737 First Flight

I was walking along the trail that goes through the park next to the airport at Renton taking a look at the stored jets.  There is a bridge across the river that is used by Boeing to move jets from the production areas to the flightline and, as I got close to the bridge, I could see the tractor hooking up to a China Southern 737-800 that had yet to be painted.  They looked like they might bring it across the bridge.  I figured I might linger and see what was up.

Sure enough, they started to pull the jet out and towards the bridge.  I stayed out of the way but the wings of a 737 hang over the trail when they are moving it.  This was not a problem so they were happy for me to stand there as the jet was moved out.  I figured a little iPhone video was in order.

They pulled the jet onto a taxiway and left it there so I figured it might be heading out on a test flight.  With the light now slightly to the other side, I chose to go back to the car and move to the overlook on the west side of the field.  The jet was starting up but they clearly had a few things to run through so I had time.

They taxied to the south threshold which initially disappointed me.  The wind had flight operations in the other direction which would have meant a takeoff towards us and into the light.  Going the other way meant they would be airborne a long way away and heading over the lake.  What I hadn’t figured on was, just like at Everett, they would do a run with an abort first prior to flying.  They carried this out and were then at the north end of the field.

A turnaround at the far end of the field and they were soon lined up.  A floatplane was flying about in the background as they got ready to take off.  Then it was power on and rolling.  There was a lot of crap in the foreground and this was a bit of an obstruction at the point of rotation but I was able to get some good shots as they got airborne and climbed out past us.  The green primer/protective film was glinting in the sun.  The flight will have ended at Boeing Field where I hope everything was trouble free.

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2 Responses to 737 First Flight

  1. Gary Edwards says:

    I used to walk that path and pick blackberries at lunch when working in the 727 Performance Group.

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