The Boeing 727 Prototype Airplane
by Bob Bogash
This section of my website details the history - including the design, construction, flight testing, in-service operation, retirement and restoration of an historic airplane - N7001U - the Boeing 727 Prototype Airplane - also known by its Boeing internal designation - E1. Click on the links next to the photos below to go to the relevant area.
27 Nov 1962
In 1995, I created this webpage. It was my very first one. The Internet was in its youngest days and I wanted to be part of it - from the creation point of view. I had just retired from Boeing and decided to throw myself into restoring the Number One 727 for the Museum of Flight. I had been instrumental in obtaining the airplane from United Air Lines in 1984. It had been donated in 1991 and parked at Paine Field in Everett pending “something.” That something was totally unknown, since the Museum of Flight as it exists today did not yet exist. It was parked there because there was no space at Boeing Field.
I solicited help, using the young Internet, and it worked! - I got quite a few volunteers - including a few that turned out to be very important. One was UAL mechanic Steve Huemoeller who has been vital on several of my projects. Another was T.C. Howard, who took a sabbatical for a while when we were not making much progress, but ultimately came back into the fold in 2004-2005 and ultimately became Crew Chief.
Sistership on Renton flight line - 1963
Our goal was to fly the airplane to Boeing Field and the main museum location, but UAL had made the job difficult by cannibalizing substantially all of the usable parts after their donation. We had to - somehow - recover all the missing hardware. Time was also not on our side, as, just sitting outside for 25 years had also caused significant deterioration. Finally, there were challenges at the Museum, where some didn’t want the airplane downtown (there was an American 727-200 there already - as a temporary “placeholder”), and if the airplane was moved, they wanted it disassembled and moved by surface.
While the volunteer group continued unwavering on our determined path of restoration for flight, the Museum management ebbed and flowed in their support of such an activity. Part of that was due to changes in the Museum's management. Eventually, in early 2015, the Museum’s Board gave their approval to fly, and the rest of 2015-16 were busy in diligent pursuit of that goal.
Paine Field - Everett, Washington 1991-2016
If the opening "Adopt a 727" page looks a little “dated,” it is because it IS dated - largely unchanged for the past 20 years. My website has since grown enormously and become quite popular - sometimes with millions of hits in a single day - but it all started right here. So, I’ve left it below “as is”, since much of the material is still germane.
Ths Index page below will guide you through the rest of the story - the history of this airplane, our early efforts to restore it, right up to the present, where we are in active restoration for flight. Our goal as this is written, Christmas 2015, is to fly the airplane about February 2016 for its last flight. Update: We FLEW the airplane 2 March 2016.
Latest Info Here:
21 minute Video documenting the Last Flight
1:46 Video of Museum presentation on the complete history of this project
Number One 727 at Museum of Flight (under preparation)
Last Flight Photo Page
Go for Liftoff - Preparations for Final Flight
Airplane and Project History
Early Design and Flight Test History
The Companies supporting this Project
Current P.R. on the Last Flight - coming
Assorted Airplane Photos
People and the Restoration Project Crew
Jobs accomplished in the past few years
Early Restoration Work Status Reports
Test Airplanes 2 and 3
The Last 727
Our "Other" 727 - an American Airlines 727-200
One of our 727 Parts Donor Airplanes - a Fed Ex 727-100C
Another 727 Parts Donor Airplane - Orca Bay 727-200
Copyright 2005-2020 Robert A. Bogash All Rights Reserved