February is a big month for first flights at the Boeing Co. The aircraft maker, 41 years ago today, first flew its iconic Boeing 747 jumbo jet, whose legend rests among the biggest rock stars of commercial airlplanes. (Hat tip to Avtips, which earlier today tweeted the YouTube video embedded above.)
Today also marks a year and a day since Boeing first flew its 747-8, helping mark the 40th anniversary of the original 7-4.
(Read more on why Boeing dubbed its commercial jets with 7_7 model IDs.)
Still, we can go even further back in history to find dozens of first flights and other notable moments in aviation history that occurred at Boeing in February. The list below comes from the log book history on the company’s web site. Let us know in the comments which is your favorite Boeing moment.
Feb. 24: The first wholly Douglas-designed, Douglas-built aircraft, The Cloudster, makes its first flight. It is the first airplane to lift a useful load exceeding its own weight.
Feb. 1: The last Boeing biplane designed and built in Seattle, the Model 236 (XF6B-1), based on the F4B/P-12 series, makes its first flight.
Feb. 20: The Douglas DC-5 makes its first flight. Only 12 are built, five as commercial DC-5 transports and seven as R3D military transports.
Feb. 14: The Douglas C-54 Skymaster makes its first flight. Designed as the DC-4, it is adapted for military use. During the war Skymasters complete 79,632 transoceanic flights with only three ditchings, one of which was a test.
Feb. 26: The luxurious Boeing Stratoliners are stripped of their civilian finery and pressed into military service as C-75s. The first flights carry antitank ammunition and medical supplies to British forces in Libya.
Feb. 15: The military prototype of the Douglas DC-6, the YC-122, makes its first flight.
Feb. 18: The first North American AJ-2 Savage bomber flies.
Feb. 28: The first Douglas Thor-Agena rocket launches Discoverer 1, the first photo reconnaissance satellite and the first satellite to enter polar orbit.
Feb. 20: In the first orbital flight of a McDonnell-built Mercury spacecraft, John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth.
Feb. 27: The first flight of Hughes OH-6A Cayuse light observation helicopter
Feb. 25: The Douglas DC-9 twinjet airliner makes its first flight.
February: The first Boeing AWACS plane, a modified 707-320B, makes its first flight.
Feb. 19: The Boeing 757-200 makes its first flight.
Feb. 19: The Boeing E-6A TACAMO prototype flies for the first time.
Feb. 14: The first McDonnell Douglas Delta II rocket launches the Navstar II-1 global positioning satellite, designed by Rockwell.
Feb. 22: The McDonnell Douglas MD-90 commercial transport makes its first flight.
Feb. 9: The first Next-Generation Boeing 737, a 737-700, makes its first flight.
Feb. 15: The 757 Special Freighter makes its first flight.
Feb. 24: The 777-300ER completes its first flight.
Feb. 14: Two Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) Boeing X-45As perform their first simulated combat mission, eliminating two simulated pop-up ground threats.
Feb. 15: The first 777-200LR Worldliner, the world's longest range commercial airplane is rolled out in Everett, Wash. It can carry 301 passengers up to 9,420 nautical miles.
Feb. 24: Boeing officials and Italian Air Force customers roll out the first KC-767A advanced aerial refueling tanker in Wichita.
Feb. 24: Boeing, Virgin Atlantic and GE Aviation conduct the first commercial aviation flight using a sustainable biomass-to-liquid fuel mixed with traditional kerosene-based jet fuel. The fuel blend includes oils from Babassu nuts extracted from indigenous Brazilian plants, and coconuts from the Philippines.