E1 - Refurb Status                      Bob Bogash Bob Bogash      
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The Process we are involved in is called (thank you SOAR Leader David Wittrig) - "Waking up the airplane."  We are waking up an airplane that first flew 53 years ago, and that has been "sleeping" for the past 25 years.  But - especially for me - I began my affair with her 32 years ago - she is still an airplane that has the magic of Flight embedded in her genes, and we intend to let her experience that Magic one more time.  And we will savor the experience along with her.  It is, in a nutshell, why I do what I do.

People who know me, or hear my many talks, know that I continually talk about airplanes as "Living Things", not just a collection, of glass, rubber, and aluminum.  A measly "machine."  Airplanes have Souls.  This airplane certainly has one.  People who design, build, fly or work on airplanes don't have to be told that.  And, after sleeping for a Quarter of a Century, much of it lonely, unnoticed and unloved, in the winter rains and the dark summer nights, she is, once again, as in the days of her youth, (and our youth), the center of attention - prodded and probed, coddled and pampered, as a beehive of activity surrounds her still beautiful body.  She knows all this, of course, and responds by coming alive and proving to all who are watching, that her heart beats still.

Sleeping - but an airplane's heart beats within......

Bob Bogash
727 Prototype Project Manager (Volunteer)
Museum of Flight

The criteria for this restoration and Final Flight of the 727 Prototype airplane is Safety, Safety, Safety.  The flight will be made when the restoration is complete, the airplane is deemed safe for the proposed flight, approvals are received from the FAA, the Pilot is happy, and - especially - when the weather is good.
  We have a lot of knowledgeable and experienced people supporting this endeavor.

Question:  When is N7001U going to fly its last flight?
Answer:     When it's ready!

Current Schedule: March 2, 2016   1000 hrs.

We have been watching the weather carefully and are hopeful for a VFR opening on Wednesday, March 2 as previously planned.  The flight may be early or late to maintain our acceptable weather requirements.

Follow the progress here - this page will have the latest information posted and will be kept up to date

Additional Info:     No - we are not carrying passengers.  Even pilots.  Essential Crew Only.

The Museum of Flight has created a series of opportunities for you to own your piece of N7001U history.  With a contribution to the Museum of Flight, you can choose to receive your own embroidered patch, postal cover or a scale model 727 – all of which will have flown on the final flight. 

All donations will directly support future restoration projects.  Click below to donate and learn more:

The story starts with the Rollout here.

And ends here with the Last Flight here

Full photo coverage here

This page received 736,633 hits during January 2016.
  3,766,313 hits in February 2016
  1,367,299 in March 2016
Total = 5,870,245  hits in 3 months

Want to attend?

Paine Field Departure info here

Boeing Field Arrival Info here


Thursday - 3 March 2016 (Day 46)

Yesterday - An on-time and on-sked arrival at Boeing Field.

This will be my last entry on the E1 Refurb page.  Starting tomorrow, I begin working on the Last Flight Photo page, and adding to a lot of the existing pages, to more fully flesh out the history of this great aircraft.  So - check back often - lots of goodies still in the hopper.

To my Blessed Volunteers and Supporters -  A heartfelt Thank You note Here.

Back up early again this morning - no sleeping in - even on the day after.  A lot of stuff still to do.

        There she is!  In her new (temporary) spot.

First - we defueled the airplane.  The unused fuel is going to the Snohomish County Sheriff to support their fleet of search and rescue helicopters.

Next, we drained the oil from the engines and CSD's.

And finally, we drained the hydraulic fluid from the three systems.  I had wanted to leave them serviced, so I could move the aft airstairs and wing flaps in the future, but there were too many leaks that would only get worse with the passage of time.  Skydrol dripping on museum visitors would prove that they really were walking around a real airplane, but would not prove to be a pleasant experience!

I guess this is what this was all about - bringing an historic airplane to the Museum for the public.

As I tried to step aboard to check a few things, one of the volunteers stopped me with a "Bob who?"
Omnis gloria fluxa

Wednesday - 2 Mar 2016  (Day 45)

Well, weather permitting - TODAY'S THE DAY!

It's been a long, long road getting to this day - 53 years, 32 years, 25 years, 20 years, 14 months or 2 months - depending on how you're counting.  Very intensive since January 8 - that's for sure!

High winds and rain yesterday, and I'm still without electric power 16 hours later.  Saw the linemen working along the road on the way to the Ferry, so hopefully it will be back on fairly soon.  "Hopefully" is the operative word.

Clay Lacy had to scrub due to mechanical issues, so an Aerostar with Chuck Lyford will fill in as photo/chase.

Well - WE DID IT !

E1, aka N7001U, successfully, and uneventfully, made her last flight  from Paine Field to Boeing Field and the Museum of Flight - her new permanent home.  A fine video here of her last landing:
and a few I took from the cockpit - many, many more coming.


Thanks to everybody who made this flight possible.  Much more coming on that too.

And for those who have been requesting, my remarks after the flight here:

Thank you for attending this event today.   It reinforces my belief that there are so many like-minded people out there.   Like-minded in their love of airplanes - great airplanes.   My 32 year journey with this Lady has finished with such a burst of activity, that I am left breathless, and groping for words.  So I scribbled down a few comments.

I’d like to dedicate these remarks to two people I sincerely wish were sitting here today;   Lew Wallick and Dick Taylor.   I so hope they are watching.

Let me talk briefly about two things that permeate many of my recent talks and writings.   Souls and Ghosts.   The Souls of airplanes and the ghosts of people.  As I transition through the Autumn of my Years, I’ve begun to contemplate what it was that drew me into aviation and a career immersed in   airplanes and flying.   I’ve concluded that the key element was the Magic of Flight, and the machines that allowed us to undertake such an incredible experience.   You see, an airplane is not just a machine, and assuredly not like most other machines in our lives,   say, your clothes washer.   It moves under its own power, even the slowest go fast,   and they travel in realms undreamed of by poor earthlings.

And - it’s alive.   Ask any pilot who has tried to land on a difficult day.   Or mechanic who has muttered bad things while working on them.   Truly, an airplane is a living thing, in  partnership with man, and that partnership is not always equal!    They definitely have a mind of their own - in many ways like the relationship between a jockey or trainer and a fine thoroughbred race horse.

And being like a race horse, - alive - it stands to reason - to me, anyway, - that they have Souls.   They talk to us - they certainly talk to me! - and their spirits impress themselves on ours.

Take as no better example, the beautiful airplane we see just arrived behind me.   Born more than half a Century ago, and connected with her human partners in an amazing continuum. From her first moments, as lines flowing out on to a drawing on a drafting table, representing the engineer as artist, to the skilled craftsmen who turned those lines into real parts that, in turn, assembled into this beautiful creature; to the pilots who first pointed her nose to the heavens; and finally to the people who rode in her, and, like God, looked down on clouds and the firmament below.   For our airplane - some three million of them, who trusted her to do her job.   And even today, in her Senior years, still the Belle of the Ball to her loving admirers, seated in the audience here today.

Picture in your mind's eye, a typical day in her hard-working life - arriving at a gate at a busy air terminal.  As the whine of her engines dies to a whisper, her passengers collect their things and deplane, to meet relatives, or go to business meetings, or start vacations.   People of all sizes, shapes, ages.  People who have entrusted their lives to her, and she has not let them down.   The flight crew pack up their briefcases and walk off, as do the flight attendants.   Swarms of workers engulf her as they clean, and service and fuel, to be followed by new pilots climbing aboard, and cabin attendants and yet more trusting passengers.   Until she pushes out again, starts her mighty engines, and climbs once again into her home in the sky.   And she has done that more than 48,000 times.

The very same story is repeated on the Maintenance side.   Where she gets pulled into a hangar and is instantly surrounded by stands and jacks and an army of mechanics,  probing her every nook and cranny, looking after her every need.

These many people are the other half of my story, the Ghosts who have surrounded her from conception, until today.   If you close your eyes, you can see all of them from here.   Like the ballplayers coming out of the cornfield.

And the one continuum, the one constant in this fable, is the airplane.   Our airplane.   The living, breathing thoroughbred that she is, working hard alongside her human partners.   As those people came and went, she continued and endured.   It was she that was the one common thread in this Half Century tale of activity.   Even in her Quarter Century of retirement, her spirit lived on as her admirers worked hard to let her taste the freedom of the skies yet one more time.  And, today, they succeeded.  In my seat in her cockpit, I felt her shake her mane, and swish her tail, and I knew that she was smiling.

And so, as you walk around this airplane, our airplane, and go aboard, pause and look around, close your eyes for a moment, and see them, all of them  - her ghosts – including, yes,  all of us who will soon enough also fade back into the cornfield.   Her ghosts of past and present. Like those that came before, we will be her ghosts someday, while she endures.  Our legacy will have been to be part of her life.  Thanks to lots of hard work, and belief by the management and trustees   and volunteers of this great museum, we will have made this possible.  We have created and preserved something of beauty that will survive us.  Not many things in life can we say that about.  But, we can fade into our cornfield content in the knowledge  that we have played a part in her life and allowed her to slumber  contentedly. For – as we who awakened her over the past few months know so well - she will only be sleeping.

You, who visit her in the new Pavilion, will know assuredly, as we have proven unequivocally today, that the miracle of flight still resides in her graceful wings, and -   in her lovely body, an airplane’s heart beats –-  still.

Tuesday - 1 Mar 2016  (Day 44)
Big day today, bigger day tomorrow.  Starting to sweat the weather - Big Time!  Tomorrow's forecast varies from medium to poor depending on which one you read.  Current weather is wind and rain.

Received this morning from Max Welliver
Thanks, Max - hope to see you at the MOF tomorrow.

Today, we're getting our Special Flight Permit from the FAA at 0900 hrs.  (Ferry Permit.)  After that we have a two week window to make the flight.  Got it!
A true Milestone in the Project - receiving our Special Airworthiness Certificate allowing the Ferry Flight - from DAR Bruce beadell on behalf of the FAA.

A visit from Denise Whitaker of KOMO-4 TV News

By the time this is all over, I'll have to join the Screen Actor's Guild.

We're running all aircraft systems, including the engines, signing the logbook, and fueling the airplane  for the flight.  However, the wind kicked up and started blowing a gale, so we deferred that until the morning.

Extensive coords between pilot Tim Powell and the pilots of the other two airplanes involved - A Falcon 900 being used as a transport and Clay Lacy, whose Learjet will be our photo/chase plane.

We are planning to fly N7001U tomorrow.

Monday - 29 Feb 2016  (Day 43)
SOAR on-site with volunteers - beginning SB 727-53-128 Inspection required for Ferry Permit.
Ugh!  Some of those screws won't give up without a major fight...... or drill out.

Removing the Wing-Body Fairings to gain access to the lower fuselage skins.
This was a "crash program" with all hands on deck to accomplish ASAP.

This is a Service Bulletin from 1976, and we can't prove United accomplished it......
Now the fairing is removed
Now to reinstall all the fairings...... and get back to work.......

A big contingent of UAL employees came to visit - lots of video from their P. R. Dept - and a tour of the airplane.
One more camera crew and I'm going to scream !!! 

Replaced F/O altimeter

Checked lateral control system - found turnbuckle rubbing on cable guard.

Rick Cannon finished installing our new cockpit seat covers and arm rests.  Beautiful.

Sunday - 28 Feb 2016
Coordinating with SOAR, FOF, Flight crew, Transport and Chase planes.

Saturday - 27 Feb 2016  (Day 42)

Wow - a blizzard of media coverage as a result of yesterday's press visits.

Front Page of the Seattle Times - AND - "Above the Fold" as they say.....

Full Story here

Another big article in Popular Mechanics
Full Popular Mechanics Story Here

The KING-5 TV story here

Here KCPQ - FOX news 13's video

Story here

Friday - 26 Feb 2016  (Day 41)
Due to forecast marginal weather conditions next week, the Final Flight date is being slid from Tues March 1 to Weds March 2.

An article appeared in this morning's Everett Herald: 

Full Story Here.

We are planning a media event this morning with reporters from KOMO-4 TV, KING-5 TV, KCPQ-13 (Fox), Seattle Times, Associated Press, Airways Magazine, and others.

Rick Cannon of Cannon Aircraft Interiors arrived with our new cockpit seat covers to do some fitting checks.
And Troy Porter of ATS worked getting our new Main Cabin Door entry flooring cut and installed.  The flooring was provided (along with the cockpit seat materials) by Mo Kidney of Douglass Interior Products in Bellevue.
  Fitting the new anti-skid floor covering

Thurs - 25 Feb  (Day 40)
Another visit by the Everett Herald.  And the Seattle Times.

Steve Huemoeller returned to the fold, replacing the windshield wipers.

The headphones and mic's from Irving Jensen in Sioux City were installed and tested.  Also the yoke clipboards.

The cockpit and cabin were vacuumed and cleaned.

Weds - 24 Feb 2016 (Day 39)

Today is picture day as our airplane gets to have her picture taken with a brand new United 787-9 just delivered to the airline.  A better way to put that is that the 787  gets to have her picture taken with our historic airplane.
Here she comes up the Boeing Everett Flight Line

Backing the 787 into position

A brand new UAL Boeing 787-9

And there we are - nose to nose - the latest with her Grandma - still beautiful in her senior years.
Here's the external view - a True Classic!

Museum of Flight

Walk-around Oxygen cylinders and masks, and crew inflatable life vests arrived from Alaska Airlines.  They were installed on the airplane.

Dan Catchpole, reporter from the Everett Herald visited, and got a briefing on our activities.
Also coordinating with other media, including the Daily Mail in London.

We finished our very long and tedious AD review today.  We got to the store on this with the wonderful hard work and knowledge of Joe Kinsella, retired UAL.  Our problem AD's were narrowed to three, (from 274), and our info has been provided to the FAA.

We are now moving into the final flight preps and weather will be our biggest challenge.  Unfortunately, we are sitting out some good weather days while the paperwork percolates through the system, and starting Saturday, the weather deteriorates.  Tuesday, March 1, looks more and more unlikely.  Monday, Feb 29 and Weds March 2 are new candidate fly days.  Follow this website closely for the latest posted info.

Tuesday - 23 Feb 2016  (Day 38)
Long day but nothing glamorous to report as we spent the day in paperwork and coordination meetings.

The weather was nice, as it is forecast to be for the rest of this week, which makes me fearful that we are wasting good flying days, only to be stopped by bad weather when the paperwork is finally done.

Got to fly in for the first time in two weeks -  here's my RV  - hanging out with the Big Iron.

Monday - 22 Feb 2016  (Day 37)

100 Knots!

Pilot Tim Powell arrived for a busy day of meetings and tests.

We met with our FAA Ops Inspector, Michael Haynes, and reviewed all the paperwork, Checklists, performance dataI think he was impressed  with the level of detail we presented, much of it created by Denny Middlesworth.  After this meeting adjourned, we had another meeting in the Paine Field FAA Tower.  It was a conference call that included Boeing Field Tower and Seattle Approach Control.  All the details of the proposed flight were discussed and ironed out. Afterwards, we proceeded to the airplane, where our task for the day was to perform a High Speed Taxi down the main runway.  We took four of the Controllers from the Tower with us, and they got to take turns in the jump seat.  I think they were (very) impressed.

During the taxi test down Runway 16 Right, we reached 100 kts - about 115 mph.  The airplane performed very well.  Several problems were uncovered and will be worked.

Tim Powell acted as pilot, Denny Middlesworth was the Flight Engineer, and I acted as the Co-pilot.

This was the last major test before flying, and we came close to doing that today!

Saturday - 20 Feb 2016 (Day 36)
SOAR packed up their tools and equipment preparatory to leaving tomorrow.
MOF people started packing our stuff taking it back to our hangar. 
With SOAR gone, we have taken over custodianship of the airplane for the time before flight day.
We began cleaning up loose jobs and cleaning the inside of the airplane.
And working the paper mill.

Friday - 19 Feb 2016  (Day 35)

Big day today - or yesterday - as we declared the airplane "Shop Complete" - mechanically and functionally -  it is now ready for its Ferry Flight to Boeing Field.  We still have about two weeks of paperwork to get organized, get FAA, DAR, and PIC approvals, and do a high speed taxi test on the main runway.  Also organize the departure and arrival ceremonies, and then pray for good weather.

She started as a big airplane that had sat, mostly in the same spot, for 25 years, and ended today in a condition where she can be flown safely.  Pretty remarkable stuff.

SOAR's two remaining people will pack up their gear and tools and return to their home base in Marana, Arizona.  MOF people will cleanup our gear and parts and move them back to our hangar.  The airplane will remain at ATS until flight day.  ATS will support our remaining activities.  The two SOAR people will return for launching the airplane from Paine and recovering it at Boeing Field.  And - for signing off the airplane's Logbook - as "safe for the proposed flight."

The next major event stream will be Monday, when pilot Tim Powell is in town.  We will have a morning meeting with the FAA FSDO Ops people, DAR,  meet with Paine Tower, coordinate with Boeing Tower and Seattle Approach, and conduct a high speed taxi run.

The rest of the week will be spent completing the maintenance requirements for the DAR and FAA to enable issuance of our SFP Special Flight Permit (i.e. Ferry Flight Permit.)  We will also clean up the airplane for the trip and its future visitor stream.  New cockpit seat cushions and covers are under construction and will be installed before the flight.

Now this historic airplane can taste the skies and feel the wind beneath her wings, for one last time.  That will make all the hard work more than worth it.

Talking with Museum people, and SOAR people, and ATS people, I think we all surprised one another with how well we worked together as a team - with a common goal; how skilled and knowledgeable were the disparate members; how energetic and hard-working, and dedicated we all were to making the dream come true.  We were a Can-Do group, and that's the only kind I like to be around.  Well Done!

I've been volunteering at the Museum of Flight for 50 years - since the beginning.  I think this has been the greatest achievement I have been associated with.  And there have been quite a few!  I want to thank my fellow volunteers, who devoted their skills and their talents and most of all, their time, to this noble endeavor.  I want to thank the many companies who helped us with parts and services, often at no cost to the Museum.  And I want to thank the Museum management, and the Trustees, who had the confidence in my abilities to bring home the bacon on this one, and the courage to commit the Museum, and its resources, in support of this effort.

And now..... on to the Final Flight.

Bob Bogash

Thurs - 18 Feb 2016  (Day 34)
Last day or two on-site for the SOAR people. They've done a great job under poor conditions.

Replaced the Nbr 1 engine EPR transmitter.  No joy.

Finished buttoning up the stabilizer installation, with the saddle and sliding seals finished.  The stab now looks like it "should" look.
This installation represents an incredibly hard 4 weeks of work by Kenn Finister and his crew.

Adding INOP stickers to controls in the cockpit that will not be functioning during the flight.

Added 994 gals of fuel.

Volunteer Jon Vernier is a retired UAL mechanic

Weds - 17 Feb 2016 (Day 33)
Installing center section access panel, RH A/C pack ducting and heat exchanger (they need to be dropped to allow access to the panel.)

Customizing the horizontal stab/vertical fin closure panels and sliding seal necessitated by attach hole misaignment.
Note:  A lot of this customizing has been required during the restoration and these relate to the definition differences between "Interchangeable" and "Replaceable."
An Interchangeable part is closely dimensionally controlled during manufacture and can be swapped directly with another part, e.g. a slat or aileron.
A Replaceable part is much less controlled because it is not usually replaced in-service.  It must be trimmed and drilled on installation to match the existing structure, and its existing holes e.g. wing L/E and T/E closure panels.

Installed six Thrust Reverser clamshell door lockout bolts, locking clamshells in forward thrust position.

Work was begun installing the APU exhaust duct in the RH MLG wheel well.  This is for accuracy of the final aircraft configuration, as the APU, whie installed and functional, is not operable.


The Main wheel well doors have been operated for the first time in decades - without any problems.

Visits by MOF personnel included Robin Webster and Andrea Arenas who discussed arrangements for the last flight.  They also brought the "goodies" that will be carried on the flight, including patches, postal covers, and models.  If you want to support this project, you can do so by purchasing one of these items, or contributing directly at this webpage.  FINAL FLIGHT

With over 2 million hits to this webpage, I've received many emails and offers of help, requests to visit, etc.  Maybe none stranger than one I received last night from Steve Kessinger, writing from Chengdu, China.  Steve, describing himself as a "young punk airplane lover" is a United Airlines 787 pilot.  He said he would be arriving today and passing Everett on the way home, wondered if he could see the airplane.  Well, he made the trip while I was sleeping and showed up as promised.  Here's the "young punk" in a steam gauge airplane with real control cables.

Tuesday - 16 Feb 2016 (Day 32)
Northwest grunge - hope this improves sometime soon or we'll never fly

Couple of hours visit by KING-5 TV filming their Evening Magazine TV show for tonight from the airplane - will air at 7:30 PM. 
Jim Dever is the Host - he and I had done three previous shows.


Then a visit by Doug King (MOF CEO) and two Trustees
Capt. Anne Simpson was a NWA 727 F/E, and later a Delta Capt.
Said she never made Capt on 727, so this was her chance to slide into the Left Seat.

Museum Trustee Wendy Lawrence

Monday - 15 Feb 2016 (Day 31)
The weather today, I think, is just about the worst of this whole marathon.  Just POURING rain, and wind and cold.  We're standing in inch deep water (at least) and small rivers everywhere.

We expect to have replacement EPR transmitters on Weds to fix the Nbr 1 EPR system.

Our troubleshooting of the Nbr 2 FF system seems to indicate a problem in the FF Transmitter.  We are evaluating our options.  We ran Nbr 2 several times during the day trying to pinpoint the problem.

Working a position indication lite problem for Krueger flaps 2 and 3.  The flaps are locked in the extended position; this appears to be a microswitch problem.

Saturday - 13 Feb 2016  (Day 30)

We're definitely starting to wind down.  It's taken 30 days, but we've awakened this Sleeping Beauty from her 25 year slumbers.  The airplane is almost ready for Logbook sign-off.  When we finish the paperwork side with the FAA, we'll be ready to fly.  Target date is still about March 1st.

SOAR Leader David Wittrig departs for a one day damage survey job in Newark..
Mechanic Al Rico also heads back for California.
Nbr 2 man Kenn Finister will stick around closing out items.

Today we hope to:
Button up the vertical fin and horizontal stabilizer
Install the engine lower side cowls.
T/S the Nbr 1 EPR and Nbr 2 FF problems
Replace all the hydraulic system filters

The lower beacon was Inop during yesterday's operations.  We found the C/B had been pulled.  Ops are normal.
We had problems with the aft airstair.  Source;  Operator problems and unfamiliarity with the operation.
Nbr 1 EPR gauge problem traced to the Transmitter.  We have no spares and are searching for a replacement.
Nbr 2 Fuel Flow undergoing T/S.  We found no power at the firewall canon plug.  Working this.
Side engine lower cowls were installed.
Hydraulic system filters were changed.

The NBC affiliate in Seattle -  KING  - has a nightly show called Evening Magazine.  This Tuesday's Show will be - drum roll, please - be broadcast from on board E1 - our airplane!  Tune in - it airs at 7:30 PM on Channel 5.

Friday - 12 Feb 2016  (Day 29)


Big plans hoped for today:
Buttoning up a lot of final work
Adding 1200 gals more fuel
Conducting PP (Part Power) and High Power Engine Trim runs
First taxi tests
Review meeting with MOF top management

Cold, windy, heavy rain in the morning.
Installed Flaps 15 drive unit Locks

Finishing up installing new Elevator Feel Computer.  Leak and functionally tested OK.
Checked cockpit escape ropes.  Activated Fwd Entry Door.
Added 1200 gals fuel.

Long meeting with Laurie Haag, MOF COO, laying out plans going forward and Last Flight arrangements.  Lots of festivities planned, including fire truck water arches for both departure and arrival - if just the weather will start to cooperate.

 After lunch, we towed the aircraft to ATS Hangar #1 blast fence where we
conducted Part Power and Take-off Power runs.

During engine #2 operation, we experienced several compressor stalls.  The wind was substantial (15 - 25 kts) and was a quartering to tail wind.  Nbr 2 engines on 727-100s do not like to operate in those conditions.
I LOVE Steam Gauges!

After some negotiating with the airport control tower and the airport operations people, a spot was found for us on the Alpha taxiway facing south, between A7 and A9, which faced us into the wind.  Took some more arranging to get our support people and vehicles out on to the active taxiway, but eventually we got her done.

After getting towed out onto the Echo Taxiway, I was privileged to release the parking brake and begin taxiing the airplane west on the Echo enroute Alpha. It was the first time the airplane had moved under its own power in more than 25 years!
She's alive indeed.

 I was overwhelmed with the sense of history as she started to move.  It was the stuff that...... dreams are made of.....

I tested the brakes and nose wheel steering, using the tiller and the rudder pedals - all worked very well.  We also tested the Brake Interconnect system, and it too worked as advertised.  In total, I taxied the airplane approx 4-5 miles without difficulty.  A KING-5 TV crew showed up to video the event.  It was on the 6 o'clock news, they've told me, but we didn't get home until 9 PM, so missed it.

  David and I shook hands - we both knew and appreciated what we had just done.  A big piece of aviation history had just transpired, and right before our very eyes.

A number of MOF volunteers were on board for the historic occasion, including Crew Chief T.C. Howard (rear) and my wife Dot, whose coat matches the upholstery..
First Taxi - movie - Part I
First Taxi - movie - Part II
The first thing I checked - multiple times - was the brakes!
   Movies from Volunteer Ryan Best

The trim runs went reasonably well, but by the time we got finished, it had gotten dark.  Good thing we (read that "I") had insisted the landing lites be repaired and made operational.  I took a lot of heat for that.
Altogether, we ran the engines approximately 2 hours.  The generators operated well, but the Nbr 1 EPR and Nbr 2 FF decided to become Inop.

While we were parked on Alpha, a Boeing Guppy landed, turned off at Alpha 10, looped around to get back on the runway at Alpha 9 (because we were blocking Alpha), and gave us a great view!
  Ryan Best

  John Vernier

After the trim run, we lined up on Runway 34 Left and got a good compass check.  Then we taxied full length, turning off at Alpha 1, and proceeding south on Alpha past the Boeing Flight Line giving the workers there, hopefully, a nice view of  one of their Matriarchs.
  Ryan Best
A long day but quite productive.... and historic!

A view of our baby after dark - interior lites glowing - reminiscent of days gone by.

Thurs - 11 Feb 2016  (Day 28)

Finished installing the Inbd Landing Lite transformers - Lites now work OK.
I took a lot of heat for demanding they be operational, - "Gee, it's a daytime flight" - but they are blindingly bright.  Those other guys don't fly around here, but I do many times a week.  I want those lites!!!  We'll be down low flying in "Indian Country" - you know, Cherokees, and Commanche's and Apache's and Navajo's......

Installing the Pratt & Whitney decals on the side engine nose cowls.

The new Elevator Feel Computer arrived right on time around 10 o'clock form Kansas.  We'll  install it today.  Thanks to my good friend Jeff Akridge of Columbia Pacific Aviation in Moses Lake for making this happen.  Jeff - You 'da Man.
New unit is the green one.

Attacking the fuel leak one more time, we loaded two sets of center tank bladder cells in my truck, and cut them up for their fittings.  We are going without the center tank and have no use for the bladders, but we do have cross-ship manifolds penetrating the area.  Man, I hope this will be the final solution.  If it is, I will remind everyone that I recommended this 6 months ago.........

Did a lot of electrical box swapping and ran all three engines.  We have three good generators.  We think we have narrowed the problem to a Load Controller.  We have a spare and will install and try again tomorrow.

Additional companies have signed up to support; we're getting new cockpit seat covers from Douglass Interior Products and Cannon Aircraft Interiors; and Alaska Airlines has agreed to supply cockpit emergency equipment.

Weds - 10 Feb 2016 (Day 27)

Another day at the office.......  well, at least I get to park close.
Today's Plan of Action:
Obtain replacement Elevator Feel Computer - and begin installation, if possible.
Trim all engines - Idle speeds
Install Flaps 15 Lockout fixtures
Final flight control check, except elevators
Continue fuel line repairs, if successful - add more fuel.
Close engine strut panels

Located overhauled Elevator Feel Computer at parts dealer in Kansas with the help of Jeff Akridge of Columbia Pacific Aviation in Moses Lake.  The unit has been overnight shipped up here and should arrive tomorrow morning.

  The failed Elevator Feel Computer

The engines were run several times and were trimmed for correct Idle speed.  There are electrical problems on two generators and their problems are undergoing troubleshooting.
Three turning and burning

Oil pressure

New Landing Light transformers donated by Aero Controls in Auburn were picked up by Volunteer Jon Vernier and brought to the airplane where they were installed.
Denny Middlesworth gets to bark his knuckles installing the new transformers and recalling the cuss words from his misspent youth.

Museum Curator Dan Hagedorn visited and was briefed on our progress.
The machined Flaps 15 Lockout fittings were received from the machine shop.

So did the 6 thrust reverser clamshell door lockout bolts from Leo Kohlbacher, retired VP and General Manager of AEI - the manufacturer of the FedEx Hush Kit.  Leo contacted me after reading this web page and has graciously offered a lot of advice about the hush kit - and even sent parts.

The lockout bolts were "liberated" from the Post Office by Austin Ballard of the MOF Restoration Center Staff, from a P.O. that seemed more content with storing them in the P.O. than delivering them.  Grrrrr.

Tues - 9 Feb 2016 (Day 26)

Today is a special day - our Baby's birthday.  53 years ago today, she made her First Flight from Renton to Paine Field here in Everett (where she is today.)

It was my hope that she could fly today on her Anniversary, but, alas,  such was not to be.
As I scour over the airplane, in every nook and cranny, I'm amazed at how many of the parts, from slats to landing gear doors, show the Serial Number 001.  United never swapped them out.  They're the same parts that were installed in the factory in the Fall of 1962.  Amazing.

Great pictures of the First Flight in the Airliner Reporter today - found here.

Continuing to button up the airplane panels.
Second Fuel Flow gage replaced with another one I brought from home - works OK.  All 3 FF's now operational.

We located a replacement Elevator Feel Computer.  During testing and functional checkout on the bench in Auburn this afternoon, the case of this unit also split under hyd pressure.  This is a known problem with this unit.  We are now investigating our options.

Three of the SOAR mechanics finished their stint with us today and will be returning to California tomorrow morning.  They were a great bunch - knowledgeable and hard working.  This is Brandon Rimerman.
Arriving at Paine this morning - overflew the field and checked out our bird.

Monday - 8 Feb 2016 (Day 25)
Clear and cold - back into my sky chariot.
Swapped FF gages 1 and 3 and problem moved with the gage.  I have 3 spare gages - brought one in.  Will bring another tomorrow.

Tracking CWT plumbing leak - narrowed to specific couplings in the inbd wet sections of the tank.
Serviced pneumatic brake back-up cylinder.
Applied hyd press to elevator system and we appeared to have split the elevator feel computer case.  We have located a replacement and are negotiating for its release.
Feel computer is the yellow unit, upper left of above picture.  We had just finished the lengthy job of installing this unit.  Calling around, it appears this is a somewhat common problem.  S**T happens.

Four more folks from Paine Field's Control Tower came to visit.

Mo Kidney of Douglass Interior Products came to the airplane with Rick Cannon of Cannon Aircraft Interiors at Paine Field.  Mo is donating replacement fabrics for the cockpit seats, and Rick is going to sew them up for us at no charge.  Way to go.
Rick Cannon (L) and Mo Kidney
Mo also flies C-17s with the AF Reserves
Pulling out the old seat covers and cushions

The Nbr 1 ATC Transponder was activated and tested as operational.

The wing Leading and Trailing edge panels were installed.
Thank goodness I was able to fly in today - instead of the nerve-racking ferry gauntlet - it's a wonderful and relaxing short flight home - aren't airplanes great?

Sat - 6 Feb 2016 (Day 24)
Following items being worked today:
Inbd landing lites
Pilots' mic & headphone jacks
A/C Ram air inlet doors
Stab/elev final rigging
F/O Instrument amplifier
Engine starts

Transponders now pass E/E box self checks and appear operational in cockpit.  Unable verify with PAE Tower.  Will check using ground test equipment.

The wheel well fuel shrouds covering the engine fuel feed lines were closed up on both sides.

F/O Sperry Instrument Amplifier installed and F/O ADI and HSI compass card now operational.  We now have three operational ADI's plus 4 operational compass cards (HSI+RMI both sides) plus whiskey bowl compass.

Working towards fixing I/B landing lites - found bulbs good and 115v AC in at power transformers, but no power out.  Under investigation.

Operation of A/C ram air inlet/exit doors verified (even though we will fly unpressurized) and operation of ram air valve (which WILL be used) was verified.

The pilots' headset/microphone jacks appear non-standard (to me), and my large collection of stuff do not work.  Been using some antique stuff I have with the old fashioned jacks on the F/E panel.
Pilots have sent me what they have and we'll try to make something work.  Here's the airplane stuff.

With fuel in both tanks, we could run hydraulics.  The two leaking lines for the Nbr 1 spoiler were replaced and spoiler ops were normal.  The aft airstair was run up and down  hydraulically several times, and operated very smoothly.

Visit by Carol Thomson - MOF Volunteer Coordinator, checking on her volunteers. 
"No slacking out there, or I'll dock your pay!"

3:00 PM - a Milestone for this airplane - starting engines - first time in 25 years!
Starting Nbr 2
N1, N2, EGT, FF, Low Oil Press lite out

Electrics on - CSD Low Oil Press lite out, Field closed, Generator on the bus.
All three engines were dry motored and started and run several times.  Assorted issues arose with leaky fuel connections.  The leaks were tracked down and rectified.  Fuel flow was Inop initially on all three - Nbr 3 later began functioning normally, with Nbr 1 showing signs of life.  Perhaps air needing purging through the fuel flow transmitters.

Friday - 5 Feb 2016 (Day 23)
Well, we've got an airplane that has pretty much awakened from her slumbers.
At this point, the following are operational:
Electric power
Most Avionics
Fuel Systems (one remaining issue being worked)
Hydraulic systems
All Flight controls
Pneumatic systems (necessary for ferry flight)
Brakes and Anti-skid
Engines, which have been motored (a few issues still being worked).
Airplane has been weighed
Deep into paperwork issues associated with FAA SFP (Special Flight Permit).
All in all, we're much closer to the end than the beginning.

We had a visit by our DAR Bruce Beadell and three FAA Aviation Safety Inspectors from the Seattle  FSDO office.  We toured the airplane and discussed our progress to date and the path going forward.  It was an excellent meeting - I think they were impressed with what we've done with the airplane.
ASI Michael Haynes tries out that coveted Left Seat.

We pressurized the fuel lines to the engines and bled the air out of the lines.  There was a leak at the Nbr 1 engine fuel shutoff valve (SOV).  The leak was traced to a faulty O-ring on the valve.  The O-ring was replaced.

We continued troubleshooting the Nbr 1 engine EGT failure-to-test problem.  Coords were conducted with FedEx powerplant engineering in Memphis.

A hyd leak was found on the Nbr 1 spoiler (LH O/B) - the two lines are being fabbed and will be replaced.

Thurs - 4 Feb 2016  (Day 22)
The T/E flaps have been retracted and fixed at 15.  Locking fixtures are being manufactured to ensure they stay locked at that position.

The speedbrake handle problem has been resolved.
B Sys hyd accumulator replaced with new serviceable unit.

Installation of the Nbr 2 engine Systron-Donner fire loop has been completed.  Awaiting  some installation hardware from FedEx.  Hardware received and installed.  After about 10 days of chasing this issue, the item is closed - we have 3 good engine fire and firewall detection systems that function and test properly!

Work is proceeding on resolving fuel leaks in the Left Wing and CWT.  Triumph returned and after some more work and access door swaps, the LH wing seems to be leak free.  Put 7200 lbs in to leave overnight.

The tires and landing gear struts were serviced.

The lower rotating beacon was replaced with a unit from Aero Controls and is now operational.

The three hydraulic tubes were finished and - finally - installed.  After that the elevators were operated for the first time - elev's and tabs operated normally.  The stab needs limit switch instl and can then be closed up - a long and big job!
The long-birthing hydraulic tubes.
They go to the yellow unit which is the elevator feel computer.
A close look at the stab trim cable drum.

One problem (fire warning) down, and the next one sticks its ugly head up.  Nbr 1 engine EGT will not test and appears to have a short between the cable braid and thermocouple probe.  There are 7 probes, each was tested in turn - and failed.  We are troubleshooting what might be a common cause.  Airplane side wiring tested good.  Engs 2 and 3 tested normal.  The EGT probe harness seems to be buried under the hush kit sleeve.  Denny and Jim Grogan working it.

25 years of wannabe pilots sitting in the crew seats has decimated the seat covers.  I contacted one of my friends and I hope to have all new seat covers for the flight!

A dedicated band of SOAR techs are working this restoration.
David Wittrig (L) Leader and Kenn Finister (R) #2 having a quick home-made lunch.  These guys fix their lunch in the small kitchens in their hotel rooms.

This is Rich - hiding in his rain gear.  Rich is quiet.  Rich has a Piper Comanche 180 - I'm impressed.

This is Al Rico - I call him "Flushing" because he's from Flushing, NY  Al is 110% Italian and brings some fancy Italian lunches that he makes at "home" in the hotel.

Here he's making a fancy sandwich with marinated roast peppers.  I asked him if he wouldn't mind making my lunches.......

Here's the best part -  he finishes all his meals with cloves of fresh garlic - straight up - for dessert! Now THAT'S Italiano......

Weds - 3 Feb 2016 (Day 21)
Cold, gray, raw day with rain on the way - back to the ferry today.

With the flap jackscrew ballnuts working, we're going to pull the flaps up to 15 units today.
Here's a good view showing the difference between 40 flaps (foreground) and 15 flaps (inbd in the background.)


RH wing flaps now both at 15 units.
After the flaps are set, they will be held in position by the seized flap drive transmissions.  In addition, they will be locked by locking plates in the drive actuators.  Mockups of these locks were fabricated by Kenn Finister and will be manufactured by a local machine shop.  Here is one of the mockups.

We are still waiting for Triumph on the fuel tank leak situation, as we need fuel in the LH tank in order to run our B sys hyd pumps and continue flight control activation and testing.

We are experiencing a problem with speed brake handle travel and are investigating the cable runs and the spoiler/mixer box for problems.

The Nbrs 1 and 3 engine fire loops have now been fully repaired - they test and function normally.
Nbr 2 engine fire loop is the wrong vendor part (Kidde instead of Systron-Donner).  We found we had a Systron-Donner loop on hand and are replacing the Kidde.  We also need some connectors and a wiring harness to go with the Donner.  FedEx has those and is over-nighting them up here to us from Memphis.  We should have them in the morning.  Man, O Man - what would we do without these guys?

Here's their exact email:
One of the “old” Wire Shop Guys found what you need. He used to do the Conversions & he knew exactly what you needed.
I will Overnight this to you if you send me your address.

More visitors today, including Charlie Lyford - MOF Trustee and Chairman of the Collection Committee:

and Jeanette and James from the Paine Air Traffic Control Tower

I talk to these guys all the time on the radio, so it was really great to see them in person.

Tues - 2 Feb 2016 (Day 20)
Sunny and cold, but good flying weather.  The early morning view enroute Paine Field.

Transferring fuel to LH wing, after an over-night leak-free in the RH wing - several leaks occurred in the LH wing from access door, dripstick, plus transfer manifold  sources.  When we transferred back to the "leak-free" RH wing, several new leaks appeared!   TRIUMPH WILL WORK THE LEAKS.

A small running fuel leak.
THE FLAP BALLSCREWS WERE REMOVED AND FREED UP.  When all are functional, we can begin moving the flaps to their 15 position.

Three people are working on the fire loop problem  We corrected a short in the Nbr 3 fire handle, replaced power supplies, traced wiring, and were able to finally get a test on one engine.  And the fire bell made functional.  While tracing an open circuit in one fire loop circuit, we found the source was about 10 feet of twisted pair wires had been extracted from a wire bundle, and, at some point in the past 25 years, cut out and removed from the airplane.  This was in the aft airstair area - an inaccessible area, and so - likely removed by the UAL crew, but for unfathomable reasons.  The wire will be replaced.  We are getting close to solving the fire loop problems.

A detailed inspection of the wheels and tires indicated they were fully serviceable.  Operational checks of the brakes indicated they were likewise serviceable.  The anti-skid was checked and tested and passed all checks.  With this activity, the wheels, brakes, and tires were deemed operational for the flight, with the only remaining checks being during taxi tests.

The level of coordination with the Flight Crew, Insurance Company and FAA is ramping up as we move closer to the end phase of the restoration.

I hosted a visit and briefing of the Paine Field Airport Manager Arif Ghouse and his staff.

Supt of Operations Bruce Fisher also got his turn in "the seat."

Later in the afternoon, MOF Board of Trustees Chairman Bill Ayer flew his airplane in and also got a visit and a briefing.

Monday 1 Feb 2016 (Day 19)
Weather decent but IFR at Paine requiring a phone call to the Tower and a Special Clearance for me to get in.  Cold, with temps in the 30s.

Stabilizer driven electrically for the first time.  To the limits. And manually, using the aisle stand trim wheels.  Great to be working on airplane with true manual reversion, and cables that go directly to the control surfaces!  

About two weeks of hard work in this area, installing the drive unit, feel computer, and elevator quadrants.

The cable wrapped around the trim drum runs from a similar drum under the cockpit floor.  Both ends were a mess and untangling them and re-wrapping them was extremely tedious.

This is the mating drum under the cockpit floor.

All of this work was done at the top of the high tail, and much of it in the cold and rain.
Only three more hyd lines to fab and the stab will be almost complete.

Austin Ballard from MOF Restoration Center fab'd three replacement fuel feed lines and SOAR installed them, paving the way to restart the fueling effort.  When we encountered the fuel leaks on the RH wing last week, the fuel was transferred to the LH wing, which did not leak, with the approx. 175 gals in the tank.  Today,this was transferred back to the RH wing - which did not leak from the repaired areas.
Back came the fuel truck - incrementally, we added fuel from the truck until 900 gals had been added.

175 + 900 gals = 1075 gals = 7200 lbs.  There were no leaks.  The fuel will be left overnight and then transferred to the LH wing.  When it passes, both tanks will be brought up to about 7500 lbs.
With fuel in both tanks, the hydraulic systems can be operated freely and without limitations.  Hydraulic heat exchangers in each wing are used to cool the hyd fluid - with no fuel in the tanks, the pumps can only be run for two minutes max.

Nbr 1 engine Bleed Air valve found Inop. Did field repair and now functional. Dry motored Nbr 1 engine.
The Nbr 2 engine ignition problem was traced to a loose cannon plug.
Now all three engines have been motored and have operative starters, start valves, accessories and ignition.  Work on the fire loop problem will be undertaken tomorrow.

Work began on manually moving the flaps from 40 to 15.  Because some of the transmissions were seized, we disconnected the U-joints at the aft end of the Xmsn's, to spin the flap carriages up on their tracks manually using the ballnuts on the jackscrews.  That's when it was discovered the ballnuts would not rotate on the jackscrews, despite their having been cleaned and lubricated over the years.  Work will continue until they can be moved on the jackscrews.

Today was a productive day.

A nice flight home - looking down at my place.....

Saturday 30 Jan 2016 (Day 18)
Not raining, but cloudy, breezy, and cold (37 deg F.)  Glad I wore my long johns this morning!

Replacing the failed fuel feed line to Nbr 3 and it's failed valve.  Also replacing adjacent Nbr 2 as precaution.  Nbr 1 fuel line will be replaced as well.

Checking out the anti-skid system

Brakes have now been checked - they are working satisfactorily while static.  Looks like we might not need to go get those wheels and brakes from Spokane.  Here's hoping.  Final check will be during taxi tests.
Installing the horiz stab trim cables - quite tedious.  Need to fab elevator feel computer hyd lines (4.) Stab installation nearing completion.

Hoping to put pneumatics on later today and dry motor the engines.

An Alaska 737-900 inbound for maintenance
Ignition checks were performed.  Engs 1 and 3 passed muster.  Nbr 2 needs more coddling.

A sunburst lit up the cabin

Now - We're gonna try to turn these new engines!
An ATS air cart (Huffer) is hooked up to the high pressure  connector.

Covers are pulled off the Nbr 3 inlet and tailpipe.

Air pressure gauge works!  She  just  keeps "waking up."  Duct pressure is 30 psi.
Turning Nbr 3

Start valve opens and Nbr 3 starts cranking - Note the N2 rpm coming up and the Low Oil Pressure Light extinguishes.  An engine was turning on N7001U for the first time in 25 years.

Engines 1 and 2 were tried, but more work needed there -- ooops, Nbr 2 finally got to spin up too - finally time to quit for the day.... and week.
Another 100+ hour work week in the books........  We're getting there.

Friday 29 Jan 2016 (Day 17)

More rain, wind, cold.
Airplane visit by Doug King - Museum CEO, and Laurie Haag - COO.  After reviewing the status of the program and what was needed going forward, I proposed moving the Final Flight date to about March 1.  This was accepted.  It will take pressure off the numerous activities which are moving very fast and at the same time creating too many demands on limited resources and work force.

L-R  Bob Bogash, Doug King, T.C. Howard, Laurie Haag
New fuel hose was received and three new fuel lines were fabricated.
Engine fire loop troubleshooting continued.

Fire loop modules and power supplies behind P-6 panel.

It was determined that hydraulic lines going to the elevator feel computer were disposed of by the team cannibalizing the airplane in 1991.  New lines will be fabricated.

Capped lines on left are where missing lines go.  Green assy on right is stab trim drive.
From SOAR Team Leader David Wittrig:
Stabilizer has now been driven to the full ANU stop.  We can now finish the forward drum connections on the lower cable and then feed the upper cable at the stabilizer.  Good progress.

Thurs 28 Jan 2016 (Day 16)
Back in the trenches.  It's raining cats and dogs.  Also pigs and chickens.  Hey, Lord, turn off the bubble machine.

During our fueling yesterday, we suffered a major leak in one of the fuel feed lines in the RH rear spar area.  We decided to replace all the feed lines.  To obtain them, we secured permission from Aero Controls to remove them from a 727 they have at the Shelton Airport.  Jim Munneke drove all the way to Shelton and back, and removed the needed lines.  When he returned, we quickly decided the new lines were in poor condition.  We will fabricate new lines.

  We needed a bracket that held three limit switches for the stabilizer. It was missing from the stab area when we opened it up, apparently discarded in 1991 when the airplane was cannibalized.  We obtained the Boeing drawings for the part and were prepared to manufacture a new one from scratch, but we also worked to obtain one.  With permission from the Airport Fire Dept to check and remove the part from their fire practice airplane, SOAR went out with high lift truck, opened the area, found and removed the much-needed bracket.

Denny has been coming around regularly - I think he likes it here!  Today, we worked through the operations stuff, including C.G., Take-off and Landing speeds, and Pilot Checklists (that he made especially to accommodate our airplane's configuration.)  Then he helped Jim, our avionics tech troubleshoot the problem we're having with the engine fire loops.

We interrupted the steady rain for a big gully-washer, where it really came down - followed by a low sun that made for some really nice photo ops.

Our furthest volunteer came to visit - he's been coming for 10 years - from Boston!  Yes, Boston!  David Capodilupo with T.C. Howard.

Weds 27 Jan 2016 (Day 15)

One step forward, two steps back - some days are like that.  We haven't had too many, but today was one.  Today we were going to fuel the airplane.

That's Brandon with Al Rico - I call him "Flushing" - where he's from (near LGA.)

Airplane was brought out of the hangar first thing.  Shortly afterwards, the fire alarm went off.  The hangar was evacuated and all the fire equipment arrived.  We were OK - we were outside and working on the airplane.  Or were we.  Pretty soon, the fire marshal came and told us to evacuate the airplane, evacuate the area, and proceed to the assembly point.  Which we did.  Pretty soon, it was declared a false alarm and we went back to work.

First thing we discovered was an incompatibility between the fire loops on the engines and the fire system on the airplane.  There are several vendors for this equipment, and we had researched endlessly to ensure they were compatible.  But, it turns out, they weren't.  With help from FedEx engineering, the situation is under investigation.

Next was fueling.  Two fuel trucks arrived and we discussed the fueling plan.  Imagine - a fuel truck arriving at N7001U  -- to fuel the airplane!

  We decided to fuel the RH wing first, fueling overwing, and adding small amounts of fuel in 100 gal increments.  100 gals went on without a problem - first fuel on the airplane in 25 years.  Then 100 more gals - uh oh! - we developed numerous leaks in a couple of panel access doors.  The ones that had been pressure tested.
What do you do when your roof leaks?  That's what we did, moving plastic barrels around under the wing.
e found the leaks were due to loose panel access door screws.  And one panel had its O-ring seal popped out of its groove and pinched..
To stop the leaks, we invoked our backup 'leak plan', which was to transfer fuel to the other wing.

We tightened the leaky doors, and then the doors on the LH wing - in advance of having a problem there too.  But, when we went to transfer, we found a leak in the Nbr 3 engine fuel feed hose near the wing rear spar.  We went to Plan C and drained a lot of the fuel pending resolution of the leaks.

Pump it in, then drain it out.  Painful.
We had to remind ourselves that this WAS an old airplane that had been sitting for several decades.
The good news is we verified operation of two boost pumps, boost pump low pressure lights, a crossfeed valve, a fueling fill valve (and light), and the cross-ship manifolds we had installed in the center tank.
Tomorrow is another day........

Tues 26 Jan 2016 (Day 14) - weather turned south again.
We're due into the hangar at 10 this morning to be weighed.
At 1:00 PM, we're gonna meet with the DAR to review maintenance records, ADs and SBs, etc.

T.C. deciphering parts catalog - SOAR guys coming out of the wet.

Well, our 10 AM into the hangar is now 1 PM.
Two hour meeting with Bruce Beadell, our DAR.  We're transitioning to the paperwork side of this endeavor and keeping the FAA happy.  A lot more fun working on the airplane.....

FedEx comes through again!  These guys are the GREATEST!  New throttle rod found and on its way!

Airplane pulled out of its nose dock and towed around to Hangar 2 for weighing.

Above three pictures from David Wittrig
At 3:30, she's finally pulled in - she's used to this nose-lifting business.

Time to weigh - my estimate 95,000 lbs.

Two trips up on axle jacks with weight cells - the totals came up 1 lb apart!

And........ drum roll, please..... Our weight is:
Nose    =   4410  lbs
RH       =  45,860
LH       =  45,310
Total =    95,580 lbs     (includes about 5000 lbs of nose ballast.)

Hold the applause please.
Plans for tomorrow - back out of the hangar and then fueling.

Monday 25 Jan 2016 (Day 13)
Well, it's not raining!  That's the good news.  Got to fly my little bug-smasher in for a change and not be stuck with a 6 hour commute on the Ferry system.

18 minutes vs. 3+ hours!

Even made the Museum's Facebook page
Living where I do, on the West side of Puget Sound, my airplane is my primary method of supporting my Museum activities at Paine Field and Boeing Field.

But - ATS had a busted airplane due to come in from their prime customer, and so our weigh plan got slid 24 hours.  We're working on the center engine and the horiz. stab.

The center engine was dropped using the bootstrap, connected to the duct connector ring, then rehoisted into position.  The connector ring problem was solved.  Thanks to Ron in San Antonio who read my webpage and sent an email with suggestions.

Engine throttle rods were connected and rigged.  The rod end bearing on one of the rods came apart.  Looking for a new rod or bearing.

Peter Morton visited - MOF Trustee, Boeing Flt Ops, long time friend.  It was like old times.....
727 times that is.

Started spending a lot of time on organizing the paperwork required for the FAA Special Flight Permit.
Meeting with the DAR tomorrow.   A good sign.

Saturday 22 Jan 2016
Well, we've accomplished a lot, but have a lot more to do.
Our main tasks today (back in the rain) are to:
1- Finish leak checking the fuel tanks
2- Continue system installations to complete the stab job
3- Resolve the hyd leaks and pressurize the systems
4- Solve the center engine inlet alignment problem
5- Get the airplane prep'd for weighing on Monday morning

Trying to work out of the pouring rain - the operative word is "trying," with a tent over the stab work area.  View of one of the Boeing 787 derelicts nearby in the fog and gloom.

Some major Milestones were passed today.

With needed parts in hand, Triumph was able to go back to pressure testing the fuel tanks.  The LH wing passed first try.  The RH wing had 5 tank access doors that were leaking.  We have a large supply of tank doors and replaced all five.  The RH tank  then passed.  The fuel system is now ready to add fuel.

   Ryan Best
View of soap solution bubbling while wing is pressurized.

The elevator quadrant assy and elevator feel computer were installed.  They still need to be rigged.  Work then began on the stab trim drive and drum unit.

Hydraulic power was applied via the electric B sys pumps.  It took a while and some troubleshooting, but we finally got those pumps on and their low pressure lights extinguished.  Via the ground interconnect, we then pressurized the A system.  As the air was forced out of the lines, we had to replenish the hyd reservoirs numerous times.  The Standby system pump and system were also tested.
We then began testing various hydraulic functions and units, including ailerons, spoilers, rudders and brakes.  The elevators could not be tested because of continuing work on the stab.  All systems, PCU's, and valves seemed to operate satisfactorily.  Here's a video of the rudder test.

About 2500 lbs of additional ballast was added to the fwd belly and  the load was redistributed and tied down.  We have additional ballast on hand should it be required.

The Service Interphone was tested and was functional throughout the airplane.

With the work today, essentially all the Avionics systems have been satisfactorily activated, the Hydraulic system and flight control system has been rigged and activated;  the Fuel system has been cleaned, sealed,  pressure tested and is ready for fuel. The brakes have been preliminarily tested for leaks and function.

Friday 22 Jan 2016

Today's weather - dry, but cold and blowing like hell.
After a bit of wheel spinning, we have finally gained access to an ATS boom truck that allows us to gain access to the top of the horizontal stabilizer, to work on completing that installation.  The crew then spent the balance of the day installing the elevator quadrant assy and elevator feel computer.

Engines 1 and 3 are mostly complete and upper cowling has been installed.  A problem has occurred with Nbr 2 engine - misalignment of the fwd inlet case attach holes with the flexible duct connector, which appears to have sagged and taken a permanent set.  We are investigating our options.

After servicing the hydraulic reservoirs, a lot of work was done trying to move fluid through the system and correcting leaks.  When UAL removed hyd system hardware, they left many (most?) hyd fittings only partially connected.  The goal is to turn on the elec B sys pumps.

Triumph began work on positive pressure testing the fuel tanks for leaks.  Gary Williams is Triumph's Lead, and is Mr. Fuel Tank in my book.

We are going to weigh the aircraft on Monday morning.
The aircraft, with engines installed, is very light on the nose gear.  We bought another 5000 lbs of ballast.

Thurs 21 Jan 2016
Suddenly, yesterday looks downright nice as today is the PNW at its best (worst?)  Heavy rain, cold, wind, and dark. The puddles are so big I need my fishing waders.  2.5 inches of rain at my place yesterday.  Plus, I'm getting the flu.  Yuk!

Having problems resolving the Standby Power issue, I put out an "All-Points Bulletin" to my contacts looking for someone who might have drawings and documents for this airplane (ours do not reflect the actual ship's wiring.)  Dave Jones sic'd me onto John Cashman who referred me to Denny Middlesworth - retired Boeing Flight Test, - who had all the stuff we needed.  Thank God for pack rats (like me.)

Denny came out with his  manuals and even his tools.  Here he is reviewing his wiring diagrams with SOAR's avionics tech Dietrich.  And here he is diving into it.  After a lot of checking, we were able to verify that the Standby Bus was, in fact, powered, and the equipment we wanted on it (Capt ADI, Stby ADI, VHF Comm 1) was functional using just the battery.  The problem was in the circuitry that powered the red Standby Power Fail light.  After a lot more fruitless troubleshooting, we decided to declare the Standby Power good and the Fail light non-functional.

Denny brought his favorite tool......  As we looked through his old manuals, we found two more gold nuggets relating to Wt. & Balance and another document we were needing giving a table of Dripstick Readings vs  Fuel Quantity.  A "Three-fer........  Old guys rock!

After an industrial grade arm-twisting job, I got Ward B. out of his office and up to see the airplane in an "industrial" setting, complete with pouring rain.  Ward is the MOF's lawyer and has worked with me for the past year drafting various contracts and agreements.

The hydraulic system's 3 reservoirs were serviced with hyd fluid.  Hydraulics on perhaps tomorrow..

SOAR guys grabbing lunch and drying out from the swimming pool outside.  They had to get new rain gear - their old stuff fell apart.   They look more like New England fishermen.

Weds 20 Jan 2016
Cold, drizzle, and fog - it's the great Pacific Northwet

-The VHF Comm Radios were re-tested using "vintage headset and microphone" I brought from home - that's what she wanted - I got a Loud and Clear on Transmit and Receive from Paine Tower.
-The Standby Attitude Indicator was finally powered up and activated.  That gives us two ADI's - Capt's normal and the Standby.  The F/O is still Inop pending finding a Sperry black box.
-The compass cards on the Capt's HSI and RMI are operational.
-Lateral control system and Flaps follow-up rigging is underway.  Almost complete
-Center engine installation bootstrap tooling installed in prep for hanging the center engine.

Beginning about 1100 hrs, the center engine was hoisted into position.

- N7001U now has three engines installed.
- "All points bulletin" put out yesterday to find someone with tech knowledge and wiring diagrams/tech info on wiring this airplane, since our diagrams do not correspond with the wiring found on the airplane.
I got a quick call from John Cashman connecting me with Denny Middlesworth who is coming out to the airplane Thursday morning with diagrams and drawings related to the wiring on this airplane.
-Triumph closed up the RH wing.
- Stab/elevator hydraulic lines fabbed and installed.
- Two batteries were checked out and charged by Clay Lacy battery shop; arriving back at airplane tomorrow.

Tuesday 19 Jan 2016

Major Accomplishments:

Installed engines 1 and 3

We're operating outside - in the nose dock tent - it's not too cold - until you stand out for a few hours and appreciate the hangar.  Man, it's cold!  It's gonna start raining shortly.  Couldn't fly in this morning as Jefco was 1/4 mile in fog.

We finished trimming the Nbr 1 pylon skirt fairing and successfully installed Nbr 1 engine.  First engine on the airplane in 25 years!

We're now trimming the Nbr. 3 skirt fairing.

Nbr 3 engine ready for installation.

After installing Nbr 3 - attention was shifted to the center engineTwo motors on and one to go.

It was cold and damp - then it started raining - man we missed our nice hangar!

Tested VHF Comm radios - both radios OK on receive.  No modulation on transmit.  Troubleshooting further.

Rigging lateral control system. 
David Wittrig - SOAR Leader, rigging the ailerons.

Tom Cathcart and T.C. Howard checked the Everett CC FedEx airplane and the AA 727 at BFI for black boxes on our want list.  No luck since they were Collins airplanes and UAL uses Sperry.

Monday 18 Jan 2016

A good deal of the day was spent trying to match the FedEx hush kit tailpipe to a trimmed  pylon aft skirt fairing.  The engine was re-hoisted with great anticipation, but had to be dropped again to allow further rework.  Once a final trim profile is achieved, it will be applied to the Nbr. 3 pylon.  The day ended with the engines still not installed.

Cockpit avionics continued to be activated, checked, and the Standby Power problem received a lot of attention. To resolve doubts about the health of the aircraft batteries, which might be impacting the Standby Power, two were taken to Clay Lacy's battery shop at Boeing Field for checkout.

Fuel boost pumps and pump removal valves were installed.

Brandon of SOAR is the guy who climbs into those confined fuel tanks and makes these jobs happen. He also worked on installing three new flight control cables in the right wing trailing edge area.

Ted Huetter of MOF P.R. and photographer Francis Zera visited and took a lot of pictures.

Starting about 3 PM, the airplane was cleared of equipment, the nose was raised and it was pushed out.  It will be placed in a tent nose hangar.  So, our stay in the nice heated hangar is likely over for this project.  Eight days, when we were expecting none at the start has been quite deluxe.  We will probably get in once more for a brief visit when we weigh the aircraft at the end of our repairs.
    ATS's "Big Al"
Jack of all Trades and Master of all, as well.  Al is  making things happen.  I wanna hire him!

Saturday 16 Jan 2016

Major Accomplishments  (a very long 13 hour day!)
1- Installed replacement horizontal stabilizer from FedEx N124FE
2- Resolved many of the main cockpit systems problems
3- Arrived at functioning Capt side ADI and HSI
4- Began engine installations

Saturday's Work Log

Work is proceeding troubleshooting lack of Standby Power and it's impact on the Capt's VG/DG.

Parts are being installed on the new stab.  Preps underway to install stab on airplane.

Stab lifting fixture in foreground, then new stab.  In background is old stab.

Old stab was in poor condition and replacement was a good idea.  The decision to do that was made more than 10 years ago when FedEx 727 N124FE was scrapped in 2004/2005 and we decided to retain its stabilizer.

Raising new stab

With the new stab installed, work began on installing the side pod engines

Jim Munneke

Number 1 engine was first - it was hoisted into position.

During fit check, it was determined that the FedEx hush kit tailpipe extension had an interference condition with the aft end of the pylon trailing edge skirt fairing.  Measurements were taken and the engine was returned to its shop stand pending evaluation and development of a fix.  The skirt fairing will likely be trimmed slightly to eliminate the interference.  The forward cone bolts fit well in their isolators.

This was the first time an engine had been installed on this airplane in 25 years!

A preliminary check was made of the exterior lighting.  The upper rotating beacon, both wing tip nav and oscillating anti-collision lites, RH tail lite, and taxi-way turnoff lights were functional.  The LH tail lite was inop - likely a burned out bulb.  The lower rotating beacon blows the breaker - a condition experienced previously when water got into the light assy.  The tail stinger oscillating white anti-collision was inop - believed due to a wiring harness unplugged in stab instl area.


After a lot of checking and component swapping, the Capt. side ADI (Attitude Indicator) and HSI (DG compass) were made functional.  The F/O side became the Inop system.  We are working to activate the Standby Horizon. 

Troubleshooting continues on the Standby Power Bus situation.  A lot of discussions have been had with pilot Tim Powell and DAR Bruce Beadell regarding what will be operational for the flight.  We are experiencing a lot of wiring challenges as the wiring on this airplane appears to be unique - one reason Prototypes rarely make it into revenue service.  There is still flight test wiring in the airplane!

Work is nearing completion on the fuel system plumbing.  The cross-ship manifold installations are complete.  Boost pump, boost pump removal valves, inop boost pump covers, and system shutoff valve installations are nearing completion.  Brandon is working these.  Inspection and tank sealing is complete.  Access door installation is next followed by positive pressure leak tests.

Flap control problems have been resolved.  The flap handle and cable control system were seized.  The flap handle and controls now move freely.  The flap follow-up system, also seized, has now been repaired as well.  Both problems resulted from MOF painting in the MLG wheel wells that contaminated some of the mechanisms.

The seized elevator quadrants have been replaced with units from N124FE and the quadrant support cage is being reassembled, amid much teeth gnashing (and worse) about poor accessibility to fasteners, etc - a Boeing engineering core competency.

Still hard at work after 12 hours - SOAR's Kenn Finister

Friday 15 Jan 2016 Major Accomplishments
1- Completed installation of CWT cross-ship fuel manifolds.

Examining the horizontal stab removed yesterday, we found it was Serial Number 1.  Yup - the original - and still installed on the airplane

   David Wittrig
A lot of airplane jockeying today as ATS moved 737s in and out of the hangar.  Fortunately, without the stab, the airplane could be moved in and out without tilting - like the 737s.
   Tom Cathcart
The replacement FedEx stab was moved in.  It had some issues also regarding hydraulic lines and lifting sling that had to be rectified.  Parts were being swapped from old to new stab.  It's hoped it can be installed tomorrow.

The engines were also repositioned onto the hangar floor to allow the start of engine installation.

Tom Cathcart

   David Wittrig

Replacement elevator quadrants and shaft were installed on the elevator quadrant frame.

Correction:  Not installed yet.

Thurs 14 Jan 2016 Major Accomplishments
1- Horiz stab removed.
2- Meeting with FAA

Today's Log
Stab hoisting tool assembled and positioned to remove stab

The RH Inbd aileron had a frozen push rod bolt replaced.  The new bolt is too long.  Investigation revealed it is correctly marked but not the right grip length, i.e. mis-marked.  It is a special bolt.  We are searching for a replacement that is both correctly marked AND the correct length.

Replacement located and has been shipped.

FedEx's two Loaner engines were loaded and shipped back to Victorville, Calif.
Thank you, FedEx !

A meeting was held with 3 members of the FAA's local FSDO office and our DAR (Designated Airworthiness Representative) exploring the requirements for the Ferry Permit.  After the meeting, the group toured the airplane, and then the Restoration Center.

The horizontal stabilizer was finally removed about 4:00 PM after quite a few hours of difficult maneuvering.  The source of the difficulty were fairing panels that were interfering and could not be removed due to UAL replacing nut plates with nuts and bolts, and inability to get on the nuts (which were corroded.)

   David Wittrig photos

The airplane will be moved out of the hangar temporarily in the next 12-18 hours as ATS juggles their other customer aircraft in the hangar.

Installation of the CWT fuel manifolds was nearly completed.
The Standby Power  Static Inverter was replaced with a spare unit we had on hand, but the  problem of no  Standby Power driving the Capt side VG and DG still  remains.  Further analysis of the wiring diagrams is underway.

Weds 13 Jan 2016 Major Accomplishments
1- Fuel tanks cleaned, inspected, sealed.
2- Electrical Power on the airplane
3- Air Data systems - cleaned, serviced, checked, and deemed operational.
4- Inbd flap tracks inspected per SB/AD - no defects noted.  Tracks cleared for flight.
5- Actions accommodating seized flap drive transmissions devised and agreed upon.
6- Horizontal stabilizer prepared for removal.

Consideration of the extra stab holes and corrosion damage is being considered for repair involved part of the old stab which will be removed.  Poof!  Problem gone!

Late yesterday and this morning we arrived at a proposed solution to the seized flap transmissions.

Seized flap transmission

We will likely reposition the flaps to 15 by removing the jackscrew ballnuts from the track carriages, moving the flaps, and then reconnecting the ballnuts.  We will then re-rig the control system to match the flap position and then lock out operation of the trailing edge flap system.  Alternatively, we will disconnect the jackscrews from the universal joints on the transmissions with same result.

Flap ballnut

The airstair was dropped to allow work in the systems area aft of the 1183 bulkhead.

The pitot static system is being blown out prior to air data reactivation, test, and calibration.

We expect to put electrical power on the airplane today.

Power ON a 1132 hours.  Lights on in the cockpit and cabin!

The fuel system cross-ship manifolds are being installed by SOAR in the CWT (Center Wing Tank.)

Fuel manifolds
Triumph began work this morning inspecting and resealing the wing fuel tanks.

Fuel tanks have been checked.  Swept for FOD and vacuumed.  Remedial sealing accomplished to areas disturbed by microbial growth cleaning.  Final inspection underway and they will be closed up.  Next will be positive pressure leak checks.

Removed elevator quadrant assy from vertical fin due to Bearings frozen.  No luck with lubrication.  Evaluating options.

T.C. had saved parts from N124FE - here are the new replacement quadrants and bearings.

Power On  steady now after several tries and possible burning smell investigations.

Pitot-static tests underway - ADC works (!) - (Air Data Computer) - good airspeeds and altitudes.  No leaks.  Air Data satisfactory.

Capt's DG and VG inop - investigating.  Co-pilot's OK.  It appears the Standby Power bus is unpowered and AC Standby Inverter is inop.  Requires further investigation.

One of stab pivot pins fractured during removal.  We have replacements.

Inbd flap tracks inspected per SB/AD - no defects found.  Flap tracks cleared for flight.

Tuesday 12 Jan 2016

The airplane was moved forward overnight and is now between two 737s.

SOAR has been working on removing a fixture installed by UAL to lock the horizontal stabilizer position.  It was installed, apparently, with the intent of never removing it!  The stab will be removed and swapped with the stab removed from FedEx donor airplane N124FE.  The upper surface of that stab, inspar skins, and elevators, less tabs, was painted in the last day or two.

    Trim cables successfully retrieved

Fin-stab box and top of ladder opening - Yes, there is a ladder inside that vertical fin.

The stab trim drum cables have been a major worry, since replacing and restringing them from the cockpit to the top of the fin would be a major job.  They should have been clamped, but weren't.  And 25 years of people playing with the controls in the cockpit created a mess.  But, SOAR unraveled the mess and we've saved the cables and their runs.

The UAL stab locking fixture was removed and the proper Boeing tool was installed to lock the stab.  A repair has been proposed for some corrosion and extra holes.  The existing stab will probably be removed tomorrow.  The replacement FedEx stab has been painted - upper surfaces - inspar skins and elevators, less tabs.  The new stab trim drum assembly will be installed and rigged prior to installing the new stab.

Problems were encountered with the flap drive system.  A number of the flap drive transmissions were found to be seized.  We are doing a health check on all flap drive gearboxes and drive transmissions.  The plan is to isolate to define the problem units and then try to rectify them, or get replacement units.  The flap control and follow-up system is also badly misrigged.  The plan is to fly with the flaps fixed at 15 units.

A visit by two ASI's from the FAA's Renton FSDO office was scheduled.

We've arranged the return of the two extra FedEx loaner engines - pickup is on Thursday.

ATS fab'd the two required lateral control cables.

Monday 11 Jan 2016
Major Accomplishments

1- Airplane moved into ATS Hangar 2
2-Troubleshooting of flap drive system
3- Preparation of stab for removal; replacement of UAL fixture with Boeing locking tool.
4- Successful retrieval of loose stab trim cables from vertical fin.

N7001U was brought into ATS Hangar 2 - the first time in a hangar in 25 years!

The airplane is pushed out of the tent nose hangar where ATS has been working on it over the weekend.

Then it is pulled into Hangar 2

A nose-tilt dolly is used because the hangar door is too low for the 727 tail.

And, the airplane is in where it's warm and dry (it was cold, wet, and windy outside!)

Today we received our FAA Noise Permit from Washington, D.C.  The airplane does not meet Stage III noise requirements and hence is banned from normal flying in the U.S.

Friday 8 Jan 2016

An all-hands meeting was held at the Museum's Paine Field (PAE) Conference Room.  In attendance were MOF, SOAR (the repair contractor), ATS (MRO at PAE), Triumph (fuel systems contractor), and Castle & Cooke (the fuel supplier).

The airplane was then moved to a tent nose dock adjacent to ATS's Hangar 2. 

This was the first trip away from the MOF's Restoration Center Hangar Ramp in 25 years.  She will not be returning.  An historic occasion.

    T.C. Howard

Work was begun by SOAR on recovering tangled stab trim cables on trim drum below cockpit floor.

The Museum of Flight has created a series of opportunities for you to own your piece of N7001U history.  With a contribution to The Museum of Flight, you can choose to receive your own embroidered patch, postal cover or a scale model 727 – all of which will have flown on the final flight.  All donations will directly support future restoration projects.  Click here to donate and learn more: 
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