Oldest Boeing Flying Again


Addision Pemberton made the first flight in a Boeing 40 biplane in February after an eight-year restoration of the oldest flying Boeing in existence. Boeing designed the airplane in 1925 to serve early mail routes, and the fuselage was later stretched to add two and then four passenger seats in the cabin. Pemberton's Boeing 40 was built in 1928 but after a few months of service crashed into Canyon Mountain in southern Oregon on a Pacific Air flight from San Francisco to Portland. The wreckage remained on the mountain until it was recovered in the 1990s and later acquired by Pemberton who invested 18,000 hours in the restoration. The ancient Boeing returned to the air for a 20-minute test flight out of Felts Field in Spokane. Pemberton reported excellent flying qualities and unexpected speed behind the P&W R-1340 Wasp engine. Pemberton is planning to display the Boeing at a number of antique airplane events this year, and then retrace the old airmail route from New York to San Francisco.