It’s called the oldest flying Boeing aircraft in the world. It has 80 plus years under its wings. Wednesday it landed in Sioux City.
“Plane” to see this isn’t your average aircraft. Say hello to the 1928 Boeing 40C. Once a mail and passenger carrier, now the oldest Boeing still in the air.
“Four passengers, a pilot, 750lbs of mail, 140 gallons of gas, cruises at 120 mph,” said pilot and owner, Addison Pemberton.
Beautiful now, but when Pemberton started restoring it, this biplane was just bits.
“That’s what the airplane looked like when we brought it home,” said Pemberton holding a picture of twisted pieces of metal.
The plane had crashed on a Oregon mountainside back in ’28 and was abandoned for more than 70 years. It took Pemberton and about 60 volunteers 18,000 man hours to bring it back.
Pemberton started his trip in Spokane, Washington and is stopping in Sioux City to refuel and meet with friends. It’s part of his eight stop flight across the US’s northwest. It all ends with the Antique Aircraft Association’s annual fly-in at Blakesburg, Iowa.
“A little airport that is hallowed ground. It’s a little 2000 foot grass strip where some 400 airplanes gather every year,” said Ben Scott who’s flying with Pemberton.
For Pemberton, the plane is more than just fun, it preserves a history long forgotten, a reminder of where air giants like Boeing began.
“Without the Boeing 40, the Boeing Aircraft Company would not be here today. It was their first commercial success. It was a home run right out of the shoot,” said Pemberton.
When Pemberton makes a stop he often gives people a ride in his plane. He says his goal is to get 1,000 passengers in the air. He collects the names of those that fly with him in a small red book. So far he’s logged just over 600. One of them, once Boeing CEO Scott Carson.
Folks who take the trip say it’s like heading back in time.
“Few pieces of luggage, yourself, certainly not a laptop, but a book and nothing to do but watch the world go by,” said Travis Stein who flew in the 40C Wednesday.
Pemberton will be staying in South Sioux City Wednesday night. He’ll head to Greenfield, Iowa, Thursday.