This is as it should be -- passengers in 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, but it took a few weeks for the snow to melt before it was taken out of the hangar. Project personnel received the Standard Airworthiness Certificate from the FAA and completed the engine pre-oil and fuel flow tests for the first of the taxi tests.
Facts about the Boeing 40 project:
221 1/2 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 and has a gross weight of 6075 lbs..
It is 34 ft long and 13 feet tall with a wing span of 44 1/2 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 two-inch brushes were used to apply 6 gallons of West Systems epoxy, and 181 rolls of paper towels were used for cleanup.
A total of 62 volunteers worked on the project to some degree, 21 of whom performed a significant amount of work, and nine of them worked on the plane continuously throughout the 8-year project.
The passenger compartment is in the front of the plane with tiny windows.
The pilot sits out in the open behind the passengers.
The Boeing Model 40C pictured above flew yesterday (February 17, 2008) for the first time in 80 years. A big heartfelt congratulations goes out to Addison, his family, and their friends that helped put this wonderful machine back in the air.
The following words about the flight are from Addison.
"The airplane is very pleasant to fly the only squawk on the 20 min test flight yesterday was that we have to hold about 3-5 lbs of right rudder in cruise which can be fixed easy with fin adjustment.
The test flight this weekend went perfect. As you can see from the pictures I was able to fly the airplane hands free within 2 min of flight. The trim provides 3 degrees up and 3 degrees of down as shown in the pictures with the blue tape on the side of the fuse for the chase plane. In all flight configurations I never used more than 1 1/2 degree of trim change including slow flight at 55MPH. Cruise was dead center with the 29% MAC. The airplane I believe after the flight yesterday has a much wider CG envelope than first thought. The airplane is very controllable and pleasant with excellent ground handling, good elevator and rudder, and heavy but effective ailerons. The visibility is very poor but not difficult. The overwhelming surprise is stability!!!!!!!!!!
Like a rock and speeds much higher than we would have ever imagined. I had to really work to keep the airplane under 110 which was our limit for ride 1. I had to really pull the power back. I am sure I have a 125 MPH airship here and a 115 economy cruise ride."
Rich talked to Addison today and he says he could really hear the excitement in Addison's voice. Apparently the plane flies much nicer than expected and the flight to the East Coast and back will be that much more enjoyable because of it.
MORE ON THE 40C