Boeing's First Production Airplane Flies With The Future In The
Skies Over Puget Sound
Like finding a ghost among the cumulus, the latest addition to
Boeing's lineage of pioneering commercial airplanes, the 787
Dreamliner, caught up to its ancestor, a Boeing Model 40, in the
skies over Mount Rainier south of Seattle May 8th.
Dreamliner, Model 40 Heritage Flight
The fully restored 1928 vintage Boeing Model 40, owned and flown
by Addison Pemberton of Spokane, WA, is the only flyable Model 40
in the world and the oldest flying Boeing aircraft of any kind. The
Model 40 not only is notable as Boeing's first production
commercial airplane, but its innovation and efficiency were the
deciding factor in Boeing Air Transport (the airline subsidiary of
the Boeing Airplane Company) winning the lucrative
Oakland-to-Chicago air mail route in 1927. That event set William
Boeing on a course that, within just two years, would take him from
managing his airplane company in Seattle to presiding over a vast
nationwide aviation empire called United Aircraft and Transport
The 787 and Model 40, both the technological leaders of their
time, represent 80 years of Commercial Airplanes leadership and
clearly illustrate the dramatic progress in airplane design.
During those 80 years, the people of Boeing have introduced
innovative technologies that have revolutionized flight and defined
the design of all commercial airplanes.
Taking a very short break from the 787 program's intensive
flight test program, Boeing Chief Test Pilot Mike Carriker expertly
maneuvered the first 787, ZA001, into formation with the Model 40
at 12,000 feet to allow photographer Ryan Pemberton, flying in an
A36 Bonanza, to line up for the striking photo.
"It really took a lot of work and planning," Carriker said.
"When I came alongside the Model 40 against those big puffy clouds
it was unbelievable: Here is this 1928 biplane flying with a 2010
airplane side by side. How amazing the history of The Boeing
Company is - it was really exciting."