The City of Everett looks great in her new coat of paint.

The City of Everett looks great in her new coat of paint

For those of you who have previously visited the Museum of Flight, you know it is a world-class facility and well worth the visit. However, it was always sad looking at the first Boeing 747 sitting outside in bad shape.

As the years passed, the condition of the beauty only got worse. Luckily, things have been changing and now there is one gorgeous Boeing 747 sitting out in the museum’s Airpark.

The red on the stripe and tail once again pop

The red on the stripe and tail once again pop

The museum started renovating the interior back in 2013 and then the exterior this July.

The aircraft was not only the first 747 that flew, on February 9, 1969, but it also became a test-bed for 747 improvements and engine developments for the 777’s GE90.

The flight deck of the very first Boeing 747-100

The flight deck of the very first Boeing 747-100

If you want to check out the plane yourself, now is the time to do it. Actually, do it quickly. Because from now until the end of October, guests are able to go inside the first Boeing 747 and tour the main deck (sorry, no access to the upper deck).

Both pilot and co-pilot have their own cigarette holders

Both pilot and co-pilot have their own cigarette holders

The 747 will then be closed to the public while the museum moves some of the aircraft around in the Airpark and it is not known when the 747 will re-open.

The flight engineer station in the first 747

The flight engineer station in the first 747

Even better, make a trip over on October 18th from 2:00-3:30pm. The Museum of Flight will have Brien Wygle, test pilot on the first 747 flight, and Joe Sutter (who probably doesn’t need an introduction), the “Father” of the 747, present to take a detailed look at the 747.  The program is free with standard admission to the museum.

The power behind those throttles

The power behind those throttles

We will cover more of this legendary aircraft after the October 18th event. Stay tuned.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
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Mark of OKC

I would love to see the “game changer” of the VLA again, saw her in 2010…. but my, she’s pretty good looking now. Great news, David. Thanks for sharing.

Boeing’s MOF at BFI is certainly a wonderful place. Sadly, the climate of South Seattle is just not Mojave or or Phoenix and no amount of paint can keep RA001’s exterior – or any of the others in the collection looking good for long. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I do not believe that RA001 has been in flying condition for many years. That suggests that BFI has a paint hanger, minor trivia that I did not know. More trivia: I’ve never been on RA001, but in early June, 1970, I did see it taxi past the terminal while waiting for a a MAC flight. It was impressive then and it remains so today. Sadly, South Seattle is just not a great place to store or display historic airplanes without complete, climate-controlled cover. Other members of that impressive collection (also stored outside) are also at extreme risk. Without constant, aggressive attention, in another ten years, RA001 and her lot-mates stored without protection won’t be worth seeing. I hope that MOF intends to move them under cover if possible.

Cook, that’s the plan is to put a cover over the airpark.

Thanks. Great news.

Luiz Sergio Pinto Guedes

Dear Sirs, I visited the Museum of Flight in october/1994 and really it is so wonderful. Congratulations for this new one acquisition, the first built Boeing-747. Best regards

Luiz Sergio Pinto Guedes
Av. Bartolomeu de Gusmão 46 apto 911-D, Embar, 11045-400 Santos, SP, Brasil
telephones 55-13-32279281, 55-13-991737222

C J Stott

Good morning
I serve as a volunteer at the Museum of Flight Air Park at Boeing Field. Several have commented, correctly, that the MoF is going to move the aircraft out of the Air Park while a new structure is being built. Initially, the Air Park will have a new roof. As additional funding becomes available, there are plans to enclose what is now the Air Park. At that time, Air Force One, Concorde and other aircraft will be safely and securely stored out of the weather. It is not known at this time what will happen to the Boeing 747 RA-001. While the construction is on going, the B-747 will be moved away from the Air Park. I am not certain, but I do not believe it will be available to the public while the Air Park remodeling project is underway.

Thanks. I look forward to meeting airline reporter readers and members at the Museum of Flight.

Take care,

C J Stott

Hey CJ,

The MoF folks did confirm that the public will not have access to RA001 during all the re-arranging and they weren’t able to say when access might be granted once again.


Peter N.

I was curious about what would happen to the 747 exhibit after November 2nd since the website mentioned, “The 747 will be open to the public through Sunday, November 2” as of this message:

So I contacted the museum and this was the response received:

“Our 747 will be closed until summer 2016.

I hope you enjoy your visit.”

Hey Peter,

The whole Air Park is being re-done and the planes will be (finally) stored inside. Previously they were stored outside and exposed to the elements. During the transition, the 787, 707 and Concorde will still be open to the public, but the 747, 737 and 727 are in places not really accessible to the public. Only until this last fall was the 747 even open to the public and the 737/727 have never been. You can see see them (from afar). Short-term pain for the long-term gain. Still VERY much worth visiting.

Cheers, David | AirlineReporter

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