SEATTLE, Sept. 18, 2009
--The revolutionary Boeing 747 is profiled in a panel presentation Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. with Northwest Airlines 747 captains and a trans-oceanic purser; 747 chief engineer Joe Sutter; and the first 747 pilot, Brien Wygle. The men will talk about the historic jumbo jet that first took to the skies 40 years ago. A limited number of randomly chosen audience members will have the rare opportunity to tour the Museum's 747 prototype--usually closed to the public--after the program. The presentation will be in the William M. Allen Theater and free with admission to the Museum.
Also featured Oct. 3 is a Northwest Airlines 747-200 that will be open for tours 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. The aircraft will be located next to the Museum's south parking lot. The 747 tours are free with admission to the Museum.
The growing worldwide demand for air travel during the 1960s led to the development of the 747, the first "Jumbo Jet." Merely recalling the early days of the 747 program "brings sweat to the palms of my hands," Boeing's then-president, William Allen, said years after the giant aircraft had been developed. Requiring the company to risk much of its net worth, the development of the world's largest passenger aircraft was a formidable undertaking. It is taller than a six-story building, has seating for 374 passengers (up to 550 in some configurations), a takeoff weight of more than 300 tons (or ten fully-loaded 18 wheel trucks), and enough fuel in its tanks to power a small automobile around the globe 36 times. The 747 is one the most recognizable aircraft in the world and represents a milestone in the evolution of aviation design.
The Museum's aircraft was the first 747 ever built-serial number 001. It first flew on February 9, 1969 over western Washington. Later, this aircraft served as a testbed for 747 systems improvements and new engine developments for other Boeing commercial jets, including the state-of-the-art Boeing 777 engine program.
For more information and photos, see: http://www.museumofflight.org/aircraft/boeing-747-121
Image: Northwest Airlines.