Silver Bird Homecoming

21st Jan 2003

SEATTLE - This afternoon, an American Airlines Boeing 727-223 landed at Boeing Field, some 25 years after it was delivered new to American at this very same airport. American donated the airliner to The Museum of Flight for display in its new Commercial Aviation Wing.

“The 727 is without a doubt one of the most significant designs in the history of commercial aviation,” said The Museum of Flight President and CEO Ralph A. Bufano. “To try to tell the story of airline travel without an example of this important type would be as impossible as trying to tell that story without mentioning American Airlines. As we move forward on the development of our new Commercial Aviation Wing, we`re thrilled to be able to highlight both the 727 and American Airlines through one exciting artifact. This donation constitutes a very significant advancement of our plans.”

The American 727 will eventually be displayed to the public alongside the Museum`s presidential Boeing 707 and the prototypes of the Boeing 737 and 747 inside the new 150,000-square-foot Commercial Aviation Wing. The new wing is the third phase of a decade-long expansion project that began in June 2002. Other “milestone” aircraft that will be displayed in the commercial wing include the world`s only airworthy Boeing 247D, the only de Havilland Comet jetliner in North America and the prototype of the Douglas DC-2.

“The 727 is a landmark aircraft design, often called ‘The DC-3 of the Jet Age’ because of its versatility and performance,” said Timothy J. Doke, American’s Vice President-Corporate Communications. “The 727 served American’s customers dependably and comfortably throughout our system for many years, and it is fitting that an American 727 will be proudly displayed at The Museum of Flight.”

The donated 727-223, registration N874AA, was delivered to American at Boeing Field on April 13, 1978. During its career with American, N874AA logged some 65,011 flight hours, made 39,038 landings, and underwent four major overhauls. American was the biggest 727 operator, flying 182 various models between 1964 and 2002.


The 727 was significant to the development of today’s air transportation system. The earliest model 727s entered service in 1964, helping bring the first pure jet service to many smaller communities. A unique high-lift wing design, its rakish “T-Tail,” and three powerful aft-mounted turbofan engines allowed the 727 to economically serve airports too small for the larger first-generation jetliners, like the four-engine Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8. There were 1,832 Boeing 727s produced—a production run surpassed only by the 2,800-plus Boeing 737s built thus far.

About the Museum of Flight:
The independent, non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world. The Museum’s collection includes more than 135 historically significant air- and spacecraft, as well as the Red Barn—the original manufacturing facility of The Boeing Co. The Museum’s aeronautical library and archival holdings are the largest on the West Coast. More than 100,000 children are served annually by the Museum’s on-site and outreach educational programs—the most extensive museum-based youth aviation and space education program in the country. The Museum of Flight is one of only 750 museums in the nation and nine in Washington state that are fully accredited by the American Association of Museums.

About American Airlines, Inc.:
American Airlines is the world`s largest carrier. American, in concert with American Eagle and the AmericanConnection regional carriers, makes up the American Airlines network. Together, they serve more than 250 cities in 41 countries and territories with approximately 4,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 1,100 aircraft. Only American provides More Room Throughout Coach for More Coach Passengers. American Airlines is a founding member of the one world alliance.



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