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#1 Romantic Technofreak

Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 09:47 AM

My dear friends,

on his new list to be processed, Greg also has the Boeing 307 Stratoliner. A nearly forgotten aircraft in terms of today, although being very close to the well-known B-17 bomber. So, for me it was really an experience I sought to learn about this plane. As usual for US-American aircraft, there is a lot of information available on the net, and I hoped for little work if I only could copy the most.
But the latter did not take place. There are some "good" sources, Wikipedia to be mentioned in the first place, but they give information in a way you (or spoken personally for myself) you DON'T want to read. No real temporary sequence, superfluent statements, missing parts, which the other one had to fill (the others, if you google, are found in Historylink.org file #3598, globalsecurity.org and in the Sim-outhouse.com forum). I had to mix these all together for to get a well-readable, nearly always straightforward story, and did some fillings myself. This is the advantage if you are warbirdsforum.com member or visitor, you can profit from all advantages a GOT topic gives you! And it should be entertaining as well. In the end, you find some nice pictures. Now please take a bit of time and read about


The Boeing 307 Stratoliner

In the 1930's aviation researchers realized that flying at high altitude above the weather would pay dividends in passenger comfort, higher speed, and longer range. Progress had been made to fly safely at high altitude: reliable oxygen masks, electrically heated flying suits, a practical pressure suit, and successful experimental pressurized airplanes. During this period, airlines, the military, and individuals conducted high altitude flight tests, which resulted in several U.S. and a British airline requesting proposals for pressurized airliners.

Boeing, Curtiss, Douglas and Britain's Fairey responded with designs, all of which reached the flying hardware stage by 1940. A confident Boeing designed a huge pressurized two-deck flying boat in response to a 1937 PAA requirement for a flying ocean liner capable of crossing the Atlantic non-stop. Boeing's model 326 was headline news on June 22, 1938, its announcement coming just 15 days after the 314 Clipper flew. However, Boeing built none of the model 326. Curtiss decided to utilize a twin-engine design instead of a four-engine configuration which was considered viable if sufficiently powerful engines were available, allowing for lower operating costs and a less complex structure. The result was the CW-20, later becoming well-known as C-46 Commando. Fairey built a mockup of its FC1 before the project was cancelled in 1939 due to World War II. The competing Douglas project was the DC-4E (the latter is well-known, but pictures of the other contenders are also available and can be posted on request, RT).

Douglas, by 1936, had five airlines sponsoring development of its pressurized DC-4E four-engine long-range landplane airliner. Pan American Airways (PAA) and Trans Continental and Western Airlines (TWA) decided before it flew that they wanted out, due to high costs and projected performance shortfalls, although considerable time was consumed before the project was finally dropped. In mid-1936, when construction of the prototype was still at an early stage, Pan Am and TWA started discussions with Boeing about a possible civil transport development of the B-17 bomber, which had appeared in prototype form the previous year. The Boeing 307 Stratoliner was considerably smaller than the DC-4E - it had 30 per cent less wing area - and employed the wings, tail unit and tailwheel undercarriage of the B-17 but, like the Douglas, incorporated a large-diameter circular-section fuselage which was intended to be pressurized. The wing was a two-spar structure mainly of conventional aluminium alloy, as was the remainder of the airframe. Some use, however, was also made of steel.

True or not, known to the airlines or not, one of the sources says Wellwood Beall, famed 314 Clipper flying boat designer, led a talented team that in already in December 1935 began development of the 307 as an airliner derivative of the model 299/XB-17 Flying Fortress. In 1937 Boeing received orders for the 307, four by PAA, five by TWA. Millionaire Howard Hughes later ordered another. These were to be the total orders for the aircraft, which cost approximately $250,000 delivered. Breda of Italy had sought a production license in 1939, wanting the 307 for transatlantic service and for its technology. Political and Not Invented Here considerations evidently killed the project (Personal opinion: Obviously Breda did not entirely forget that project. The result was the beautiful BZ 308 postwar airliner, RT).

The S-307 NX19901 prototype (for PAA) flew for the first time on December 31, 1938, piloted by Eddie Allen, from Boeing Field, Seattle, for a total of 42 minutes. Like so many other prototype or test aircraft, it suffered a tragic fate. It crashed on March 18, 1939, while being demonstrated to representatives of KLM. At the time, the aircraft's performance with two engines inoperative on one side of the aircraft was being demonstrated. When the engines were shut down, the pilot deflected the rudder to maximum deflection to counter the resulting yaw. The aircraft then experienced "rudder lock", where the hinge moments on the rudder prevented it from being centered. As a result, the aircraft went into a spin and crashed. The ten people on board, including KLM test pilot Albert von Baumhauer, Boeing test pilot Julius Barr, Boeing Chief Aerodynamcist Ralph Cram, Boeing Chief Engineer Earl Ferguson and a TWA representative were killed. Subsequent wind tunnel testing showed that the addition of a dorsal fin ahead of the vertical tail would prevent "rudder lock" and this was incorporated into the design (very interesting, if this really is the origin of this frequent design feature! RT). The first pressurized flight, successfully accomplished by PAA NC19902 Clipper Rainbow, occurred on June 20, 1939.

The first delivery to a customer was to multi-millionaire Howard Hughes, who purchased one to carry out a round-the-world flight, hoping to break his own record of 91 hours 14 minutes set between July 10-14, 1938, in a Lockheed 14. Hughes' Boeing 307 was fitted with extra fuel tanks and more powerful engines (special model SB-307B). Its initial flight (with experimental license NX19904) occurred on July 13, 1939. It was ready to set out on the first leg of the round-the-world attempt when Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, causing the attempt to be abandoned.

The Boeing 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 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.

PAA's Flying Cloud flew the first operational pressurized service from Miami, Florida, to Latin America beginning on July 4, 1940. Pan Am flew from Miami, New Orleans and Brownsville, Texas, into Mexico City and Central and South America (I could not find out all other destinations, but I believe Kingston/Jamaica, Barranquilla/Colombia and Panama City can be assumed for sure, RT). The globalsecurity.org source is courageous enough to state within the same section and separated by two sentencences only that on July 8, 1940, TWA introduced the Boeing Stratoliner into service with a 12-hour, 18-minute flight from New York to Los Angeles, and on the same day, flying for exactly the same time (12 hours 18 minutes), the flight of the Boeing 307-B Stratoliner from Burbank, Calif., to Long Island, N.Y., being the first commercial flight to use a pressurized cabin. Think yourself.

The Stratoliner offered unmatched comfort, speed and range advantages over its Douglas DC-3 and Lockheed Electra twin-engine competitors. A wide body airliner, its fuselage was more than three feet wider than the DC-3, and featured a luxurious 33-passenger cabin -- pressurized, air conditioned and heated; passenger compartments; sleeping berths with windows; ample-size individual reclining sleeper seats; large seat windows (approx. 12 x 16 inches); men's and women's lavatories with skylights; and a galley with a skylight. In service with PAA, it was at once the largest, heaviest, longest-range, highest capacity airliner, using the most powerful engines. In the 307 Boeing had the only operational pressurized airplane and the longest-range landplane airliner. Despite having the longer range 314 in service, PAA briefly considered flying the 307 across the north Atlantic, but never did.

Sixteen months after the introduction of the Stratoliner World War II broke out and Boeing's hope of selling the plane to European customers diminished. Stratoliner production stopped at the onset of war, and with the end of Stratoliner production, commercial production was halted until the war's end. Boeing quickly became focused on building the B-17 Flying Fortress. On the entry of the United States into World War II following the Attack on Pearl Harbor, Pan-Am continued operating its Stratoliners on routes to Central and South America, but under direction of the Army Air Force. By Dec. 24, 1941, TWA sold its five Stratoliners to the U.S. government, being designated Boeing C-75 and operated by the United States Army Air Forces (although normally still flown by TWA crews). In 1942 these Stratoliners were stripped of their luxurious decor and drafted into service by the Army as C-75 military transports.

Two main routes were flown: Washington, D.C., to Cairo across the South Atlantic, and New York to Scotland across the North Atlantic.They often flew non-stop the 2,125 statute miles (3,415 km) between Gander, Newfoundland and Prestwick, Scotland in the north, and the 2,550 statute miles (4,100 km) between Natal, Brazil and Accra, Ghana in the south. These were very long flights for the time. After July 1942, a refueling stop at Ascension Island was an option in the south (to finally fly where? Cape Town? The Falklands? RT) . In the north, stops at Iceland or Greenland were often necessary, especially flying westbound against the prevailing winds. As C-54s took over the Gander to Prestwick route, the C-75s operated a Marrakech to Prestwick service out over the Atlantic (obviously, no far-range Ju 88 G destroyer caught one of these rare birds, RT). Development of the B-29 Superfortress pressurization system stemmed from the 307, and this successful bomber was the first mass production pressurized airplane.

The U.S. Army returned the five C-75s to TWA in 1944 (some sections later the Wikipedia source says April 1945), and they were sent to Boeing for extensive overhauls and rebuilding. Boeing replaced the wings and horizontal tail with that from the B-17G, while more powerful engines were fitted, horizontal stabilizer was moved three feet (0.9 m) aft, and the electrical system was completely replaced by one based on that of the B-29 Superfortress. Passenger capacity was increased from 33 to 38 (two sections, 10 seats forward and 28 aft). The aircraft were recertified by the CAA as SA-307B-1 civilian transports with their old registration numbers. The rebuild cost TWA a total of $2 million for the five aircraft, which re-entered passenger service on April 1, 1945. TWA resumed coast-to-coast flights with its upgraded SA-307B-1 aircraft, and PAA flew the New York City to Bermuda route. PAA Stratoliner service ended in 1948, when its three aircraft were sold. Although TWA was now committed to the larger and faster Lockheed Constellation, the Stratoliners remained in use, being transferred to regional services, until withdrawn and sold in April 1951.

Howard Hughes' NC19904 had the extra fuel tanks removed, in it 1948 was fitted with much more powerful Wright R-2600 engines, received a new interior built by industrial design pioneer Raymond Loewy, with decor suggestions from Rita Hayworth to become one of the first conversions of a commercial airliner into a plush executive transport, and was named The Flying Penthouse, although it was little used. Itwas fitted with a master bedroom, two bathrooms, a galley, a bar and a large living room. By 1949, Howard Hughes sold his sample to oil tycoon Glenn McCarthy.
TWA's aircraft were purchased by the French airline Aigle Azur, who used them for scheduled flights from France to North and Central Africa, and later to French Indo-China. The 307s were later transferred to Aigle Azur's Vietnamese subsidiary, and were used by a number of airlines in South East Asia.

Sim-outhouse.com Senior Administrator *Willy* gives an overview of the final fate of the Stratoliners (I changed the sequence in order of their grounding).

PAA Clipper Comet NC19910 (c/n 2002), This aircraft was last on the United States registry as N75385 and crashed near Madras, OR on 10 May 1958 with no fatalities. From the Aviation Safety Network:
"Boeing Stratocruiser (sic) N75385 was taken out of storage and prepared for a ferry flight to determine fuel and oil consumption. Auxiliary gasoline tanks were installed in the cabin, but had not been tested prior to the flight, despite fuel leaks of an unknown origin. During the flight there was an explosion in the cabin and fire was seen coming from the accessory compartment. A forced landing was carried out on a mesa with grass-covered boulders; the plane burned out completely."

PAA Clipper Rainbow NC19902 (c/n 1995) Following its service with PAA, it passed through the hands of a series of operators. Over the years it was registered as ZS-BWU, HC-SJC-003, F-BHHR, and XW-TAC. It was being operated by the French-Indochina airline Aigle Azur Extreme Orient, registered again as F-BHHR, when it crashed during a storm at Tan Son Nhut Airport in Saigon, Vietnam on May 22, 1961.

TWA Navajo (c/n 2001) NC19909 of TWA impressed in 1942 as C-75 42-88627. Returned to TWA in July 1944 and rebuilt as SA-307B-1 N19909. Sold to French Aigle Azur Transports Aeriens in June 1951 as F-BELZ. Later to Air Laos. Leased to Airnautic Nov 1959. Crashed Dec 29, 1962 into a cliff Monte Renosa, near Ajaccio, France, all 3 crew and 22 passengers killed.

Former Howard Hughes' NC19904 (SB-307B) was severely damaged in a 1964 hurricane and rendered unflyable. In 1969 it was purchased as scrap for $61.99 -- the fuselage was salvaged (the aft rounded pressure bulkhead formed the cabin after end), then mounted on a boat hull and converted into a luxury yacht named The Londonaire. It was rebuilt beginning in 1994, and is a Florida based, operating yacht named Cosmic Muffin, with N19904 painted on its sides.

TWA Comanche (c/n 1996) NC19905 of TWA impressed in 1942 as C-75 42-88624 . Returned to TWA in July 1944 as NC19905. Sold to French Aigle Azur Transports Aeriens in May 1951 as F-BELV. To Air Laos in Sept 1960 as XW-TAB. May have reverted to F-BELV Nov 1960. Missing Oct 18, 1965 on flight from Vientaine, Laos to Hanoi with 12 aboard. May have been shot down. All 12 occupants killed.

TWA Apache (c/n 2000) NC19908 of TWA impressed in 1942 as C-75 42-88626. Returned to TWA in July 1944 and rebuilt as SA-307B-1 N19908. Sold to French Aigle Azur Transports Aeriens in July 1951 as F-BELY. Sold Air Laos in 1952, to Airnautic Nov 1959. To Air Laos as XW-PGR Apr 1970. Operated by Royal Air Lao as XW-PGR. Contradictory data of believed to have been damaged in collision with C-47 on ground Feb 27 or Apr 20, 1971 at Luang Prabang. Sat derelict at Luang Prabang for several years. Sold to Cambodia Air Commercial in 1974 and cut up for scrap.

PAA Clipper Flying Cloud (c/n 2003) NC19903 was delivered to Pan American Airlines (PAA) on March 22, 1940 at Brownsville, Texas. During World War II it flew South American routes under contract to 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. Pan Am sold it to Airline Training Incorporated of Homestead, Florida on November 1, 1948. The Haitian Army Air Corps acquired it on December 11, 1953 to be used as the personal transport of president "Papa Doc" Duvalier. Flight Investment Corporation of Dallas, Texas returned it to the U.S. register as N9307R on September 15, 1959. It was re-registered as N19903 in 1960. Ewell Nold Jr. of South Houston, Texas bought it on November 12, 1962. It flew for Arkansas Air Freight Incorporated until Inter-American Incorporated of Derby, Kansas bought it on November 23, 1965. Numerous lines were placed against Inter-American and it sold the Stratoliner to Aviation Specialties Company of Mesa, Arizona for $11,667 on May 28, 1969, who converted it for use as a crop duster. The National Air and Space Museum traded a Lockeheed C-121 Constellation for N199093 on February 20, 1973. N19903 was restored to flying condition for a ferry flight from Falcon Field to Davis-Monthan AFB near Tucson. It was towed from the Air Force Base to the Pima Air Museum. (Preliminary ending, the story continues below).

TWA Zuni (c/n 1999) NC19907 of TWA impressed in 1942 as C-75 42-88625. Flew for a while with incorrect tail number 288624. Returned to TWA in July 1944 and rebuilt as SA-307B-1 and reregistered N19907. Sold to French Aigle Azur Transports Aeriens in May 1951 as F-BELX. Transferred to Aigle Azure Extreme-Orient in Saigon in 1956. In 1960, leased to Air Laos as XW-TAA. To CITCA as F-BELX Dec 1960. Sold to Cambodia Air Commercial as XW-TFR in 1974. Crashed June 27, 1974 near Battambang, Cambodia. 16 of 25 on board killed.

TWA Cherokee (c/n 1998) NC1940 (rergistered from NC19906) of TWA impressed in 1942 as C-75 42-88623. Flew for a while with incorrect tail number of 288625. Returned to TWA in July 1944 and rebuilt as SA-307B-1 N1940. Sold to French Aigle Azur Transports Aeriens in May 1951 as F-BELU. To Air Laos in 1952 To Airnautic (GECA) Nov 1959, to CITCA 1965. Sold to Cambodia Air Commercial in 1974 as XW-TFP. Some reports are that it was written off in a forced landing in Mekong River in 1975, but reports persist that this plane may still be flying. A book by Alexander Frater reports a sighting in Indonesia in 1985 of a plane which may have been this aircraft.

If you don't consider the surviving of Howard Hughes' aircraft's fueselage as an aircraft, the PAA Clipper Flying Cloud is the last surviving Boeing 307, still being in flying condition, but for keeping this it suffered a spectatcular accident.
The last remaining Stratoliner, the Flying Cloud, had been purchased by the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in 1969. After display to thousands of visitors to the Pima Air Museum over 23 years, the airplane was "discovered" by several Boeing employees while visiting the museum in Tucson, Ariz., to recover the Dash 80 airplane, which was the prototype for the Boeing 707. They investigated who owned the Stratoliner and learned it belonged to the Smithsonian.

Realizing it was the last Stratoliner in existence - only 10 were built - the employees met with the Smithsonian and offered to take the airplane out of the desert and restore it with all of its original parts. Upon a simple handshake, the Smithsonian agreed, and Boeing began restoring the airplane so it could fly back to Seattle. The journey was made in June 1994. In March 1995, the airplane was moved to Boeing Plant 2 in the same area where it was originally built, and the Boeing team began work on locating and securing original parts. After being stored in the Arizona desert for 20 years, it was restored at Boeing in Seattle, Wash.

F. Schumacher & Co. of New York, N.Y., used a vintage loom to produce the original picturesque Pan Am wall fabric showing the Pan Am logo, world map and animals native to various continents. The fabric design was the same as that of the Boeing 314 Clipper and Boeing Archives fortunately had preserved some of the Clipper fabric. The color of the cloth was determined from remnants trapped between structures of the airplane. Douglass Interior Products of Bellevue, Wash., donated the flooring in the galley and cockpit, the carpet in the main cabin interior, the paneling in the cabin and lavatory, and the imported Scottish leather for the single-aisle and crew seats. BE Aerospace of Miami, Fla., donated its time and materials to upholster the five flight deck crew seats, nine passenger seats and eight divans. Only six of the original seat frames were still in the airplane when it was discovered. All of the light fixtures, bulkheads and trims were manufactured from original engineering drawings.

After a six-year restoration process, Boeing employees rolled out the last existing 307 Stratoliner airplane - the world's first pressurized commercial airliner - on June 23, 2001 in Seattle. First delivered to Pan American Airways in 1940 and named the Clipper Flying Cloud, the airplane was restored to original condition with the help of approximately 30 retiree volunteers. In addition, Boeing employees and suppliers built parts and structures according to original drawings preserved by Boeing Archives. First new test flight took place on July 11, 2001, and the aircraft even visited the Oshkosh AirVenture 2001 (should have been between July 24 and 31).

On March 28, 2002, newly restored Boeing S-307 Stratoliner, N19903, registered to the National Air & Space Museum and operated by The Boeing Company as a 14 CFR Part 91 maintenance check and proficiency flight, took off into the air for a routine test flight. The flight had departed Everett, Washington and was destined for Seattle, Washington. The crew had originally planned to practice landings at an airport about 20 minutes away, then stop, refuel the airplane, and return to the original departure airport. Prior to the flight, the crew discussed fuel endurance, which was calculated to be two hours based on the captain's knowledge of the airplane's fuel consumption, and the quantity of fuel indicated on the gauges. The fuel tanks were not dipped. It appears that "dipping", the method used to determine the amount of fuel aboard, was not sufficiently precise. (possible contradiction between the two sentences before due to different sources, RT) The pilot began the flight under the impression that they had two hours of fuel aboard. The unique antique airliner ran out of gas after about 45 minutes. They had already made a full-stop landing at Paine. They could have refueled at that time, but they expected to refuel after performing some touch-and-go landings. The number three engine suffered an overspeed on the first take-off from Paine, so the crew elected to return to Boeing field rather than land immediately at Paine Field. The landing at Boeing was delayed by problems extending the main landing gear. The fuel gauges were indicating correctly, but the attention of the crew members was diverted while the landing gear was being hand-cranked down. The Stratoliner's engines died of fuel starvation. On approach back to the original departure airport, power was lost in all four engines. The plane arched past the Seattle skyline and nosedived into Elliot Bay, near Salty's Restaurant. The four passengers, two airline transport pilots, and two airframe and powerplant mechanics seated at the flight engineer and avionics stations were unharmed and able to climb out onto the wing. SPD Harbor Patrol and the Seattle Fire Dive Team responded within minutes to rescue the crew and stabilize the plane.

The airplane became substantially damaged. The Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the accident was the loss of all engine power due to fuel exhaustion that resulted from the flight crew's failure to accurately determine onboard fuel during the pre-flight inspection. A factor contributing to the accident was a lack of adequate crew communication regarding the fuel status.

The following day, March 29, 2002, the Stratoliner was carefully hoisted from the water. On June 14, Boeing announced that they intend to restore the Stratoliner once again to flightworthy condition within a year. Boeing rolled out the restored Stratoliner on June 13, 2003. In July 18 that year it undertook its next first test flight, and on July 26 (http://www.boeing.co...gust/qt_ab.html) it flew to its new home on permanent display at the museum's new companion facility, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington, D.C.'s Dulles International Airport. There it stands until to the present day.

Pictures:

Sources: 1-4 Jeaton (a contributor of the Fine Scale Modeler Forum)
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#2 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 09:55 AM

Sources: 5 Jeaton, 6 Flickr (Paul Malon), 7 given, 8 airportjournals.com
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Picture against my common edits kept unedited for not fading out the yolk-yellow colour of the 1941 Studebaker Skyway Series Land Cruiser Sedan.
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No danger by Arabs enjoying the Stratoliner because were are still in pre-al-Qaida times:
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A little artist's impression:
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Edited by Romantic Technofreak, 29 August 2011 - 04:35 AM.


#3 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 09:59 AM

Sources: 9 Flickr, 10-12 given

Good C-75 pictures are hard to find. Here is one:
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At Pima Air Museum:
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After the first restauration:
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Edited by Romantic Technofreak, 29 August 2011 - 04:36 AM.


#4 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 10:04 AM

Sources: 13 Jeaton, 14 microgravity.grc.nasa.gov, 15-16 given

Note the fine interior restoration. Don't know if the violet is genuine or if this is a kind of optical trick:
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Stratoliner at Oshkosh 2001. Don't ask which one is it.
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When the accident happened in 2002, I happened to work in the center of Nuremberg near a store which offered also lots of aircraft magazines. I was more than slightly shocked about the pictures printed about the accident, showing the aircraft under water or hanging on a crane. I was not able to retrieve these pictures, and frankly, I am also not very keen to.

After the second restauration:
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Edited by Romantic Technofreak, 28 August 2011 - 10:12 AM.


#5 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 10:08 AM

There are lots of pictures available of the Boeing 307 in the Udvar-Hazy museum. I think it makes no sense to repeat all of them here. Let me end with this nice shot of the symbol on the tailfin. Source: Flickr.
a77ed912.jpg

Regards, RT



#6 Lightning

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 01:46 PM

Hi RT,

As usual, a wonderful job on your part. I have read numerous articles on the Statoliner over the years but never one as good and detailed as your present effort. The photographs are marvelous.

The Stratoliner is usually regarded as the civil version of the Flying Fortress just as the Stratocruiser is the civil counterpart to the Superfortress. Both are beautiful airliners.

I remember when the accident happened that resulted in the water landing of the restored Stratoliner. It was written up in Air Classics magazine if I recall correctly. It was great that Boeing restored the airplane so quickly and so well. It could very well have been the end of that historical treasure.

Thanks again for a job well done.

Regards,

Lightning

#7 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 06:30 PM

Thank you for your very warm words, Lightning. I like it when somebody reacts and comments!:)

Regards, RT

#8 GregP

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 07:58 PM

Hi RT,

Just saw this post. You have posted more pics of the Stratoliner than I've sever seen. Nice weiteup, if I do say so.

I was in Seattle when the guys who restorted one at the Museum of Flight took it off without any fuel in it and ditched in Elliot Bay. Were their faces red? I guess so! Most airplanes fly better with fuel in the tanks than with air in them.

Too bad, but they really weren;'t going to fly it anymore anyway, so now that it ahs been hauled out of teh water and restored static, it looks as good as it was ever GOING to look.

#9 Ricky

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 07:14 PM

The Stratoliner is usually regarded as the civil version of the Flying Fortress just as the Stratocruiser is the civil counterpart to the Superfortress. Both are beautiful airliners.


While I echo Lightning's sentiments on RT's posts, I don't agree with this - both Stratoliner and Stratocruiser have aways just seemed to bulbous to me. Like a B-17 who ate a DC-3...

Edited by Ricky, 02 September 2011 - 07:15 PM.
Typo


#10 GregP

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 07:56 PM

Yeah Ricky, true in spades. But people take up more space than bombs, and they want a window seat, too. I guess it goes with carrying passengers. As far as an airliner goes, it looks pretty good for when it was designed; pre-WWII.

If you put it next to a Super Constellation or a Super DC-7, you are comparing different generations of aircraft. It isn;t bad at all for the 1930s, even in the looks department. There are no commercial airliners with cross sections like bomber ... maybe except for the Concorde.

I thing the de Havilland Albatross was a beautiful design, but never made it in service.

Edited by GregP, 02 September 2011 - 11:13 PM.






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