Odds and Ends: 367-80 roll-out 60 years ago; Air Canada deals blow to BBD

367-80 rollout: Boeing rolled out the 707 prototype, the 367-80, 60 years ago yesterday. The Seattle Post Intelligencer has this story. The name 367-80 was an effort to infer the project was merely a derivative of the C-97 cargo airplane (the military Stratocruiser; the commercial designation was B-377), with the “80” indicating the 80th iteration of designs.

The 707 prototype is in the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy wing at Washington Dulles Airport.

Air Canada keeps E-Jets: Bloomberg reports that Air Canada will keep its 25 remaining E-190 E1s, dealing a blow to Bombardier, which had hoped to sell its CSeries to Air Canada in a deal that would take out the E1s.

It’s got to be a major disappointment for Bombardier, which had hoped to sell 25 CSeries to AC in a deal that would have taken the E-190 in on trade. Boeing previously won a 737 MAX deal that will take 20 E-190s in on trade.

While a blow to BBD, looking under the hood, so-to-speak, indicates that this is an Air Canada issue and not a CSeries issue. Air Canada reported a loss of C$341m for the first quarter. Although officials attempted to dress up the loss, this is a big number, and Air Canada said it will keep the remaining E-195s to avoid incurring more debt:

With respect to the remaining 25 Embraer 190 aircraft in the airline’s fleet, after careful consideration, Air Canada has decided to continue to operate the aircraft given their young age, productivity and high customer acceptance on existing
routes and to avoid additional capital expenditures and debt.

The E-190s are also on AC’s books above current market value, according to our information, making disposal a challenging issue if the airline is to avoid an impairment charge.



26 Comments on “Odds and Ends: 367-80 roll-out 60 years ago; Air Canada deals blow to BBD

  1. The B-367-80 was the single most significant commercial airplane in Boeing’s history. I ushered in the jet age for most of the world’s airlines. The B-367-80 fathered many very successful Boeing aircraft designs, including the KC-135 (and all of its 29 different versions and models), B-707, B-720, B-727, B-737, B-747, and B-757. Even the B-767, B-777, and B-787 can trace their lineage back to the B-367-80.

  2. RE 367-80 .. I’ve seen the -80 in Udvar hazy. I also saw it in Seattle in the 60’s, with a tail mounted 5th engine on the side connected to a s shaped duct inlet starting forward of the vertical stabilizer, running down the side and into the engine- ( inlet issues for 727 no doubt ). In a meeting with a big BA wheel EX deputy sec defense ( at the time in 2002 ), I heard a good friend of mine explain how he ( my friend ) was delivering tankers when said ex deputy was in knee pants ( discussion was about tankers ) and that if you looked carefully on the dash 80, you could find the patches/holes. etc when the flew a mockup of a refuelling boom …

    And also saw videos where they flew a non retractable landing gear similar to 747 ( multiple trucks ) as part of the bid for C-5. They flew it to a semi dry lakebed to prove landing and takeoff in relatively soft ground. I forget the number CBR ( calif bearing ratio ) used to define the softness, but a moderately loaded pickup sunk deep enough that it had to be pulled out…

    And of course the famous ‘ chandelle ‘ ( claimed by tex johnson ) video. A pic of the outboard engine above the wing with seattle in the background is still commonplace around BA ( proof the -80 was upside down ). For those who believe that that was the first and only time Tex did that- I’ve got this bridge.


    • Actually, what Tex did in the B-367-80 over the regatta was more of what is called a “canopy roll”, a different form of “barrel roll”. Tex maintained 1G throughout the maneuver and it was a very safe maneuver. But, Tex still got his a$$ chewed out the next day.

      • Yes- but one of the videos still available on u tube has Tex saying that he it was a chandelle…

        FWIW – Many many many moons ago, I had a chat with the chase plane pilot ( at a friends house ) in an f-86 who was following. At that time they were using ‘ gun cameras ” for tracking during flight test. He was a young pilot at that time, and relatively new to the task.
        As tex made his pass and started to ‘ roll ” he of course was simply following and proceeded to roll with tex- it was at a fairly low altitude and he realized that if the -80 came apart he was also likely to be a goner as he was upside down, in trail, at a low altitude and a mile or two behind. Startled, he started to call ” mayday ” when Tex came on and said ‘ shutup kid ‘ — Afterwords- the FAA wanted to ground him ( chase ) – since common practice was to go over all flight regimes with chase BEFORE and during flight- therefore ‘ he had to have known that Tex was going to roll, and that was strictly against rules for a flyover with unplanned aerobatics with an uncertified airplane, yada, yada yada.

        But when they reviewed the ‘audio tapes” – it became obvious that he ( chase ) was startled- and most probably did NOT know ahead of time ….


        Note that in the first part Tex claims a roll- and in the last part he claims chandelle..

        Somewhere- in the archives of BA has to be the gun camera tapes. . .

        Bob Hoover was famous for explaining that a properly done loop or roll could maintain 1 g and the plane would NOT know the diffference.

        And there are videos By Bob to prove it while pouring a class of water while doing a loop in an Aero Commander…

        Neither Bob Hoover or Tex were ‘ dumb ‘ enough to do such things for the first time at low altitude-

        • I have seen film of this taken from the ground (news film, I think), but would like to see the Boeing F-86 gun camera film.

    • I’ll be on the lookout for the boom attachment patches on the -80 the next time I visit the Udvar-Hazy Center.

      By the way, I would highly recommend seeing the Space Shuttle Discovery if you ever get the chance. The authentic reentry damage is very very cool.

      • That’s not re-entry “damage”. What you see are scars and scorch marks.

        • Yes, but these scars were not caused by re-entry. On the contrary, They were caused by impacts during launch (i.e. ice and foam from the External Tank and the SRBs), and on-orbit micrometeoroid and orbital debris impacts.

          For example, the worst case of damage incurred to the shuttle’s Thermal Protection System (TPS) before the loss of Columbia on the STS-107 mission in 2003, occurred on the STS-27 (Atlantis) mission in 1988. That damage was caused by the dislodging of the ablative insulating material covering the nose cap of the right hand SRB.


        • I’m not aware of any damage occurring to the shuttle’s TPS during 133 successful re-entries from 1981 to 2011.

          The space shuttle orbiter was reusable and needed a reusable heat shield. The Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo capsules used ablative heat shields that are designed to be damaged, or destroyed in use. Ablative heat shields are made of a layer of heavy plastic resin. During re-entry the material on the shield burns up and causes a chemical reaction that removes the hot gas away from the capsule.

          The shuttle orbiters, on the other hand, used ceramic tiles to reradiate heat outwards, with a layer of insulation between the tiles and the vehicle. Since a portion of that heat was passed to the aluminium structure of the spacecraft, the orbiters required active cooling after landing in order to help prevent equipment-damaging heat buildup in the spacecraft.


        • The shuttle’s TPS consistently suffered re-entry damage due to overheating. Consider the following excerpt from “REUSABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE: Technology Development and Test Program” by the National Research Council, page 43. The tables referenced in the excerpt are on page 44 of the document.

          “The space shuttle orbiter TPS, the only demonstrated reusable TPS, provides valuable lessons for development of the RLV TPS. The aluminum orbiter structure has successfully remained within temperature limits, and the primary bonded attachment method has prevented heat leaks directly into the structure. However, as shown in a detailed assessment of TPS damage, (Table 4–1), the TPS systems covering various parts of the orbiter were exposed to temperatures beyond their true reuse limits, causing embrittlement, the slumping of edges, and overheating, cracking and flaking of the coating. Damage to ancillary TPS systems (e.g., gap fillers, thermal barrier coatings, filler bars) was especially high. The designated orbiter TPS reuse temperatures (Table 4–2) are obviously too high because irreversible changes in exposed materials occurred at those temperatures. Additional damage was caused by liftoff and landing debris (chips, gouges) and by airflow and pressure gradients (erosion, fabric frays and tears, lost gap fillers). This lack of TPS robustness and resiliency would result in repair/replacement times and manhours that do not meet RLV goals.”


          On the Discovery at the Udvar-Hazy Center, I saw with my own eyes the cracked and flaked coatings on some of the tiles, and I saw lots of charred gap fillers, and flaked or missing sealant. I would not be surprised if significant erosion due to re-entry occurred on the tiles that had lost some coating due to flaking.

          Obviously, lots of damage to the TPS occurred during launch, but damage due to re-entry also contributed thousands of hours to the cycle time.

        • Well, in order to clarify my previous comments I did not mean the entire TPS, but the primary one (i.e. the RSI tiles and the reinforced Reinforced Carbon-Carbon (RCC)), and not the secondary TPS such as gap fillers, thermal barriers and seals etc. You seemed to imply that re-entry heating was the main cause and not the effect of TPS damage.

          Here’s a very good overview of the TPS system:

          Appendix C

          Also, here’s a PPT from 1999 on the cost of maintaining TPS. On page 11, you can see that there were on average about 20 tiles damaged per flight that required replacement and that 75 were replaced per flow. On the next page, you’ve got the flight history of Discovery’s first 25 flights. It had on average 30.7 impact hits greater than 1″ and and an average total impacts of 158.5 per mission.


        • “You seemed to imply that re-entry heating was the main cause and not the effect of TPS damage.”

          No I didn’t. I was implying to Don Shuper that one of the best things about seeing the Discovery up close was getting a first hand look a the re-entry damage (e.g. scorch marks, cracked and/or flaked coatings, and charred material).

        • Yikes … beats me why the long discourse on ‘ damage “. AFIK the thermal tiles in many areas needed to be replaced after every flight just due to heat effects on re entry OR other damage. It figures that after the last scheduled flight, the tiles and areas which would normally be replaced were left as is. Subsequent handling and partial disasembly to inert, remove inhibit various areas and systems may have left marks not normally found or which were the result of the decommissioning. I was working at Rockwell el segundo on the B-1A in 71-73 and did go over to the long beach facility to see the mockup, and had one or two meetings with operations people re fabrication of the aluminum structure- but no other involvement with the shuttle.

  3. While disappointing I don’t find Air Canada decision a blow to the C series.

    Its biggest issue is the slow pace of testing.

    Once they get through it, its going to be a very good aircraft and I believe very successful.

    There is a need for a twin engine aircraft that does not have the transcontinental range of the of 737 and A320. That capability comes at a cost in weight and engine size to get that weight off the ground.

    • They got 200 some regular orders, and some 450 total orders and options, so as soon as the production models get in service, there will be a fair number of C Series 100 and 300 models in the air. AC was never a sure thing at this time, like noted. Even the Republic hesitation should just be a speed bump.

  4. This piece of news actually SITUATES the exact position of the CSeries in the market : it is yet another BULK-LOADED Regional Jet, a (narrow) narrow-body, (2+3) this one, competing downwards into the RJ market against mainly the ESeries. The reported disappointment of BBD in reaction to the lost deal confirms their single-sided positioning. Were the strategic intent directed elsewhere, eg towards (wide) narrow-body FEEDER types, then this lost deal would be dismissed as “water on a duck’s feathers” ?

    • Think of it as playing the ‘for the good of the nation’ card. Suggesting that Air Canada after all the support they got from the Canadian government cannot even support its own nation’s aircraft. Not sure how it will play here but, bearing in mind the lousy political reputation AC has (handing over jobs to foreigners etc) it is a decent play by BBD that is a decently effective way of handling the issue.

  5. Returning to the 367-80 – the Dash-80 was a one-of-kind airplane, built entirely with Boeing’s funds with the hope of winning a USAF jet tanker contract plus some commercial sales.. When Boeing’s Board of Directors authorized its construction in April 1952, they literally bet the company.

    By June 1955, Boeing had a huge military backlog for B-52’s and KC-135’s. According to the June 11 1955 Aviation Week, there was a lot of internal Boeing discussion as to whether or not to play it safe and just stay with the USAF or to assume the huge risk of a commercial 707. [Recall also 800 military B367’s vs only 55 commercial B377’s]. The debate became moot in July 1955 when the commercial program was kicked off by Pan Am’s and American’s first 707 orders.

    Tex Johnston’s (1914-1998) Dash-80 barrel roll was a month later, on August 7th 1955. It was arrogant and irresponsible narcissism, putting his own ego ahead of his responsibility to Boeing. It was intended more to show off his piloting skills than the airplane’s capability. The Dash-80 was NOT his airplane; he had no right to treat it as such.

    Although Tex was not fired, his Boeing career never recovered. He left Boeing Flight Test in 1960 for non-flying jobs in the Dyna-Soar, Minuteman and Saturn programs. He left Boeing in 1968. Had it not been for August 7th 1955, who knows what his career could have been?

    • Hmm-” his Boeing career never recovered” ?? So who was the chief test pilot on the 707- and Kc variations between 1955 and 1960 ? By 1960 Tex was how old ?
      Do you believe the ‘ roll’ over the lake was the first time ? And why did he leave BA in 1968 ? Yes he was on Dyna Soar till it was cancelled, and there were no flying jobs on that program at that time. Do you believe a b-52 can be rolled ?

      Suggest you read up on Tex background a bit more. There are fe OLD BOLD test pilots- they did not survive by doing stupid things. Some of the early flight tests of the 707 were not exactly dull and it took some skills to bring it back in one piece.

      But thanks for the contrarian view…

      • I believe Tex would have been in his mid 40s in 1960. But he stopped test flying for Boeing because he was promoted to manager for the Dyna-Soar X-20 program.
        His roll in the B-367-80 was in August 1955, he was promoted in the summer of 1960, 5 years after the stunt. That does not sound like the stunt ended his flying career at Boeing.

        • A good summary of dash 80



          First flight 1925
          Famous flights Boeing 707 and B-52 test flights
          Awards 1946 Thompson Trophy

          ” ending his career” riiight ..

          From 1960 to 1963, he was assistant program manager for Boeing’s X-20 Dyna-Soar program in Seattle, Washington.
          From 1964 to 1968, he was manager of the Boeing Atlantic Test Center in Cocoa Beach, Florida, working on two of Boeing’s programs, the Minuteman missile and the Lunar Orbiter designed for the Apollo missions. He also worked with NASA managing Saturn and Apollo programs.
          In 1968 Johnston left Boeing to manage Tex Johnston, Inc., Total-In-Flight-Simulator Inc. and Aero Spacelines (which handled the manufacture and certification of an outsized cargo airplane known as the Pregnant Guppy).

          In December 1942, Johnston moved to Bell Aircraft as a flight test engineer. He flew the P-39 Airacobra and the XP-63 during the prototype phases. He also flew the first US jet, the XP-59 Airacomet. Johnston earned his nickname “Tex” because of his penchant for wearing cowboy boots and a Stetson hat on the flightline.[2]…. Johnston was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1993.[6]
          Family and death[edit]
          In 1991, Johnston wrote his memoirs, Tex Johnston: Jet Age Test Pilot, with writer Charles Barton.
          Johnston developed Alzheimer’s disease in the 1990s and died in 1998. He is survived by his wife DeLores and three children.

  6. Don and KC, my opinion is based on personal experience plus history. I was a Boeing flight test instrumentation engineer from mid-1965 until early 1970. When I hired in, the Dash-80 was still an active test airplane; many of the engineers and pilots were very familiar with it, its history, and its idiosyncrasies. Tex was still at Boeing. My memory is that he was hardly ever mentioned by his former colleagues.

    I had the honor of working with some of Boeing’s now legendary experimental pilots of the 1960’s, including Lew Wallick (727-100 project pilot), Brien Wygle (737-100 & -200) and Jack Waddell (747-100), plus others. All strong personalities with wide test flying experience plus incredible piloting skills. Once strapped into the left seat, they, like their colleagues from then until now, would fly the test plan as briefed during preflight with the utmost professional skill, precision and caution. Even if things did not go per the plan, they handled that too.

    A large corporation’s “promotion” can be a euphemism for being kicked out and up. Boeing was no different, then or now. Did Tex select his Dyna-Soar desk job or was he encouraged to leave Experimental Flight Test? My opinion that he was pushed out is based on his age vs contemporaneous events. In 1960 he was 46. It was the era of changing from props to jets, one of the most evenful in aeronautical history. The 707-100 had been certified in 1958; the next few years saw the 707-300 and -400, the -100B and -300B, plus the 720 and 720B. Studies for the 727 were just beginning. Militarily in Seattle, the KC-135 was in the middle of a 9-year production run.

    Then there’s “what if” he had [could have?] remained in Flight Test for project or research pilot opportunities during the 1960’s. Born in 1914, he would have been 49 during the 1963 727-100 program, 53 for 1967’s 727-200 plus the 737-100/-200, and 55 during 1969’s 747-100. There were also ongoing Dash-80 research flight tests plus studies for the 2707 SST.

    Tex went on to a very impressive career, but it did not involve any Boeing jetliners. We will never know what more Tex could have contributed to the 707, or to the 727, 737 and 747. That is the tragedy.

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