Aero-TV: Dream of the Boeing 40C - Addison Pembertons 26-Year Quest
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Uploaded on Oct 1, 2009
Addison Pemberton is no stranger to rare aviation restorations. Having learned to fly at the age of 15, Pemberton spent most of his adolescent years surrounded by exceptional antique aircraft including Howards, Travel Airs, Wacos, and Stearmans. It was, however, one particular vintage aircraft that captured his fascination over the years, the Boeing 40. As a child, Pemberton heard stories of his fathers own adolescent aviation experiences, listening to the Boeing 40s flying over the familys Iowa farm. Situated underneath the transcontinental mail route of the 1920s and 1930s, the farm had a front-row seat to the development of Boeings commercial success.
The dream of completing a Boeing 40 restoration never left Pembertons mind; however, after years of searching for a viable project, known were found. Only 82 Boeing 40 models were built, and of those, most had either been scrapped or crashed. Only two remained in existence, both museum displays and neither of which able to fly. The only other source was one of local legend, a Pacific 23 mail transport that crashed into the side of Canyon Mountain on October 2, 1928; after nearly 70 years, however, the crash site had long been forgotten.
Finally, in 1993, Ron Bartley, resident geologist for the Oregon Aviation Historical Society, uncovered the site location. Bartley, along with other society volunteers, tediously hauled the more than 200 parts and pieces down from the mountainside in the hopes of restoration. After the project was sold to Pemberton, he and 61 volunteers spent more than 18,000 meticulous hours, spanning over nine years, bringing the Boeing 40C back to its original glory. The aircraft is now the only flying example of Boeings first commercial airplane and crucial key to the companys long-term success.
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