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December 5, 2023
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August 19th is National Aviation Day, proclaimed initially in 1939 by President Franklin Roosevelt and coinciding with the birthday of Orville Wright, who was the first to pilot the Wright Flyer. He and his brother Wilbur are given credit for building the world’s first successful airplane with aircraft controls that enabled them to steer the plane.

So on a historic day, let’s examine a historic feat from 60 years ago this month.

Boeing test pilot Tex Johnson, in 1955 made a barrel roll with the Boeing 367-80 prototype that became the legendary Boeing 707. For those who may be unfamiliar with this piece of aviation history, the following video has historic footage and an interview with the famous test pilot.

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1 thought on “The 60th Anniversary of the 707 Barrel Roll

  1. FWIW- Tex did not die with his boots on by doing dumb things. Many believe that that was the first and only time he rolled the dash -80 ( 707prototype ). Long ago some very knowledgeable people in flight test had reason to believe it was not the first time.

    And tex was claimed at one time to have mentioned that there was not a plane he had flown during testing that he had not rolled . ( no way to verify that ) But consider if you will that he did play a significant role in the b-52 program.

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