Posts: 15668
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

Paine Field

Sun May 13, 2001 2:11 am

I went to Everett on Friday to take pictures of the Comet 4C and the 727-100 and was told they are being restored to be put on display at Museum of Flight. I don't have any registration numbers for these birds, but I think I remember them being posted in the past. I also saw a 777 in Air China colors doing touch-and-gos. Where is the best place at Paine for spotting?
You say Merry Christmas, I say All Holidays Matter
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: Paine Field

Sun May 13, 2001 2:57 am

The 727 is N7001U, c/n 18293, line no 1.

The Comet is a Comet 4C, N888WA, c/n6462.

This aircraft was in BOAC colours and thereby hangs a tale.

BOAC never operated the aircraft, which is ex-Mexicana, XA-NAR, nor did they ever operate any 4Cs.

When I visited Paine Field in 1997 I asked what colour scheme the aircraft would be restored to but no-one at the museum knew if a decision had been made.

The then colour scheme did solve one mystery for me though.

In the early 1980s British Airways celebrated Queen Elizabeth's 25 years of Royal Flights on turbine powered aircraft of BOAC, BEA and BA by commissioning a series of 4 paintings by Edmund Miller to depict particular Royal Flights. These were then reproduced as a limited edition series of signed prints.

There is V701, G-ANHE of BEA, Comet4C (!) G-APDB of BOAC, Trident 3 G-AWZV of BEA and VC10 G-ASGR of BA.

For reasons I now can't remember, I was the recipient of set 729 out of 3500 and they hang on my office wall.

The Comet is, however obviously wrongly painted. The registration is correct for a BOAC aircraft, the aircraft name on the fuselage is correct as "Comet 4" but the BOAC titles are too large and too far back along the fuselage and the caption to the print reads "de Havilland Comet 4C".

When I saw the example at Paine Field, all became clear.

The aircraft arrived at Paine Field in 1980 and was shortly afterwards painted in BOAC colours but with errors in the size and positioning of the BOAC titles.

From talking to the staff it seems that Edmund Miller was unable to source a reasonable colour picture of the Comet in BOAC colours (Lord knows why, BA must have dozens). One guy told me Miller went out to see the aircraft himself, another thought they just sent him a few photos.

Either way he copied the Paine Field aircraft scheme with the resulting errors and captioned his painting erroneously. Amazingly, though, the proportions of the fuselage are the short ones of the Comet 4.

No one at BA picked up on the errors!!!

Why the actual aircraft was painted with too large and wrongly positioned titles I don't know. Why it was painted as BOAC at all escapes me. I just hope that once it emerges from being overhauled it will appear in its rightful Mexicana scheme.

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