First Boeing 727 makes final flight

Boeing's first 727 arrives at Boeing Field after making its final flight.

The very first Boeing 727 flew Wednesday from Paine Field in Everett to Boeing Field in Seattle, where it will be put on display at the Museum of Flight's main campus.

The short flight took off around 10:50 a.m. and had just four people on board -- two pilots with more than 20,000 hours of 727 flight time, a flight engineer and project manager Bob Bogash. Bogash is a 30 year Boeing veteran who worked on some of the earliest 727s. 

The plane was the first of more than 1,800 727s built by Boeing in Renton. It first flew as a test plane on February 9, 1963. 

For a time the 727 reigned as the most popular airliner in the world. 

This model was painted the company's yellow and brown corporate colors during the 1960s, Once the flight test program was over the plane was delivered to United Airlines, where it flew mostly domestic routes for 27 years, racking up 64,495 flight hours and 48,060 landings.  

The Museum of Flight loves firsts. It has the first Boeing 747, the first 737 and the first 727.  

When American Airlines delivered the 727 in 1991, the jet had a problem and it was taken to the museum's restoration center in Everett. Because the airline was still flying a fleet of the jets, parts, including engines and actuators that control flaps were removed. 

That meant the 727 was unlikely to join the museum's fleet of airliners short of cutting it into sections and trucking it, or finding parts and flying it to Boeing Field in Seattle.

Bogash and other museum volunteers scrounged for parts and nearly 1,000 were donated to the effort. Many of the parts including the engines came from Federal Express, which was retiring its once large fleet of 727 cargo jets.


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