Stofan.

Dr. Ellen Stofan. Copyright Smithsonian Institution.

David Vanderhoof attended the celebration for the 15th anniversary of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and recorded the interview with Dr. Ellen Stofan, the new John and Adrienne Mars Director at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. She was interviewed by Pete Muntean, a Certificated Flight Instructor and a television news reporter for WUSA9 in Washington, DC. [1:27:56]

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

AirplaneGeeks 290 – David Parker Brown, Airline Reporter

Boeing Tour

Guest David Parker Brown from AirlineReporter.com knows the airline industry, and he also plays a big role in the annual Aviation Geek Fest in Seattle.

In 2014, the two-day event included the Museum of Flight Restoration Center and tours of the Future of Flight Aviation Center, the Boeing Everett Factory, and the Passenger Experience Research Center (PERC). Boeing even held a Dreamlifter next to the Future of Flight for the group to view from the ground. They also saw the Delivery Center and an amazing time was had by all.

Boeing Dreamlifter by AvGeekJoe

Boeing Dreamlifter by AvGeekJoe

Airplane Geeks listener AvGeekJoe has a collection of pictures of the Museum of Flight’s restoration of a DH 106 Comet Mk 4C and of one of the Dreamlifters. Also see the Future of Flight’s photographs from the event.

The event received some favorable press, including Aviation Buffs Get To Embrace Their Inner Nerd At Annual ‘Geek Fest’ by Seattle NPR station KPLU, and Wow! Making planes in the world’s biggest building by CNN.

Malaysia Airlines B777-200

Malaysia Airlines B777-200

The week’s aviation news:

Harbin SH-5

Harbin SH-5

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: the Harbin SH-5, a Chinese turboprop flying boat.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute: Women in aviation.

Jack Newman from GetIntoFlying

Jack Newman from GetIntoFlying

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

After recently appearing on Xtended, resident pilot and advisor Fl Lt Jonathan Duke RN, a Sea King Mk 7 Pilot for the Royal Navy joined Pieter to talk about GetIntoFlying. A project all about helping those interested in careers, enjoyment and interest in aviation and aerospace achieve their goals, GetIntoFlying has been a great success. Following last weeks discussion on British Airways careers, here is another great resource for those interested in an aviation career. Follow @GetIntoFlying on Twitter.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Mentioned:

Junkers Ju 52

Junkers Ju 52

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.