Boeing's most famous test pilot Alvin "Tex" Johnston has died in his Seattle home. Has was 84. Tex Johnston was a world-famous pilot. He was famous for barrel rolling a Boeing 707 "Dash 80" aircraft in 1955. He did it at a Seattle airshow by Downtown Seattle. The airshow was over Lake Washington and is Seattle's most bigggest airshow.
Tex Johnston was to make fly-bys over the airshow to show off Boeing's new 707 and on the second fly-by he stunned Boeing and the world, he did a barrel roll. Barrel Rolling a 707 is just like barrel rolling a 757-200, 767-200, A300-600 or A321. Imagine doing that or seeing that at a airshow.
What stunned Boeing and the world is that the barrel roll wasn't planned he was only to make a few slow and fast fly-bys. The aircraft actually went into a stall. Boeing actually fired Tex Johnston for doing that stunt. Nobody thought he would ever do that.
When asked why did he do that he said he wanted to prove to the world or airlines how safe the 707 was and that jet-engines are safe. Because as you may know the Boeing 707 was the first ever jet-engine passenger aircraft and he did it to prove it was safe. Boeing of course made him a test pilot again. And what he did truly proved how safe the jet-passenger aircraft are.
Tex Johnston also flew the first Boeing B-52 and also flew the aircraft the first broke sound barrier which was first flown by Chuck Yeager
Think about it what he did is just like barrel-rolling a 757-200, 767-200, A300-600 or A321. But when he barrel rolled the 707 was in 1955, that is when jet-passenger aircraft were still be introduced in the world's airlines.
Alvin "Tex" Johnston is a legend in avation and in the Boeing Co.