The first Boeing 727-100, sold to United Airlines (N7001U) made its first flight in 25 years March 2, 2016, from Paine Field in Everett (WA) to Boeing Field in Seattle. The 12 minute flight was also the airplane’s last. The aircraft, which flew for United for 27 years and carried three million passengers, will be permanently displayed at the Museum of Flight. This is painted in the original delivery colors for United. Note that then there were no outlines of the doors and emergency exits; this FAA requirement came years later.
Shutting down the engines on the first Boeing 727-100, N7001U, on its final flight delivering from Paine Field in Everett to Boeing Field in Seattle. The Museum of Flight will permanently display this airplane, flown by United Airlines for 27 years, after 25 years parked at Paine and a long restoration. The engines are the first generation jet engines, in this case the Pratt & Whitney JT8D. Despite the “mufflers” on the back end of the engines, this “Stage 2” noise compliant engines are exceedingly noisy by today’s standards.
Watching the airplane on final approach to Boeing Field, tell-tale black exhaust smoke from the engines was easily seen against the gray Seattle sky.
The 727 was an enormous success for Boeing. More than 1,800 were sold, a record for jets at the time. The late Robert J. Serling, perhaps the top aviation writer of his day, noted that the 727-100 proved to be 10% better on economics than Boeing predicted when it first sold the airplane to the airlines. There are still 727 freighters flying today, 53 years after it was first introduced into service.