Addison Pemberton and the crew at Felts Field in Spokane, Washington flew the Boeing Model 40C restoration for the first time on Sunday February 17th. His son Ryan took the air-to-air photos. Addison had this to say about the flight:

Will host a test flight in a few weeks on a weekend for all who are interested in seeing the airplane fly. Because of unknowns and safety we kept ride one quiet and as professional as possible. We were very focused as you can imagine. Thank all of you for your understanding. As you will see below we have some very pleasant surprises.

The airplane is very pleasant to fly and the only squawk on the 20 min test flight yesterday was having to hold 3-5 lbs of right rudder in cruise which can be fixed easily with designed-in fin adjustment.

The test flight this week end went perfect with my sons Jay and Ryan flying chase in our C-185 (Spot) loaded with video and camera. As you can see from the pictures I was able to fly the airplane hands free with in a few minutes of flight. The trim provides 3 degrees up and 3 degrees of down stabilizer as shown in the pictures with the blue tape on the side of the fuse for the chase plane. In all flight configurations I never used more than 1 1/2 degree of trim change including slow flight at 55MPH. Cruise was dead center with the 29% MAC CG. After the flight yesterday I believe the airplane has a much wider CG envelope than first thought. The airplane is very controllable and pleasant with excellent ground handling, good elevator, and very good rudder control and heavy but effective ailerons with a disproportionate amount of rudder needed for more than 50% travel. The visibility is very poor but not difficult. The overwhelming surprise is stability! "Like a rock"

A lowered wing 10 degrees will right it self in 10 seconds with out pilot input. A depressed rudder will center almost instantly when released.

Speeds were much higher that we imagined. I had to really work to keep the airplane less than 110 MPH which was our safety limit for ride 1. I had to really pull the power back. I am sure we have a 125 MPH flying machine here. Even with zero incidence the airplane flies tail high even at low power settings in cruise.

I had the feeling that I could have crawled out of the cockpit and walked around the wings for a while if I had wanted to then return to the cockpit when it was time to land!

Landing is very pleasant final at 80, 70 over the fence and hold 3 degrees nose high and the big 36" dia wheels and soft 11" travel oleo gear make a transport touch down in the 50's almost imperceptible.

Visit to see video of the first flight.

  • 1928 Boeing 40C
  • Cruise 120 MPH
  • Gross weight 6075 lbs
  • 4 passengers in cabin comfort with open cockpit pilot
  • This is the oldest operational / flying Boeing aircraft in the world
  • This is the only airworthy Boeing 40 in the world
  • Aircraft was restored by Pemberton and Sons Aviation family with volunteers over an 8 year period.
  • Airplane was salvaged from a mountain top after sitting for 70 years.

Addison Pemberton, Pemberton and Sons Aviation
We Fly the Old Stuff
Spokane, Washington