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Author Topic:   Hate To See A Classic Go Down
Dick posted 03-28-2002 05:46 PM ET (US)   Profile for Dick   Send Email to Dick  
A little over an hour ago we had a classic plane ditch in Elliot Bay here in Seattle.

It was a picture perfect ditching and it looks like there are only very minor injuries.

The plane was a restored Pan Am Boeing 307 which was built in 1940. Pan Am had 10 of these built using the old B-17 airframe, this was the last one in existance. I am watching the TV coverage and the only thing still out of the water is the tail.
They were able to tow it close to shore before it sank so hopefully it can be recovered and restored again.

Boat, plane or whatever it's sad to see a classic disappear.

jimp posted 03-28-2002 07:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
Understand the sadness. I watched a 55-ft wooden schooner sink with all sails set in '72(?) off Newport, RI. They'd sprung a plank and the USCG had 2 pumps running.


Dick posted 03-28-2002 08:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
Last update on the Boeung 307 is that all four crewmembers have been released from the hospital, just shaken up a bit.
Status of the plane is still a bit unknown but they say the damage looks like it is limited to loss of the landing gear and saltwater damage to electronics, uphohlstery and etc.
The guys from Boeing that spent the last 6 years restoring it say they will do it again.

It's amazing the lengths a person will go to for the love of a classic.

Salmon Tub posted 03-29-2002 10:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
You may want to direct them to this site, and inform them that next time, they may well consider filling the hollow areas in the wings and tail, and every other empty nook and crany with foam. It could become a restored hybrid design - B-17 Montauk or B-17 Outrage, maybe the B-Revenge 17?
TightPenny posted 03-29-2002 01:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
Information that might be of interest
Joint Incident Command Statement -- Elliott Bay Boeing 307 Response
March 28, 2002 – The U.S. Coast Guard, Washington State Dept. of Ecology, Seattle Police Department and Boeing are responding to today's crash of the vintage Boeing 307 Stratoliner in Elliott Bay in Seattle, Wash. The airplane was performing a flight test and had been in the air for about one hour prior to the accident.

According to the Dept. of Ecology, there was an initial sheen of aviation gas, which quickly dissipated causing no impact to the beach or wildlife.

To ensure safety of the public, the environment, the airplane and the incident response and recovery team, the following restrictions are now in place:

250-yard restricted zone around the airplane

An FAA-issued, temporary restricted flight zone over the wreckage

No scuba diving in the adjacent coves until further notice

Motorists are advised to expect heavy traffic or delays along Harbor Ave. in West Seattle until the airplane has been fully recovered from the water.

Planning for the recovery effort is underway tonight, and operations are expected to begin by Friday afternoon, March 29.

After recovery, the airplane will be transported to Boeing Field where the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will oversee the investigation into the cause of the accident.

Click here for additional background information on the Stratoliner.

Thursday, March 28 -- Boeing PR, (206) 264-7123
Friday, March 29 -- Boeing PR (206) 766-2910

Background information

The Model 307 Stratoliner was the world’s first high-altitude commercial transport and the first four-engine airliner in scheduled domestic service. With names like Rainbow, Comet, Flying Cloud and Apache, the Stratoliner set new standards for speed and comfort.

Its pressurized cabin allowed the airplane to soar above rough weather at an altitude of 20,000 feet — higher than any other transport of its time. Its circular fuselage provided maximum space for the five crew members and 33 passengers. The nearly 12-foot-wide cabin had space for comfortable berths for overnight travelers.

The Stratocruisers attracted the attention of multimillionnaire Howard Hughes, who bought one for himself and transformed it into a “flying penthouse” with a master bedroom, two bathrooms, a galley, a bar and a large living room. Hughes sold it to a Texas oil millionnaire, and it ended its days as a palatial, Florida-based houseboat.

The Stratoliner was the first airplane to have a flight engineer as a member of the crew. The engineer was responsible for maintaining power settings, pressurization and other subsystems, leaving the pilot free to concentrate on other aspects of flying the aircraft.

Boeing built 10 Stratoliners. In 1940, the 307s started flying routes to Latin America and from New York to Los Angeles. Production stopped at the onset of war, and five were drafted into the Army Transport Command as C-75 military transports.

History of restored S-307 Stratoliner

The Boeing 307 Stratoliner had the historic significance of being both the world’s first four-engine airliner in scheduled domestic service and the first fully pressurized airliner. Being presurized enabled it to cruise at 14,000 feet, an altitude described at the time as “above the weather.” A straightforward $315,000 when it was ordered in 1937.

The Clipper Flying Cloud, one of only ten Boeing 307 Stratoliners built and the sole remaining one, was delivered to Pan American World Airways in 1940 and designated Pan American 903. It was flown in Caribbean service for two years, when a one-way ticket aboard the luxuriously outfitted airplane cost $1,000 in 1940 dollars ($12,000 now). With the onset of World War II, 903 was put to work for the Army Air Transport Command, flying South American routes from 1942 until 1946, when it began to fly the daily round trip between Bermuda and New York. Eventually the plane had numerous owners, including Le Corps d’Aviation de l’Armée d’Haiti. Named the President’s Model, it was used as the personal airplane of “Papa Doc” Duvalier.

The Smithsonian Institution acquired the aircraft in 1972. The Boeing Company offered to restore the Clipper Flying Cloud to its original and flightworthy condition in the early 1990s, a rebuilding effort that transpired in the same Seattle building where it was first built. Pan American 903 will be a centerpiece exhibit in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum at Washington Dulles International Airport, outside Washington, D.C., in 2003.

Sources: The Boeing Archives supplied all the original drawings, engineering documents, manuals, and photos to support restoration.

Dick posted 03-29-2002 04:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     

Great job of research.


Tsuriki BW posted 03-29-2002 04:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
Check out this site

neat stuff


Dick posted 03-29-2002 06:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     

Nice stuff.

jimh posted 03-29-2002 07:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Existance of video of this plane ditching apparently has transformed it into a national news story.

I saw the footage on our local newscast today in Detroit.
It is ironic that it was shown in Detroit, because the city routinely discards and demolished perfectly good classical office buildings from that same era and turns the land into undeveloped urban grass lands.

Dick posted 03-29-2002 10:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
As of 6 PM PST the plane is out of the water and safely stowed on a barge. From the pictures there is amazingly little exterior structure damage.
caddis posted 03-29-2002 11:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for caddis  Send Email to caddis     
What a bummer. I've got pictures of myself in front of that plane when it was at Oshkosh this year. Got to see the inside as well. It was by far my favorite exhibit of the show. I'll see if I can post some pictures somewhere, if possible.

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