- Supporting Companies
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Restoration of E1 for its Final Flight takes the hard work of a lot of
people and the generosity of many companies. In some cases, all I
have to offer them is recognition of their help with goods and
services, And so here it is. It is refreshing that in this
day and age of MBA's and Bottom Line's, there are still companies that
recognize their history and their heritage and are willing to step up
to the plate and make things happen. I personally can't thank them
enough, for without their help, this project, and this airplane, would
I can think of a hundred reasons why FedEx should not have become involved in this project, and only a few why they should. But they did. It started back in 2004, when they gave us an airplane (N124FE) that had been pulled off the overhaul line due to problems too expensive to fix. This airplane became our parts queen for replacing most of the hardware removed by UAL after their original donation in 1991.
After we had replaced most of the missing hardware and I got Board approval to fly the airplane, FedEx stepped up again by providing the flight engines for the last flight. More than that, they provided parts support and technical support, shop stands and shipping stands, and a lot of encouragement. They shipped hardware at no cost to the Museum. When we encountered problems with fitting their hush-kit engines on our old airplane, they solved our problem by supplying three center engines (without the hush-kit hardware), and two side engines as parts-source loaners to allow us to rebuild up the two center engines into the Nbr 1 and Nbr 3 positions.
They are a great Can-Do outfit. One thing I noticed immediately about FedEx is how much responsibility and authority they grant to their employees, making for a very short action path without endless seeking approvals from higher up the chain of command. I would especially like to thank David Sutton and Andy Rish. It is no exaggeration to say that FedEx's support has been the key to the success of this project.
SOAR is a Transport aircraft major repair and maintenance organization. The principals are retired Boeing and Douglas AOG team managers and members with long time experience in the field. When we decided to proceed with restoring this airplane for flight, I contacted six potential vendors, SOAR responded in a very positive manner. We contracted with them for a Survey of the aircraft, which was done with great diligence and expertise. I have been in this business myself for more than 50 years and when I first talked to SOAR, and every time since, we spoke the same language. I knew they knew what they were doing because we both spoke the same lingo. And, because they were interested in being part of this historic project, they provided us with very reasonable pricing. I would recommend them in a heartbeat.
ATS is the large MRO resident at Paine Field in Everett, Washington - site of the Boeing wide-body plant. They had their origins with a friend of mine - Ron Crockett - a Boeing engineer who started out doing small maintenance jobs for Boeing customers - a business which grew into Tramco. Tramco became part of Goodrich Aerospace, and then became ATS with a management buyout. They have helped us over the years, and signed on to this project with enthusiasm, providing us hangar space, shops, tooling, and servicing facilities - much of it donated.
Of course, the airplane we're talking about, N7001U, was donated initially in 1984 by United Air Lines (now United Airlines). It was retired and delivered in 1991. And now, in 2015-16, United stepped up again and paid for the much needed paint job.
Aero Controls is a small company located in Auburn, Washington. In their early days, they began by parting out 727 and 737 airplanes at the Shelton, Washington airport. They have since expanded into a significant supplier of after-market transport aircraft spares. We began our association with Aero Controls in their earliest days when we went down there to Shelton, cold turkey, looking for an external power door, which they readily gave us. Our association with them has since expanded and grown to the point where they have supplied innumerable pieces and parts needed in this restoration. All with a smile. Great outfit!
Jerry Titus, Richard B. Hickson, Douglas Weeth and others have been great in their support to the UAL 727 Restoration Project. They also supported the Boeing 247D restoration of the main landing gear oleos.
Triumph is a fuel systems company that provides fuel system support to ATS at their Paine Field MRO location. Our airplane needed fuel system restoration, including microbial growth repairs and pressure sealing prior to sealing. Triumph was able to squeeze us into their amazingly busy schedule, and in the end, donated all their labor hours!
PPG Aerospace donated the paint we used to repaint N7001U.
J. David Barnes of Southwest Airlines in Houston, Texas came to the Museum of Flight Restoration Center and visited in 2005. As a result of his visit, he has been a great help with donation of various 737 parts that are also used on the 727. This support has also included his help with finding suppliers who have donated various parts to UAL 727 Restoration Project. He has continued this support up to the present time. Southwest has also helped us with ATS, especially Bill Rogers, their on-site Boeing rep and active Museum supporter.
Irving Jensen is an airplane fan from Sioux City, Iowa. He acquires aircraft cockpit hardware, simulators, etc and has provided us with essential parts as well as cash donations. He has even come out here to visit us. Irving provided the cockpit headsets (unique plugs) and microphones, control wheel clipboards, manuals, and assorted other hardware.
Nash Creek Aviation
Tim Adamson of Nash Creek Aviation, Paine Field, Everett, Washington, began supporting us when we asked for many parts from two Fedex 727-100 airplanes that he was parting out. These 727 parts came from the 727 vertical fin assembly such as stabilizer jack screw, rudder actuators, and other parts and help. Without these parts the restoration program would not be this far along. He has also helped with other support to the Museum of Flight.
Mo Kidney, a USAF C-17 Reserve pilot and senior manager at Douglass, connected with me some years ago about supporting the Connie interior restoration. When I reached out to him about the decrepit cockpit seat covers on our airplane, he stepped right up provided replacement fabrics (still made!), and also floor coverings for the forward entry door area.
Rick Cannon, owner of Cannon Aircraft Interiors at Paine Field, took the fabrics from Mo (above) and created new cockpit seat covers (and arm rests) that were in-place for our historic Last Flight.
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