Unprecedented comfort and safety for eight or so passengers
Unprecedented comfort and safety for eight or so passengers

Apropos of this weekend’s Wings Over Illawarra air show, Boeing has posted photos of one of its 247D revolutionary airliners making the short flight from Paine Field at Everett to Boeing Field, Seattle for permanent display at The Museum of Flight.

The photo below, shown in Randy Tinseth’s blog, illustrates the elegance of the design that made it an all metal airliner, with an enclosed cabin, and which was stable in flight if one engine failed.

247-boeingfield

Which was something piston engines used to do with some regularity throughout their applications in civil aviation.

The truly elegant lines of the Boeing 247D captured the public mind as the Great Depression began to release its grip on America, but its design was also a huge advance in the making of aeroplanes sufficiently comfortable and reliable to bring passenger carriage more into the frame of air services which until them had been largely sustained by the premium carriage of air mail.

The 247s, which come in various editions, were massively eclipsed in a few years by the advent of the even larger and more capable Douglas DC2s and DC3s, but their claim to being pointers to the future is secure.

And at the Museum of Flight, this rare surviving example will be visible for generations who will use space in ways we might dismiss as fanciful in 2016.

If you visit Seattle, add the Experience Music Project and its contiguous Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame near the Space Needle to your list of things to do. Together with the Museum of Flight the town knows how to do ‘history.’

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