Epic photo shoot

There aren’t too many photo shoots that I’d call epic. But when it comes to Boeing’s centennial, this may be the time to use that word.


The very first 727 (left) meets United’s newest 787 on our Everett flightline. Matthew Thompson photo.

This week, we managed to pull off a nose to nose meeting between the newest 787 for United Airlines—and the very first 727 which rolled out in 1962, N7001U, also delivered to United.


Matthew Thompson photo.

The 727 is in the last stages of its overhaul at the Museum of Flight’s Restoration Center at Paine Field in Everett. In the next few days, it will take one final flight to the museum’s home at Boeing Field to go on permanent display. (Click here to see the 727’s final flight.)


A closeup of the very first 727 ever built. Patrick Rodwell photo.

We’re proud to be able to join United and the Museum of Flight in this incredible moment on our Everett flightline.


The newest 787 for United Airlines. Patrick Rodwell photo.


Patrick Rodwell photo.

Comments (20)

Dave Hutsell (Tukwila, WA):

Great Photos!

Brendan (Everett, WA):

Need the MoF's United Livery Boeing 247 for a TRULY epic pic. Make it happen!

Erik Godo (Redmond, Wa USA):

It is interesting to look at the differences. I'm surprised the 727 has only 4 main gear and has kreuger slats like the 747. The wings look so low in comparison.

Thomas Shalles (Everett, WA):

In 1970-1971, I worked as a baggage handler at O'Hare International Airport. O'Hare was the busiest airport in the world at the time, and it was packed with Boeing 727s! They were everywhere!

We "ramp rats" loved the airplane because it offered containerized baggage for the first time. All the other planes we loaded were loaded and unloaded by hand, one suitcase at a time, on a conveyer belt. The 727 was an innovation that brought praise from all over the airport.

There was another innovative praise-worthy airplane seen at O'Hare every day: the Boeing 747. We pulled strings and called in favors to be placed on the crews that handled either of those airplanes.

Thanks for the memories!

Terri (Billings, MT):

I'm so glad you could bring these 2 together. Simply gorgeous. Thanks Randy



Norman Garza (Long Beach, CA):

On two successful midterms in two days what a great sight, the old and the new, all for the same goal and a lot of hard work put into it.

John Politte (SDC):

Thanks for the 727 pictures. I remember performing PS checks to C checks on these AC with TWA in STL and MCI for a large portion of my airline career.

Mario Hernandez (Oklahoma City):

The moment captured here between both aircraft helps capture decades of accomplishments. Furthermore, not only does it capture who we were then and who we are now, it captures who we are in general. This was a great way to capture Boeing's dedication to aeronautics and the longevity of our products! Outstanding job! Thanks for sharing with the rest of the team.

Richard Loftis (Everett, Wa. USA):

Great shots…brings me full circle. I started my career with United Airlines on the 727 almost 30 years ago and currently support 787 FA&D. Both aircraft are a testament to Boeing’s leadership in game changing technology. The 727 met the airline requirement to service airports with shorter runways, and the 787 “Dreamliner Effect” has changed the industry with its range and fuel efficiency. The photos and aircraft are indeed “Epic”.

Chux Ibeji (Everett WA):

We have indeed come a long way. These pictures puts that in no doubt.

Dare to dream!

Jeff Carelson (FWB, FL):

In 1973/74 I was a young HS student selected by United Airlines when it started a apprenticeship program at ORD. Spending time in a classroom learning from mechanics and then doing odd jobs (fetching items/tools)we were in airplane heaven, I remember 727's well...

From that experience I went to work on and crew Boeing CH-46's for the USMC.
Here it is 43 yrs later and I'm still working on Boeing products.

Great photo's!


Anton Bognda (Renton, WA):

I loved this photo shoot! So much in one image - history, progress, emotion, and ambition!

Barb Terwisscha (Everett, WA):

Will these photos be available for purchase?

Les Greene (El Segundo, CA):

When you think about it, back in 1962, this 727 was most likely incredibly amazing. Now compared to the 787, it seems pretty ancient, although it paved the way for wonderful things to come.

Jeffrey Magnet (Newton, MA.):

Hello...I am wondering if this UA B727 was the aircraft that Boeing used for photo flights when they had to photograph new aircraft for their customers? If I remember it may have been a -200 but it could have been a -100. Do you happen to know or can you find out what the reg was? I was invited on one of those flights. We photographed a CAAC B737 Reg number B-2532. It was an Awesome! experience.

Terryll M Wegener (Everett, WA):

Its really neat to see the first commercial airplane that I ever flew on, a 727, next to one that I had the pleasure to work on as an engineer. My first flight was on an American Airlines 727 from ST Louis to Dallas Texas. My uncle, Robert Bisbee, who worked for American at the time was their chief flight engineer. He was responsible for purchasing the first 25 727's for American and was also the flight engineer on the delivery flight for American's first 707. It was because of his stories that I obtained a degree in Aerospace Engineering and got a job here at Boeing. My sister and niece are flight attendants for American and spend their lives flying in Boeing airplanes. Thanks for the memories.

Fred von Zabern (Long Beach, CA):

I remember when Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) flew 727's into Long Beach in the early 80's. They had a big smile painted on the nose which truly represented the airline's customer interaction. What a fun way to go up and down the west coast!

Craig Westley (Phoenix, AZ):

Fantastic! Thanks for sharing with us ---

Mike Wold (Seattle):

Very cool. My wife's grandfather was United's rep when this was delivered!

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