May 14, 1954. Renton, Washington The First United States jetliner, the Boeing 367 Dash 80?
May 14, 1954. Renton, Washington The First United States jetliner, the Boeing 367 Dash 80 (for its engineering design number) is christened.
On July 15th test pilot Tex Johnston closes his cockpit window and the jetliner age began. Engines, instruments, aerodynamics and flight systems were tested during the following 18 years as the prototype airplane flew a variety of research flights.
One of the earliest tests was to prove a new method of refuelling military jets--in the air. The "Flying Boom" became a jet age reality. The Dash 80 was invaluable in testing features of other aircraft; here a engine was mounted to flight test an unusual feature for the 727 jetliner.
In 1957 the big jet broke all records with a 3 hour 48 minute coast-to-coast flight. In 1964 it flew from mud and sand to test a 20-wheel landing gear and exotic high lift wing flaps.
The pioneer research airplane began a long line of Boeing jetliners, which now number more than 2,200 and which have ???lown almost one billion passengers. On may 26th the prototype will make its last symbolic flight--to the Smithsonian--to join previous greets of aviation history.