From: Ray Carini <firstname.lastname@example.org> Organization: Northwest Nexus Inc. Date: 06 Feb 96 14:15:48
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Reprinted, with permission, from The Boeing News, January 26, 1996. The Boeing 367-80 The Boeing 367-80's history has been dramatic. On April 22, 1952, Boeing President William Allen recommended to the board of directors that the company invest millions of dollars -- $16 million, in fact -- of its own money to build a jet prototype that could have both military and commercial applications. Allen figured the company was doing well enough with military sales to risk some of its profits, and the board concurred. Work began almost immediately at Renton. "We felt strongly that it was high time some American manufacturer took the plunge, got a jet transport off of paper and into the air," Allen was quoted later in Boeing Magazine. With the prototype nearing completion, Allen gambled again by authorizing the use of company funds to gear up engineering and tooling for a production aircraft. There were no orders. At 2:14 p.m. on July 15, 1954, test pilot Tex Johnston gave the Dash 80 throttle and released the brakes, lifting off for its first flight. Three weeks later, the Air Force announced an initial order for 29 tanker vrsions, designated as the KC-135. Johnston made a little history of his own with the Dash 80 prototype. Much to the surprise of Allen, Johnston did a couple of barrel rolls over Lake Washington during the Gold Cup hydroplane races. Over the years, the Dash 80 was used for a wide variety of tests, and the airplane became one of the most modified in history.