The former American Airlines B727-223, N874AA, at Boeing Field in Seattle, now owned by the National Airline History Museum, Kansas City, Mo.
In early 2015, in preparation for the construction of its giant new Aviation Pavilion, Seattle’s Museum of Flight moved its Boeing 727 (formerly American Airlines N874AA) from the parking lot on the west side of East Marginal Way where it had been displayed along with other large aircraft. Instead of being towed to the museum’s air park with the other planes, it was towed all the way across King County International Airport (also known as Boeing Field) to a parking stall. Rumors swirled that it was headed for a new home, an unnamed museum in the Midwest.
And there it sat, and sat. And sat.
NAHM Executive Director John Roper in the cockpit of the B727 his museum recently acquired from Seattle’s Museum of Flight
On March 3, the mystery was solved when John Roper, the executive director/board member of the National Airline History Museum (NAHM) in Kansas City, Mo., signed the transfer paperwork alongside Museum of Flight CEO Doug King and COO Laurie Haag, officially transferring ownership of the aircraft to the Midwestern museum.
The elderly 727 now has a dedicated Facebook page, and, as of this week, the electrical systems were in the process of being activated and checked in preparation for the aircraft being flown to its new home. Roper said that, as long as the engines are sound, his goal is to get the plane to its new home in Kansas City by May 1.
The new delivery center building has three gates and enough interior space to accommodate three simultaneous aircraft deliveries. The 737-900ER shown parked at the gate was delivered to United Airlines on Oct. 19.
Boeing opened its new Seattle delivery center for its booming 737 program on October 19 at King County International Airport, a.k.a. Boeing Field.
The 90,000 sq. ft. building is more than twice the size of the previous facility, which was located on the same site. It took 15 months to demolish the old structure, build the new one, and renovate some of the adjoining office spaces. According to Boeing officials, the new facility was needed to better accommodate the ever-increasing production rates for their 737 line. The current production rate for 737s is 42 per month, and planned rate increases will take that number to 52 per month in 2018.
The main departure lounge at the new delivery center offers good views of the flight line.
I recently had the opportunity, on behalf of AirlineReporter, to check out the new facility and I was excited to see what an airline’s representatives experience when picking up their $85 million jet.
Kevin Scott caught this once in a lifetime shot of a Boeing 747SP (VQ-BMS) at Boeing Field with three Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the background.Click for larger.
Soak it in. This is not a photoshop — you are seeing one classic Boeing 747SP in front of three 787 Dreamliners caught while at Boeing Field in February 2011.
This 747SP first flew on May 1, 1979 and was delivered to Pan Am ten days later with the name “Clipper White Falcon” and registion N540PA. From 1979 until PanAm sold the aircraft to United Airlines in 1986, she held three other names: Clipper Flying Arrow, Clipper Star of the Union and China Clipper.
United flew this 747SP until it was leased in 1993 to Tajik Air. United regained control of the aircraft from February 1994 to August 1995 when it was sold to the Brunei government. They operated the aircraft in VIP configuration until 1997 when it was then sold to the Bahrain government. Then finally in August 2008, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation bought the 747SP and uses it to fly their VVIP (probably add a few more “Vs” to that) customers around the world.
According to 747SP.com, the aircraft has had the following registration numbers: N540PA with PanAm, N149UA for United, V8-JBB and V8-JP1 for the Brunei Government, A9C-ISA, A9C-HHH, A9C-HMH with Bahrain and VQ-BMS with Sands, which I assume will be her last registration number.
Getting a ride on one of Sand’s classic airliners is for sure on my bucket list, but unfortunately I am not much of a gambler.
Photo by Kevin Scott/Depth Photography
American Airline's flight crew are ready to welcome guests to see the new Sky Interior at Boeing's delivery center at Boeing Field (BFI).
Yesterday American Airlines took delivery of their first Boeing 737-800 (N867NN) with the new Boeing Sky Interior. I felt privileged to hitch a ride on the airplane during its delivery flight from Boeing Field to Dallas-Fort Worth with American and other invited guests.
Before getting outside to see the aircraft and interior we had to go through a little security. There was a conveyor belt and metal detector, but no requirement to remove shoes, laptops or put your toiletries in a ziploc bag — nice.
The aluminum fuselage glistened in the sun outside Boeing’s delivery center waiting to fly passengers for the first time. After the ribbon was cut and photos were taken, it was time to check out the new Sky Interior first hand.
You have to love walking onto a brand spanking new plane and breathing that new-plane smell. There is something to be said about flying on a plane with only 21 other people (including the pilots) on its delivery flight from an airport that doesn’t see scheduled jet service.
Although I thought the ceiling lighting was going to be the most noticable aspect when entering the 737, I was actually first drawn to the new window openings and clean interior walls. Being an airline nerd, I spend a good chunk of my time staring out the window and this was a welcomed sight.
The Boeing Sky Interior on American's newest Boeing 737-800 (N867NN).
A combination of the larger window openings, blue lighting in the ceiling and new luggage bins, there really is a sense of space with the new Sky Interior. Boeing allows airlines to customize their lighting and American has pre-programmed the following:
* Boarding and de-boarding: blue top, white side lights
* Take off and landing: blue on top and blue on the side
* Cruise: wall lights are off, top is blue
* Night/Sleep: dark blue on the ceiling, wall lights are off
* Meal: Amber on top and side
* Sunrise/Sunset During Takeoff/Landing: Deep orange tones
On top of the nifty colors, the overhead bins have been improved to mimic the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s bins. They are larger and are able to hold more luggage (48 more bags to be exact in the 737-800). They also fold up into the ceiling to provide more cabin space. If you are 6’1″ you will still hit your head while standing, but those of shorter stature should have better luck.
Even though the windows are the same size in the fuselage, the new interior shows more of the window.
Probably more noticeable to flight attendants, the call button has been moved away from the light buttons, helping to reduce the chance of a passenger trying to turn on their light, but instead hitting the call button.
The American interiors on the 737 are newer than other aircraft in their fleet and aren’t too bad, but after seeing the new interior, the standard interior looks a bit aged and cramped.
The new Boeing 737-800 with Sky Interior is part of American’s fleet renewal plan. Later in the week I will go into more detail on American Airline’s future plans to let customers know they mean business.
CHECK OUT ALL 30 PHOTOS FROM THE DELIVERY FLIGHT