50th anniversary of the Boeing 737’s first flight
The first flight of the 737, Boeing 737-130, MSN 19437 / LN 1, reg. N515NA (test reg. N73700), powered by two PW JT8D-7A twin-shaft turbofans (fan diameter: 1013,5 mm / 39,9 in; BPR: 1,0; eng. architecture: 2F+6LPC-7HPC^1HPT-3LPT), OPR: 15,4, each 62,28 kN / 6.350 kgf / 14.000 lbf, took place 50 years ago, on Sunday, 09. Apr 1967. The occasion comes just weeks before the first delivery of the newest version of that jet, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 powered by two LEAP-1B28 twin-shaft turbofans (fan diameter: 69,4 in / 1.762,8 mm; BPR: 9,0; eng. architecture: F+3LPC-10HPC^2HPT-5LPT), each 130,41 kN / 13.298 kgf / 29.317 lbf.
That plane was used as a Boeing test aircraft until 1973, then sold to NASA for use as a flying research laboratory.
The NASA 515 aircraft was heavily modified for use as a continuing research facility. It was maintained and flown by Langley Research Center as part of the Terminal Area Productivity (TAP) program.
Since it first entered the NASA inventory in 1974, NASA 515 has been a testbed for research into a multitude of issues affecting aircraft safety, efficiency and capacity. Called an ´airborne trailblazer´, it goes beyond the typical research facility in that it demonstrates new concepts in real-world situations. For example, government and industry decision makers could observe - first-hand - research pilots using innovations in computer-generated display formats content while interacting with air traffic control it in a busy terminal area. Other observers experienced flying through potentially hazardous windshells to prove that advance-warning devices really can give pilots precious extra seconds to avoid hazardous weather.
NASA donated the plane to the Museum of Flight in 1997, and during the six years in storage at Moses Lake it was lovingly restored by a team led by former 737 engineer Bob Bogash.
In September 2003, the aircraft flew for the last time to Boeing Field, its final resting place at the museum.
... and an interesting article (image is the link) on the very first Boeing 737...
Last edited by mfranjic; 14th April 2017 at 05:57.
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