The world’s oldest flyable Boeing airliner will make its last flight on April 26. The classic twin-engine Boeing 247D from the 1930s–one of a mere four remaining in the world, and the only one flyable–has been in the Museum’s collection since 1966. Based at the Museum’s Restoration Center on Paine Field in Everett, Wash., it was featured at airshows and other events around the country from 1994 until 2004. At noon on Tuesday the 26th, the 83- year-old airliner will fly to the Museum’s Boeing Field campus and be retired for permanent display.
Dreamliner Chief Test Pilot at the Helm
The crew for this special flight will be two Boeing test pilots with experience at the controls of the 247, Mike Carriker and Chad Lundy. Carriker was the chief test pilot for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, so on this trip, the world’s oldest Boeing airliner will be flown by the chief pilot of Boeing’s newest airliner.
The Museum’s 247D was made in 1933, and the type is recognized as the first “modern” airliner, offering travelers unmatched speed and comfort with a sturdy, all-metal design. Somewhat a victim of its own success, the design was soon adopted and improved by Douglas Aircraft with the DC-2 and DC-3, which quickly rendered the 247 obsolete. The Museum’s plane had a colorful career with air carriers in the U.S. and Latin America. Restoration of the plane began in 1979, with its first post-restoration flight in 1994. The sleek plane has the livery it flew while serving United Air Lines in the mid-1930s. The 247 will take center stage in front of the Museum throughout the summer, then it will be positioned in the Aviation Pavilion next to its arch rival of the air–the Douglas DC-2.
Founded in 1965, the independent, non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world, serving more than 560,000 visitors annually. The Museum’s collection includes more than 160 historically significant airplanes and spacecraft, from the first fighter plane (1914) to today’s 787 Dreamliner. Attractions also include the original Boeing Company factory, and the world’s only full-scale NASA Space Shuttle Trainer. The Museum’s aviation and space library and archives are the largest on the West Coast. More than 150,000 individuals are served annually by the Museum’s on-site and outreach educational programs. The Museum of Flight is accredited by the American Association of Museums, and is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.
2016 Boeing Centennial Recognition
The Museum of Flight draws upon its unrivaled collection of Boeing aircraft, artifacts, images and documents to present The Boeing Company story during the year of its centennial, 2016. The Museum-wide Boeing recognition will be enhanced with public lectures, films and other presentations that focus on Seattle and popular culture during the past century.
The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field halfway between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults, $17 for seniors 65 and older, $17 for active military, $12 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. McCormick & Schmick’s Wings Café is on site. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit www.museumofflight.org