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Posted: 6/15/2002 12:18:40 AM EDT
a few months ago?

Boeing to rebuild Stratoliner

Associated Press

SEATTLE -- The Boeing Co. plans to repair and fly the vintage Stratoliner airplane that crashed into Elliott Bay while on a test flight last March, the company said Friday.

The historic 307 Stratoliner -- believed to be the last of its kind in existence -- will need new interiors, some new skin panels and reassembled engines, said Dave Knowlen, the program manager and Boeing's business affairs director. But the 1940s era plane sustained less damage than feared from the crash, he said, and the company decided this week to go ahead with the effort.

"We're going to make a complete and full restoration," he said. "The Stratoliner will fly again."

Volunteers already have spent six years restoring the plane, which was found in an aircraft boneyard in the desert Southwest.

The 307 Stratoliner is part of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum collection. The crash occurred during a test flight in preparation for delivering the airplane to the Smithsonian. The plane is to be displayed in the museum's new wing at Washington, D.C.'s Dulles International Airport.

Knowlen did not disclose the cost of repairs beyond the "thousands and thousands of hours" of work by a mostly volunteer crew. The company plans to complete the repairs and make the 2,600-mile-long flight to Dulles in summer 2003, he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board is continuing its investigation into the crash, but it appears that fuel problems were a factor, said Debra Eckrote, senior air safety investigator. She expects to complete a report of her findings in the next month or two, with the board decision on the cause of the crash to follow.

The plane initially reported problems with its landing gear, then suffered engine failure and hit the water at about 70 miles an hour. The impact ripped off the landing gear and caused secondary structural damage, Knowlen said.

An outpouring of supportive e-mails and letters from Seattle residents -- many of whom witnessed the lunchtime crash and the following day's operation to hoist the plane out of the water -- was a factor as well, Knowlen said.

"Now it's not just a Boeing project, but a public project," he said.
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 12:31:13 AM EDT
The 'fuel problems' were supposedly a 'quantity' issue. There was none.....

Darwinism tried, their luck held out....
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 1:41:59 AM EDT
The 'fuel problems' were supposedly a 'quantity' issue. There was none.....

Darwinism tried, their luck held out....
View Quote

I can't stop laughing


Link Posted: 6/15/2002 9:38:26 AM EDT
Rumor has it that the test pilots were paying for the fuel out of their own pockets and left Boeing filed with about 45 minutes' worth of fuel with the intent of going to another field where the avgas was $.04 a gallon cheaper.  Well, they were having so much fun flying the plane that they......forgot.
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 9:50:03 AM EDT
"Fuel Emergency" -- words that Avianca Flight 52's captain wished he had used.
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