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gunsontheroof
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Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:43 pm

Recently posted for this weekend's edition of Pacific Northwest magazine...pretty good read for any Boeing/747 enthusiasts out there. The current condition of RA001 comes up every now and then around here, let's hope something in the way of a restoration project gets underway soon!

http://seattletimes.com/html/pacific...2019017163_pacificp747plane09.html
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roseflyer
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:51 pm

Yes the airplane is a bit of a mess. It's got various moss and mildew growing on its outside and inside it is just a mess. It is not in a flyable condition.

The Museum of Flight has put more money into maintaining the Concorde because BA had requirements for the condition of that airplane forced upon the museum as a part of the lease that the museum signed. The original 747 is an old plane corroding in the moist pacific northwest.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
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Stitch
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:54 pm

The Museum of Flight is still planning the new hangar over the airpark, are they not?

Once that is built, then they can at least refresh the outside of the plane (along with the NASA 737) and hopefully restore the AA 727 so you can go inside her.

And is the Museum of Flight getting a B-1? - http://seattletimes.com/html/localne...omberfreeway.html?prmid=obinsource

[Edited 2012-09-08 11:54:50]
 
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gunsontheroof
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:59 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 1):
The Museum of Flight has put more money into maintaining the Concorde because BA had requirements for the condition of that airplane forced upon the museum as a part of the lease that the museum signed. The original 747 is an old plane corroding in the moist pacific northwest.

Never heard that before, but it makes sense. It at least goes to show that you can keep an old airplane in good shape outdoors around here even if an enclosed space is preferable...

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
The Museum of Flight is still planning the new hangar over the airpark, are they not?

Once that is built, then they can at least refresh the outside of the plane (along with the NASA 737) and hopefully restore the AA 727 so you can go inside her.

That seems to be the plan, but it sounds like a project in need of some fundraising. I'd love to see the first 737 repainted in its original colors...it'd look pretty sharp alongside a repainted RA001!
Picked a hell of a week to quit sniffing glue.
 
bennett123
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:18 pm

Hopefully, someone with deep pockets will save this bird before it rots away.
 
Flighty
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:20 pm

Why don't Boeing retirees try their hand at it (once again)? There must be parts available for a 747 Classic.

The article does not exaggerate; the 747 is a worldwide icon. It even has historical importance, in terms of large scale global migration.
 
bennett123
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:28 pm

I suspect that the number of B747 Classics is not was it used to be either.
 
ouboy79
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:37 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Once that is built, then they can at least refresh the outside of the plane (along with the NASA 737) and hopefully restore the AA 727 so you can go inside her.

They had each aircraft opened up for a few weeks each this summer for tours. I missed the 747 tour by a week. Would be nice to see that all enclosed and preserved properly.
 
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ssteve
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:38 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):

And is the Museum of Flight getting a B-1? - http://seattletimes.com/html/localne...ource

If I recall, not the first B-1 fuselage to make a road trip.
http://seattletimes.com/html/localne...2016730637_apormovingb1bomber.html

Not sure what they do with them. Something about longevity studies??
 
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Stitch
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:40 pm

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 8):
Something about longevity studies??

That appears to be the case.

Still, be nice to get one down the road since Boeing owns Rockwell.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:16 pm

Good story and not an exaggeration. It's a part of history that really should be preserved.
What the...?
 
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N62NA
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:52 pm

I wonder if John Travolta is a member of a.net....
 
jfk777
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:56 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 5):
The article does not exaggerate; the 747 is a worldwide icon. It even has historical importance, in terms of large scale global migratio

The 747 should not be exposed to all the humidity, its should be at the Smithsonian at Dulles International Airport inside climate controlled eviroment.
 
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Revelation
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:39 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 1):
Yes the airplane is a bit of a mess. It's got various moss and mildew growing on its outside and inside it is just a mess.

I saw it last fall, and while I can't bring myself to use that exact word to describe this icon of aviation history, there is no denying there was moss and mildew growing on it.

Quoting N62NA (Reply 11):
I wonder if John Travolta is a member of a.net....

No, but you and me are...

It'd be nice to see an "Airliners.Net Fund to Support RA0001" or some such.

https://www.museumofflight.org/forms/donate/ allows one to designate where their donations go, and accepts donations as small as $10 which should be in the reach of many aviation enthusiasts. It'd be nice for us to have our own web page that allowed one to specifically donate to the common cause and have some sort of feedback about how much funding has been directed via this effort. I've seen this done to support various other on-line support teams for runners in a charity 10k for instance. Add to that perhaps some ad support by a.net, and it might go somewhere!

It'd also be nice to see similar efforts for other aviation museum projects all around the world.

As noted on their web site, their funds meet US requirements for tax deductability and many employers will match contributions to their funds.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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RyDawg82
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:51 pm

Great story, I got to go aboard and climb around this bird on a trip to Seattle back in 1994. Sad to see her in this shape.

It would be interesting if a Kickstarter program could get things rolling on this project.

Ryan
 
humanitarian
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:55 pm

I cannot understand why Boeing has allowed this to happen and has not contributed to its restoration. They donated $5 million to the USAF for their museum. This is shameful for such an important aircraft in the history of aviation.

http://boeing.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=1627
 
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Stitch
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:48 pm

Since the plane doesn't need to be airworthy, the condition it is in may not be critical. Once they are in a position to store it out of the elements, a good strong wash may be all that's needed to make it presentable.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:48 pm

Quoting Humanitarian (Reply 15):

Boeing really should step up to the plate. This baby should mean more to the company than anybody else.
What the...?
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:47 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
The Museum of Flight is still planning the new hangar over the airpark, are they not?

As far as I know. They broke ground on the Aviation High School building (next to the air park) last year and covering the airpark was supposed to be another phase of that project.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 5):
Why don't Boeing retirees try their hand at it (once again)?

They need to be allowed to...you can't just walk up and start restoring the airplane, and you need budget for parts.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 12):
The 747 should not be exposed to all the humidity

Seattle isn't actually that humid; it's very wet (it rains a lot) but relatively cold and so the actual amount of water isn't that bad. Somewhere in the tropics (or outside in DC) would be much worse.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 12):
its should be at the Smithsonian at Dulles International Airport inside climate controlled eviroment.

It's nowhere close to flyable; putting it in the Smithsonian would mean cutting it up for alternate transportation, making it far less of an aircraft than it is now.

Quoting Humanitarian (Reply 15):

I cannot understand why Boeing has allowed this to happen and has not contributed to its restoration.

The Museum Of Flight is not Boeing's museum. It's a seperate entity with its own budget and priorities. If the MoF wanted to make RA001 their next big restoration project I'm sure Boeing would help.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 17):
Boeing really should step up to the plate. This baby should mean more to the company than anybody else.

They're not responsible for it anymore. Even if they took it over, what's the point of washing it when it's still outside?

Tom.
 
ebj1248650
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:59 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 18):
They're not responsible for it anymore. Even if they took it over, what's the point of washing it when it's still outside?

Tom.

Even if not "responsible for it" it seems the company would take an interest in preserving a historic icon. Not to mention they could garner a wealth of good PR for doing it. And you can't tell me Boeing can't afford to lay out some dollars for this. The PR benefits would far outweigh the financial outlay.

As for why wash it when it's outdoors: Because washing it would enhance its appearance, making it more presentable, and in doing so enhance, at least to some degree, the reputation of the museum that now has it on display.
Dare to dream; dream big!
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:42 am

Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 19):
Not to mention they could garner a wealth of good PR for doing it. And you can't tell me Boeing can't afford to lay out some dollars for this. The PR benefits would far outweigh the financial outlay.

How? Nobody is ever going to purchase a commercial airliner because RA001 looks better.

Tom.
 
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ER757
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:47 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 16):
a good strong wash may be all that's needed to make it presentable.

A fresh coat of paint wouldn't hurt either.

Have not been inside the MoF for quite a few years, last time I was there the air park didn't even exist in its current form. Can you still go inside the old Air Force One ( the 707)? I do need to get back there, seems like I just go there to hang out in the parking lot when there's some unique spotting opportunities at BFI.
 
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DL_Mech
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:56 am

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 4):
Hopefully, someone with deep pockets will save this bird before it rots away.

If you want to see an airliner rotting away, take a trip to Memphis and visit N880EP. Feel free to poke a hole in the fuselage corrosion with your finger.
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.

Former AMT on A220,A310,A319/20/21,A330,A350,B707,B717,B727,B737,B747,B757,B767,B777,DC-9,DC-10,L-1011,
MD-80/90,MD-11
 
B777ER
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:45 am

I was there in July of this year. The 747, Concorde, AA 727 and the Nasa 737 are all in not the best of shape. The former 707 used as AF1 is in pretty good shape. Yes the 747 has mildew growing all over it...terrible to have to show someone who has never been up close to an aircraft such as that this one...first impressions and all. Even the paint on the BA Concorde looks like it is fading and weathering pretty bad. The whole lot looks like it is turning into an aircraft graveyard lone forgotten.
 
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kanban
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:49 am

I think some of the funds got reallocated to the space building and the shuttle simulator... once that is back together, they'll start work on the commercial wing..

Note RA001 was pretty much butchered during the years as a test bed.. then patched up for the next test mission.. a fresh from the desert 747-100/-200 would be in much better shape and easier to convert to a walk through.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:49 am

Quoting ER757 (Reply 21):
Can you still go inside the old Air Force One ( the 707)?

Yes you can.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:23 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 20):
How? Nobody is ever going to purchase a commercial airliner because RA001 looks better.

Why does Boeing advertise? No airline is going to buy a plane based on an ad. It's not about sales, it's about PR...and Boeing surely cares about that since they do so much of it. A coat of paint would go a long way to sprucing the old girl up. It's not going to fly so it doesn't have to be perfect, nothing needs to be balanced, can be done outside and it doesn't even have to be done in one go.

The word 'icon' gets tossed around a lot but this surely is one.
What the...?
 
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ssteve
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:45 am

^ With all the news of VIP 747-8i's, I've wondered if the image still counts for something.
 
cargolex
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:05 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Once that is built, then they can at least refresh the outside of the plane (along with the NASA 737) and hopefully restore the AA 727 so you can go inside her.

You could go inside it now if they'd keep it open. I was on it last month and it's as clean inside as the day it left revenue service. It was only open for a month this summer, for the first time in many ages. Unlike the Concorde and the 707, there's nothing in it to keep the public from abusing the interior if it's opened, which may explain why it has been shuttered all this time. A docent is required to be there when it's open to protect the plane.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 1):
Yes the airplane is a bit of a mess. It's got various moss and mildew growing on its outside and inside it is just a mess

It's not that bad inside except for the upper deck lounge. Remember it never had an interior, so it was never particularly glamorous in there.

The cockpit seems basically fine, having visited it recently:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © A. Kwanten



The main deck does not seem to have particularly deteriorated over the years.

Outside is a different story. It definitely needs some attention - but I personally believe that the MoF is doing what it can with what it has.
 
canoecarrier
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:04 am

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 1):
The Museum of Flight has put more money into maintaining the Concorde because BA had requirements for the condition of that airplane forced upon the museum as a part of the lease that the museum signed.

I'm over there probably every other weekend with my kiddo. The airpark has what: a AF1, 727, 737, 747, Concorde and a Connie. I've been in all but the 727 and 737. All have been open this year, but I've been in other models of the 727 and 737 before so I didn't go. It would be a big endeavor to put all that under one roof. That doesn't include the B-17F, B-29 and all the other aircraft they have stored outside including a Harrier and a F-14.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
And is the Museum of Flight getting a B-1? - http://seattletimes.com/html/localne...omberfreeway.html?prmid=obinsource

I don't think that's headed to the MoF. I think that's a Boeing project.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 7):
They had each aircraft opened up for a few weeks each this summer for tours. I missed the 747 tour by a week. Would be nice to see that all enclosed and preserved properly.

If anyone is interested in touring RA001, it will be open next Saturday from 10-2 for MoF members on a first come first served basis. I plan on going with the kiddo again and taking some pictures. It doesn't happen often. When they did it earlier this summer it was the first time since 2010.

Quoting Humanitarian (Reply 15):
I cannot understand why Boeing has allowed this to happen and has not contributed to its restoration. They donated $5 million to the USAF for their museum. This is shameful for such an important aircraft in the history of aviation.

Boeing has made a lot of planes over the years. Admittedly not all as famous as the 747 but its not uncommon for them to offer them up to be put in a museum and the museum not having the funds to actually take care of the airplane.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 16):
Since the plane doesn't need to be airworthy, the condition it is in may not be critical.

You probably have gone through the MoF a few times like I have. I really don't see any reason the plane needs to be airworthy. I always ask myself when I tour the WW2 or WW1 area if those planes even could fly if they wanted them too. Most are static displays or hanging from the ceiling. The biggest thing the museum is probably facing is getting them out of the elements with a roof. Even that's not cheep. Look at the plastic wrapped B-29 outside the building, that could be there for years.
The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
airtechy
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:16 am

When was the last time RA001 actually flew?

Jim
 
canoecarrier
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:22 am

Quoting airtechy (Reply 30):
When was the last time RA001 actually flew?

Read the article.
The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
neutronstar73
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:21 am

I remember whe nthis bird was stored at ome for the longest time when I was a kid (Las Vegas). My dad took me to see it and told me all about its history. I was actually kinda sad when they flew it out of McCarran to send it back to Seattle. But I thought that is where it actually belongs. Sad to hear that Boeing isn't taking care of her these days.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:15 pm

Quoting neutronstar73 (Reply 32):
Sad to hear that Boeing isn't taking care of her these days.

Argh. I, like everyone else, would love to see RA001 fully restored, shiny clean, and tourable. But is it *not* up to Boeing to take care of her. She belongs to the MoF. I'm sure Boeing can apply pressure, provide funding, send people, send parts, etc. but it is not Boeing's airplane anymore. Even if they retained some legal ownership or control, it's not flyable and it's across an active road from the airport in a MoF airpark...Boeing can only do what the MoF wants to do.

Tom.
 
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jetjack74
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:45 pm

Quoting airtechy (Reply 30):
When was the last time RA001 actually flew?

1993
Made from jets!
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:11 pm

One would think that if a museum goes through all the efforts to acquire an aircraft of this type they would take better care of it.
I last saw this aircraft in 2004 and it was quite well worn looking.

If the Air & Space museum can take care of their aircraft, so can this museum. Just budget for it.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:49 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 33):

I think most get that it's not Boeing property or responsibility anymore but it is probably the only outfit with pockets deep enough to get the job done.
What the...?
 
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gunsontheroof
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:24 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 12):
The 747 should not be exposed to all the humidity, its should be at the Smithsonian at Dulles International Airport inside climate controlled eviroment.

As has already been pointed out, Seattle isn't really humid at all--it just rains a lot. Humidity freaks us natives out...you'll know who we are when we step onto a jetway in DCA, ATL, etc. and become visibly uncomfortable  
Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 17):
Boeing really should step up to the plate. This baby should mean more to the company than anybody else.

Again, already noted, but this isn't Boeing's responsibility However, I suspect they're well aware of the condition of RA001 and keen to assist in its restoration when the time comes. They also know more than we do and probably don't view its current state as something that can't be taken care of in fairly short order.

Quoting cargolex (Reply 28):
The cockpit seems basically fine, having visited it recently:

That's pretty cool, I'm going to have to keep my eyes open for visiting opportunities...maybe I'll finally sign up for a membership at MOF.

Quoting airtechy (Reply 30):
When was the last time RA001 actually flew?

1993 according to the article and users around here, though I could swear I remember seeing her airborne in 1994 or 1995...I remember the 777 test program well and recall seeing RA001 cruising around pretty frequently.
Picked a hell of a week to quit sniffing glue.
 
canoecarrier
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:43 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 35):
One would think that if a museum goes through all the efforts to acquire an aircraft of this type they would take better care of it.
I last saw this aircraft in 2004 and it was quite well worn looking.

If the Air & Space museum can take care of their aircraft, so can this museum. Just budget for it.

They just spent quite a load of money building an enclosed space for the Shuttle trainer. I don't think they have deep pockets right now.
The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
humanitarian
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:05 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 33):
I'm sure Boeing can apply pressure, provide funding, send people, send parts, etc

That would be an excellent solution. I am sure the MoF would appreciate Boeing's money and support.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Seattle Times: RA001 "languishes"

Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:59 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 35):
If the Air & Space museum can take care of their aircraft, so can this museum. Just budget for it.

The Air & Space museum has the funding of the entire US federal government behind it. The MoF has...MoF ticket sales, and donors. It's kumquats to watermelons.

Tom.

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