Boeing’s first 727 took off for its final flight from Paine Field in Everett and landed safely at Boeing Field about 15 minutes later, destined for permanent display at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.
Short, but glorious. At 10:51 a.m. Wednesday morning, Boeing’s first 727 took off for its final flight from Paine Field in Everett and landed safely at Boeing Field about 15 minutes later.
The plane, which took its first flight in 1963, was operated by United Airlines for 27 years until 1991. The airline then donated the plane to the Museum of Flight.
It sat idle at Paine Field for 25 years while dozens of volunteers worked to restore it and ensure it could fly one last time.
The museum planned departure and arrival ceremonies for the final flight at which former Boeing employees, aviation aficionados and restoration volunteers gathered to celebrate.
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The 727 was one of the first planes to make jet travel more accessible in America and helped solidify Boeing’s place in the commercial airplane market.
The Museum of Flight will park the plane outside until the fall, when it will move into the Aviation Pavilion, a 140,000-square-foot facility that will house about 20 restored aircraft, including the first 737 and first 747.
Starting Wednesday, the public will be able to view the plane and tour the interior on a limited basis.
The plane’s restoration tapped a well of aviation nostalgia with many fans coming out to watch the final flight.
Thousands of people also watched a livestream of the take-off from across the country and across the globe.
“Gotta love those older jets!” commented one viewer.