60 years ago: The famous Boeing 707 prototype barrel roll over Lake Washington

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by bunk22, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. Rizzo

    Rizzo Garbage Day!

    Messages:
    9,340
    Likes Received:
    12,455
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Location:
    Adrift in my world of enemies
    It's pretty cool to see what large planes can do without cargo (in this case, people.)

    This brings to mind the book Aphrodite: Desperate Mission (excellent book, btw.) It tells the story of the Allies' attempt in WW2 to take war-weary B-17's, stuff them to the gunwales with high explosives, and fly them via remote-control into German targets; mostly V2 rocket sites in France, if I remember right.

    Anyway, to make room for all the explosives, they'd strip these planes down of everything unessential- armor, guns, seats, gun turrets, radio/navigation equipment, etc- until it was just a flying fuselage and four engines. The pilots that test-flew the stripped down B-17's stated that it was like flying a completely different aircraft: light, nimble, fast, able to do barrel rolls and such... according to them, it was almost like flying a four-engined fighter. They actually were having a lot of fun hot-dogging them around and doing tricks until they had to get them ready for the mission.
     

  2. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01

    Messages:
    5,210
    Likes Received:
    6,738
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Amazing the difference some weight reduction will make.

    Even in my little 180HP 4 seater, with no one in the seats but me and 2/3 of the fuel missing, the climb rate increase is quite noticeable. Even better if its cold out:)

    Watched the A350 XWB do a demo at Oshkosh. I presume it was fairly empty. Performance looked "spirited", haha.
     
  3. G19Tony

    G19Tony Sneet CLM

    Messages:
    15,169
    Likes Received:
    31,543
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    That probably sold a few planes. It was a good time to be a pilot.
     
  4. aircarver

    aircarver Descent Terminated Silver Member

    Messages:
    33,294
    Likes Received:
    14,483
    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Location:
    Ft. Worth, Republic of Texas
  5. Caver 60

    Caver 60

    Messages:
    10,422
    Likes Received:
    13,056
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest
    Good read. Interesting video.

    I've heard stories of a guy who barrel rolled a B-52 trying to get away from a SAM over Hanoi. Don't know if it's true or not?
     
  6. CarryTexas

    CarryTexas

    Messages:
    3,375
    Likes Received:
    2,432
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2002
    Location:
    East Texas
    There were a couple of pilots that barrel rolled a MD80 while on a maintenance hop. Later the data recorder was analyzed which revealed the maneuver.

    The pilots were fired.
     
  7. CarryTexas

    CarryTexas

    Messages:
    3,375
    Likes Received:
    2,432
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2002
    Location:
    East Texas
    Probably not, a barrel roll would do nothing to help the situation. One thing they did do, was roll the wings vertical to allow the plane to drop without over stressing the airframe.

    I've been on a commercial airliner when they did a somewhat less aggressive version of this to avoid another plane. The pucker factor was high...
     
  8. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    56,247
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Location:
    Florida
    " You know that. Now we know that. Just don't do it anymore". :rofl:

    wp
     
  9. aircarver

    aircarver Descent Terminated Silver Member

    Messages:
    33,294
    Likes Received:
    14,483
    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Location:
    Ft. Worth, Republic of Texas
    Like Tony said: It sold more than a few airplanes ..... :supergrin:
     
  10. plp

    plp

    Messages:
    16,853
    Likes Received:
    23,489
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Location:
    Redneck Riveria
    The engineer in me hears his rational, logical explanation of the maneuver and why it was safe to perform in that aircraft. The marketer in me sees the advantage in a demo that shows a commercial jet doing a fighter jet stunt and the major advantages in technobabble it will generate. Win, win, and a smart choice, both in performance and not notifying head office what you were going to do.
     
  11. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    56,247
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Location:
    Florida
    Better to beg forgiveness than ask for permission.

    wp
     
  12. Ragin Cajun

    Ragin Cajun

    Messages:
    645
    Likes Received:
    355
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2000
    Location:
    Upstate South Carolina
    MY #1 RULE IN BUSINESS.

    RC
     
  13. GVIFlyer

    GVIFlyer Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,495
    Likes Received:
    11,883
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    Somewhere in the air.
    Sum fun. The Gulfstream rolled well when Allen Paulson owned the company, not very well when Forstmann Little took over the place and not at all now that General Dynamics owns the company. Can you say immediate termination?
     
  14. Caver 60

    Caver 60

    Messages:
    10,422
    Likes Received:
    13,056
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest
    There's no doubt that Tex Johnson did it. But a quick search produced this:

    http://archive.airforcetimes.com/ar...90310/B-52-bomber-marks-major-milestones-2012

    About half way down the article was this comment:

    "A Boeing sibling of the B-52, the "Dash 80" prototype of the 707 airliner, was put through a barrel roll over an awed crowd by its test pilot, the late Alvin M. "Tex" Johnson, who also flew the first B-52 on April 15, 1952. There's no proof a B-52 has ever done a barrel roll, but Cole said he heard that one of the bombers made this spectacular maneuver over Hanoi while evading a missile during the costly "Linebacker II" missions in December 1972."

    I'm not the only one to have heard about it.

    You've got to remember, that first of all in those days, the B-52 defensive maneuver against a SAM was pretty puny.

    Also they pretty much had ECM superiority with support from other ECM planes during the Christmas bombings. So the NVA were pretty much shooting blind.

    They weren't dummies. When the first load of bombs from a B-52 hit, they knew there would be a second cell along and about when. So they just shot everything they could come up with, up in the air and hoped to hit something.

    Unless they had a heat seeking lock-on, the missiles just flew by unless it had a proximity fuse or some other means of detonation.

    But the story I heard many times was this BUFF pilot thought a SAM was after his you know what. So he did a barrel roll, and brought it back to safely land it.

    The Sam might not have even been after him? But supposedly he did it. He wasn't quite as good as Tex from what I heard, since the plane sustained some damage from the maneuver.

    But I started hearing these stories right after the Christmas bombings, and they were relayed as true.

    I have no way to verify any of it. Just hearsay. But there is the old adage about smoke and fire. Personally I believe it. It might not have shook the SAM, but apparently the guy did the maneuver.

    I flew, as a pilot, over 300 B-52 bombing missions over there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
    Pope-onna-Rope likes this.
  15. Paul53

    Paul53 You local friendly Skynet dealer

    Messages:
    13,550
    Likes Received:
    20,440
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Location:
    ME, TX, NM.
    The 707 barrel roll is incredibly impressive, but 2 details in the write up bother me. Doing the roll at just shy of 500mph? I'm sure a much lower speed would be used for airframe stress. When was the 250 knot below 10,000 feet rule written?
    The picture of the inverted wing and engine was taken by somebody kneeling. Kneeling inverted? The roll itself is sufficient. I'm guessing these are embellishments, or somebody edumacate me please. (I understand it was a "1G" maneuver," and airframes will take much more +/- G's).

    Any ATP's here?
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
  16. Pwhfirefighter

    Pwhfirefighter

    Messages:
    1,637
    Likes Received:
    1,540
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Boeing knows how to build 'em. The Dash 80's decendents are still boring holes in the sky. Our newest model is a '62.
     
  17. Cubdriver

    Cubdriver

    Messages:
    6,956
    Likes Received:
    13,011
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Location:
    Southeastern Litchfield County, CT
    Done correctly (the 'correctly' part being important here), a barrel roll shouldn't over stress any modern airframe, and is also a positive g maneuver.

    -Pat
     
    Paul53 likes this.
  18. Caver 60

    Caver 60

    Messages:
    10,422
    Likes Received:
    13,056
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest
    I'm not a ATP, but a 'one G manueuver', in cordinated flight, means the whole thing was just like you were sitting in an airliner seat flying straight and level, and felt nothing other than seeing the sky going around and perhaps a little roll movement to one side.

    If you had a glass of water sitting on your seat table, it probably would have stayed there. Tex was one heck of a pilot.

    ETA the 250 knot rule was much later.
     
  19. aircarver

    aircarver Descent Terminated Silver Member

    Messages:
    33,294
    Likes Received:
    14,483
    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Location:
    Ft. Worth, Republic of Texas
    Bob Hoover routinely demoed this in his Shrike, pouring the water and flying with his other hand ... :wow:
    It's on Youtube somewhere ...
     
    Paul53 likes this.