Re: Aircraft Maneuvers

From:         Tony Blades <>
Organization: None
Date:         07 Sep 95 02:49:29 
References:   1 2 3
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> In article <> you write:
> >>On a related note, sometime ago (years) I read that the then
> >>chief pilot for TWA put a 707 through a roll during a test
> >>flight.  Is/was a 707 capable of this?
> >
> >I never heard of TWA doing it, but Tex Johnston, a Boeing test pilot,
> >rolled the prototype 707 (the 367-80) twice for the crowds at Seattle's
> >hydroplane races.  The story has been discussed many times in this
> >group -- see the archives for more, or most any book on Boeing history.
> >(Some Air Force pilots also rolled a KC-135, the 707's military sister.)

Tex Johson did indeed barrel roll the prototype B707, I have some video
footage of that event, and whilst I accept that a properly executed barrel
roll is positive all the way round, there remain plenty of scope for error.
If Tex had got it wrong, Boeing would probably not be in existance today,
because they were betting there shirt on the B707.

> But seriously, a barrel roll isn't particularly stressful.  What you don't
> see from the ground is that the properly executed roll maintains positive
> gee; if it weren't for the horizon doing a 360 you couldn't tell from on
> board that it's happening ...

I agree with above, but it is equaly very easy to get a barrel roll
horribly wrong, with the result that the aircraft could be badly stressed
well beyond its design limits and result in possible structural failure.
As a professional pilot I would not want to fly a non-aerobatic aeroplane
that had been barrel rolled.

There was a rumour many years ago that a Lufthansa crew had barrel rolled
a B707 during training, and having got the roll wrong, managed to lose,
and I mean lose two engines on one wing.  They literally came off the

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