Under Cover - at last
Seattle's Museum of Flight has an outstanding collection of airplanes - and - some are quite large. Large airplanes require a lot of real estate. Placing them under cover requires a very big building. And sitting outside is extremely destructive to their condition - especially in damp Seattle.
The core large airplane collection was located across East Marginal Way from the Museum's main buildings on a large lot called the Air Park.
It's been a long time dream to place those historic airplanes under cover. It would take a very
big building. But finally, after many years of planning and
fund-raising, the road to creating that building is underway.
First, the airplanes already there had to be moved out into temporary homes. That took place in January and February of this year (2015.) Coverage of those moves can be found in my webpages here.
The Super Connie and other five airplanes moved on a very damp and foggy morning.
Then, in April, ground was broken on the new building, to be known as the Aviation Pavilion. Pilings were driven in the soft river soil, a giant slab of concrete was poured, steel framework was erected, and a roof was created.
Because of the immensity of this building - larger than the Udvar-Hazy building of the Smithsonian Institution at Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., it created construction problems. Some supporting structure would, of necessity, block the movement of large airplanes into the building after completion.
The solution: Move some of the biggest airplanes into
position while the building was only half built. Then, build the
rest of the building around them! To the left is the Raisbeck
Aviation High School, on land provided by the Museum of Flight.
In the foreground are the 737 and 747 Prototype airplanes in their
temporary location. Across the road in the background are the
787, Air Force One (707) and Concorde, in their temporary locations.
There's a lot of concrete there! With lots more to come.
Movement of one the key airplanes - the Boeing 787 - along with a Boeing B-17, was accomplished on Saturday, 17 October 2015. The following photo essay documents those activities.
The tall tail of the 787 was one of the challenges requiring its early insertion into the partially built building.
It also required Seattle City Light to drop their 26,000 volt power lines that run along the roadway.
Although, we are grateful that these great airplanes are going under cover, today was the last opportunity to ever see these two out in all their glory - unencumbered by close-in companions and equipment.
There wasn't much clearance between the right wing tip and the Museum building!
With the left Main Gear close up against the ramp curbing.
There were some interesting juxtapositions as the B-17 came nose to nose with her great-great-great-great-great etc grandson.
And the move crew posed for their photo.
The airplane poised at the curb before heading across the street.
As people watched from the ground and the Skybridge, she started across.
And - there she is - crossing East Marginal Way for the first and only time in her life.
Next up was the B-17
This airplane was built two miles up the road in Boeing's
Plant II. It rolled first across this highway on 13 Feb 1943
It rolled back into Plant II for temporary storage around 2005, then back across the highway on 10 Sept 2010 when Boeing decided to demolish Plant II. That whole story can be found on my webpage here.
So - this was the fourth, and last time - that this historic airplane will roll across this roadway.
It occurred 72 years and 8 months after the first time
Her new permanent home - under cover - and in hallowed glory
First tire tracks on the new concrete
Some of their new company - historic airplanes all
Me and my wife Dot - "the Boss" - who lets me fool around all these hours with my "other women."