Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Oldest Boeing Airliner In Flying Condition

I got this in an email, so naturally before posting I looked around to find sources to attribute. This article led me to the company that restored the airplane. Pemberton & Sons Aviation of Spokane WA is the entity responsible for the beautiful plane we see now. The Boeing 40C page has some interesting links to videos and pictures of the construction and the first flight, the first engine run, and historical pictures. Apparently this plane was a wreck and was pretty well trashed at the start of the project. Well worth the time to visit, as this isn't the only vintage plane they have restored and now own.

At any rate, I looked to find the author of the text below and couldn't find it. I did find a site that posted this text on Jan 7 - but since there are forum postings with the same text dated back in October 2008 I really doubt they wrote it. So, if the persons or persons responsible for the pictures and text wants correct attribution or removal, my info is on my About page.

Oldest Boeing Airliner In Flying Condition

This is as it should be - passengers in a closed cabin, pilot in open cockpit so he will stay awake. The airplane is in Spokane, WA and is the oldest flying Boeing in the World.

After 8 years of repair and rebuilding and 8,000 hours of toil the Boeing 40C rolled out last winter as a finished airplane. They had to wait a few weeks for the snow to melt to fly this baby. They received their Standard Airworthiness Certificate from the FAA and completed the engine pre-oil and fuel flow tests for the first of the taxi tests.

Facts for the Boeing 40 project:

221½ gallons of dope/reducer and 120 yards of 102 ceconite fabric. 12 gallons of poly urethane paint for the sheet metal. The wings have 33,000 individual parts in them. The airplane weighs 4080 lbs empty, has a gross weight of 6075 lbs. It is 34 ft long and 13 feet tall with a wing span of 44½ feet.

Wing loading is 10 lbs per sq ft and power loading is 10 pounds per HP. It should cruise at 115 mph using 28 GPH, and 32 GPH at 120 mph. It carries 120 gallons of fuel in three tanks.

350 - 2 inch brushes were used to apply 6 gallons of West Systems epoxy, and 181 rolls of paper towels for cleanup.

There were a total of 62 volunteers who worked on the project to some degree. 21 of the volunteers did a significant amount of work, and 9 of the volunteers worked continuously during the 8 year project.

Apparently the thinking at the time was that the pilot needed the wind in their face to stay alert and awake. They couldn't be enclosed, or be too comfortable. I'm sure the phones were used to communicate to the pilot.

Leather and wood, fabric and "dope," polished aluminum - what's not to love?

5 comments:

Earl said...

Now that is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Great article and pictures on the airplane (we used to call em' that back in my youth) Unfortunately, the sound track for the "wild auto drive" came on, and silly me, I thought it was part of the airplane clip -- so I had to listen to it all the way thru. Oh well.........

Nuckle Kim

Jeffro said...

Nuckle Kim:

Yeah, that stupid clip auto loads each time - had I realized that I'd probably just posted a link. It will be gone after a week, anyways.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful aircraft and a stunning rebuild. There is a non flying but equally as beautiful restoration of one at the Museum of Flight in Seattle as well.

Bren Parks said...

She is a real honey!