The first Boeing 737, seen at the Museum of Flight
April 9, 1967 was a special day in aviation history. Capt. Brien Wygle and First Officer Lew Wallick took the Boeing 737 prototype on its maiden flight. Fast forward 50 years to April 9, 2017 and we found ourselves at the Museum of Flight in Seattle to celebrate the Boeing 737’s 50th birthday.
The first 737 – Photo: Boeing
In flight – Photo: Boeing
The festivities kicked off in the theater with a panel discussion moderated by Mike Lombardi, Boeing Company historian. The other members on the panel were Peter Morton, Boeing 737 marketing, Capt. Brien Wygle, Captain of the 737’s first flight, and Bob Bogash, a 737 engineer. With nearly a full theater, the lively discussion lasted for nearly 90 minutes.
The first Boeing 727 lifting off from Paine Field – Photo: Chuck Lyford and Jim Larsen
As many of you know, on March 2, 2016, the first Boeing 727 made its final flight successfully down to the Museum of Flight at Boeing field. It was much more than just a final flight or really even the plane. The 727 has become an icon of not just aviation history, but personal history as well. Seeing the aircraft, even for non-AvGeeks, is a time warp to the past.
Water cannon salute at Paine Field – Photo: Chuck Lyford and Jim Larsen
I have enjoyed covering the first 727 for quite a few years. Although getting access to see the inside of the aircraft has been amazing, my favorite part have been the personal stories that have been shared. I have been grateful that so many of you have taken the time to share your memories of the aircraft (the first and other 727s) in emails and comments on AirlineReporter. From those of you remembering it as your first flight as a kid to others who spent years behind the yolk. It seems that nothing can bring a group of AvGeeks together better than the iconic tri-holer.
The first Boeing 727 sits next to a brand new United 787-9 Dreamliner – Photo: Museum of Flight
It has finally arrived! The first Boeing 727 is scheduled to have its final flight today! Of course, this could change (it already did once), but we are super excited.
The 727 final flight basics
WHAT: Final flight of the first Boeing 727.
WHEN: Wednesday, March 2nd. Take off is scheduled to be 10:30am PST and landing shortly after.
WHERE: Lift off from Paine Field (KPAE) and landing at Boeing Field (KBFI).
WHY: Moving the plane from the Museum of Flight Restoration Center to be displayed at the Museum of Flight. And because it will be freak’n epic!
The Boeing 727’s first flight – Photo: Boeing
The last flight of the first Boeing 727 is going to happen soon. This is no longer a dream, but a reality. The first 727 has been in the process of being restored for many years and this is a beyond-exciting moment! It likely will fly the first week of March, traveling the short distance from Paine Field (in Everett, north of Seattle) to the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field (in Seattle’s south side).
The first Boeing 727 being worked on and prepped for final flight
We recently had the opportunity to chat with the man who will be Captain for the final flight, Tim Powell. He is a great guy, an amazing pilot, and an AvGeek. We wanted to learn more about why he was chosen, what excites him about the flight, how he likes still flying the 727, and if he has any concerns about the upcoming flight.