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Old 12-08-2015, 02:02 PM   #1
Scraping Paint
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If they'd only known.....

This is a Boeing ad from 1927 that was published today in the company's in-house, on-line newspaper, Boeing News Now. The company will be 100 years old in 2016 and there are a number of historical articles and photos being featured in BNN to ramp up to the event. The ad was placed in Aviation Magazine, the forerunner of today's Aviation Week and Space Technology.

Today marked the rollout of the newest in the 737 family, the 737 MAX. The MAX features a new engine, a refined wing design, a new type of winglet, and a whole host of non-apparent advancements and improvements.

I and my crew have been filming/video taping 737 operations all over the world for the last twenty-plus years. While the plane's range has gradually increased to the point where they are today used in regular service from the US west coast to Hawaii, across the Atlantic, and from Canada non-stop to the Caribbean, the plane is largely still a short to medium haul workhorse. When we're filming them being turned at various airports all over the world, two of the things that are often being loaded or unloaded are mail and packages.

We've also filmed at FedEx hubs in Paris, Memphis, etc. as well as heavy-lift air cargo operations all over the world with everything from Ferraris to racehorses to mammoth wind turbine blades being shipped.

To say the tag line at the bottom of that 1927 ad was prophetic is an understatement.

Of all the logos this company has had, the totem is my--and most people's-- favorite. While it was replaced by the company's name written in script in the 1940s, as late as the 1990s the totem was still used by Boeing Flight Test on their official jacket patches.
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Old 12-09-2015, 06:18 AM   #2
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Thank goodness for evolution the first 737 were called FLUF , Fat Little Ugly "Fellow" (substitute 4 letter F word.)

In they winter they had a hard time with LGA - ORD if poor weather required an alternate.

Today trans Atlantic , common as dirt.

With the "bet the company" cost of a new clean sheet aircraft , todays air frames may have a longer fleet life than even the B 52 which is being flown by the grand children of the first drivers.

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Old 12-09-2015, 09:29 AM   #3
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The 737 has never been a pretty airplane but they do seem to get the job done. My wife and I call them Fat Pigeons. I do prefer to fly in Boeing aircraft.

By the way, my company, Hopkins-Carter Marine, will be 100 years old in 1916 as well.
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Old 12-09-2015, 03:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
The 737 has never been a pretty airplane but they do seem to get the job done.
The 737-100 and 200 were not good looking airplanes at all. The fuselages were short and the engines, buried in those underwing tubes, looked ridiculous.

When I hired into Boeing the 737-300 was on the drawing boards (literally, back then). I remember seeing my first artist rendition of the -300 with it's large, turbofan engines and thinking that the plane actually looked pretty cool

Then we started stretching it, which made it look even better. Then we came out with the NextGen 737-600, -700, -800, and -900 with a longer, all-new wing design and it looked even better. Then we offered the winglets that had been developed for the BBJ and the plane really started looking pretty nice.

Finally, we got rid of the eyebrow windows over the flight deck--- a feature every 737 pilot I've ever met hated; most of them stick Kleenex boxes in them to block them off--- and the plane suddenly looked quite contemporary.

It used to be that the favorite plane of all our flight test pilots to fly was the 757. Gobs of power and a control responsiveness similar to the first generation of jet fighters, according to John Armstrong, the 757 chief pilot for many years.

Today, with the 757 a distant memory, our pilots' favorite plane to fly--- actually fly, not just program their way through the sky--- is the 737. Remember, these guys are usually flying our planes at very low gross weights so their performance is quite a bit different than the same plane in airline service with full loads of passengers, cargo, and fuel.

The 737 is, for us, a cash cow and is what pays the lion's share of the developmental costs for our new airplanes. The A320 family fills the same role for Airbus.

One of the most impressive improvements I've seen us make to any of our airplanes in the 36 years I've been here is the Sky Interior in the current versions of the 737. Unfortunately it's optional so you still see new planes being delivered with the old-style interior. But in my opinion the Sky Interior totally changes the feel of the 737 from the passenger perspective. I'm as jaded as they come with regards to airplanes and airplane interiors, but to me the Sky Interior makes the 737 seem considerably larger and more roomy inside even when it's crammed full of passengers on a local flight in China. Too bad they didn't think of this design in the 1960s when the plane first came out....
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