the Boeing Model 80
Peter M. Bowers,
Red Barn Publications, Seattle, 1984
$1.00 at the Museum Of flight Book Store
Seattle’s Museum Of Flight,
apparently printed too many copies of this book back in 1984 and is now
selling them for only $1.00. That’s a helluva bargain for any book
by the late Pete Bowers.
The book presents, inter alia, a complete history of each of the 16
Model 80s built by Boeing in 1928-30. All but one of these was sold to
Boeing Air Transport/United Air Lines; the odd one being sold to Standard
Oil Company of California as a beautifully appointed, flamboyantly painted
executive transport. The main thread of the text, however, tells the history
of c/n 1082, NC224M from its delivery to Boeing Air Transport to its installation
in the Museum Of Flight’s collection. BAT took delivery of the plane
on September 19, 1929 and, following five years of storage in Wyoming,
sold it on to barnstormers Monterey Peninsula Airways in August 1939.
MPA sold it to broker Charlie Babb in March 1941. He sold it to Bob Reeve
as agent for the Morrison-Knudson Construction Company to be operated
as a freighter hauling supplies, tools, equipment and people to build
an airfield at Northway, Alaska.
In 1946, when its work was finished, M-K gave the plane to Bob Reeve.
As he had no further use for it then in his fleet of war-surplus C-47s,
he parted it out, hauled it to the Anchorage dump and abandoned it. There
it sat rotting until 1960 when Anchorage Times photographer Harris Darby
acquired it from the city. Darby sold it to Jack Lefler of Seattle in
March 1963. With help from Boeing, the Boeing Management Association,
the Washington State Historical Society and the Washington State Historical
Museum the USAF was persuaded to move the plane from Anchorage to Seattle
aboard a couple of C-124s as a “training exercise”. It arrived
at Boeing Field in February 1964.
manage the restoration of this plane the Pacific Northwest Aviation Historical
Foundation was formed and restoration began with help from the Boeing
Management Association and individual enthusiasts. After too many moves
and many delaying problems the restoration of NC224M was completed and
delivered to the PNAHF on October 21, 1981 for safe storage. The PNAHF
segued into the Museum Of Flight Foundation and when the museum opened
July 11, 1987 NC224M occupied pride of place in the Great Gallery (see
photo herewith taken on opening day).
Not only is this book an invaluable reference it is also a darned good
has been a lot of discussion on the Wings
Of Peace internet discussion group, lately about the Boeing Model
80A upon Broplan’s release of a 1/72 vac kit with injection molded
detail. The kit is currently available from Hannants
in London and from the Aviation
Mega Store in Schipol. Here’s a picture of the model as built
from the kit.
Buy the book; build the model.