Not Superman – Not a F-22 Doing Vertical Takeoff, but a . . . ?

This amazing short 2:36 minute video was sent to us by one of our our top Aviation Story Scouts, Virg Hemphill, former USAF and Airline Pilot of El Paso, TX.  We’ve had some of our best videos from Virg.   Nowadays one might expect this of one of our super performing F-22’s or F-35’s, but we’re just not accustomed to seeing this sort of thing being done by a commercial airliner – in fact, it’s hard to believe one’s eyes at seeing this big ship go straight up and then push over for a zero gravity event!  Thanks, Virg!

Impressive Boeing 737 Takeoff

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At the Farnborough 2016 airshow, this Boeing 737 was doing an impressive jaw dropping takeoff. At one point during the drop, crew members were able to experience zero gravity.

Some of us old geezers remember well when Boeing’s then Chief Test Pilot, in 1955, Tex Johnson, startled the thousands of viewers in Seattle, including his own company’s brass, when he unexpectedly did a barrel roll in his demonstration of Boeing first jet airliner, the 707 prototype, the Dash 80, during the city’s big annual hydroplane race event.  I dug around and found this following proof-of-fact video for you to see of that historic flight.  It showed that, once before, 60 some years ago, Boeing had also demonstrated its excellence as  the world’s leading builder of reliable airliners – while also demonstrating that it chose well in who it hired to be among its top test pilots.  This video is 4:30 minutes in length.  Notice the difference in video quality over the past half century.


Incidentally, the below video somehow mispronounced – and misspelled – Johnson’s last name by adding a “t” to it.  Not sure how this slip up occurred, but it did.  Your webmaster had the memorable experience, while on active duty with the USAF, of visiting the BOEING factory on official business and of being taken a private tour of this first American Jet Airliner prototype.  The below video’s low resolution doesn’t do justice to the actual plane, which was magnificently and beautifully painted the then official BOEING colors of brown and yellow.

As soon at I saw the “office” up front I noticed how much simpler the instrumentation was from what it looked like in conventionally powered airliners of 1955.  In fact, I was even told that the new jet airliners would likely no longer have the then traditional flight deck post for an engineer, because the new jet engines were so much more reliable – and simpler.  Of course this proved not to be the case,  although many airliners today have finally eliminated the engineers, not just because of the more reliable jet engines or the diminished power of the old engineer’s union, but because cockpit instrumentation has significantly evolved with their much easier-to-interpret “glass cockpits,” where the instruments are portrayed with computer driven monitor styled displays.

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