|Boeing 80A-1 NC224M lay on a dump in Alaska before its display in Seattle's Museum of Flight.|
Model 80 was Boeing's first foray into the airliner market in which it
was to make its name. The Model 80 followed the Model 40A but was
significantly larger with three engines and an enclosed fuselage for
two pilots and 12 passengers. The aircraft first flew on July 27, 1928.
The type featured a fuselage made from welded steel tubing covered with
fabric and the wooden wingtips were removable so it could fit into
typical hangars of the time.
Born into an era when most US passenger aircraft had previously been optimised for flying mail and flying was still a preserve of the elite, the cabin featured leather upholstered seats, reading lamps, ventilation and hot and cold running water. The 80A, which first flew on September 12, 1929, was even larger, with space for 18 passengers, and was powered by three 525hp Pratt and Whitney Hornets.
This type also introduced the first stewardesses, in 1930, after a nurse, Ellen Church, convinced Boeing Air Transport's managers of their value on board the company's ten aircraft. The type remained in service until 1933 when it was replaced by the all-metal Boeing 247. One aircraft survives in the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington state, USA. This aircraft, NC224M, was retired by United Air Lines in 1934 and in 1941 became a cargo aircraft with a construction company in Alaska, complete with a large door cut into the side.
The aircraft was retired after World War II and lay on a dump until 1960, when it was discovered and eventually taken to Seattle for restoration and display in the museum's great gallery.
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