N747PA Clipper Juan T. Trippe

747_juan_trippe

Heartbreaking, if one knows the history of widebody aircraft in the middle Jet Age.

This is the second Boeing 747-100 ever built, originally delivered to Pan American Airways in 1970, named after company chairman (and catalyst for the creation of this very jet) Juan T. Trippe.  Now N747PA is a rusting, abandoned hulk, stripped of its aviation innards after a brief career as an ailing restaurant in Seoul, South Korea.  Many more pics—including the interior—at Dark Roasted Blend.

Thankfully its older sister (N7470) is in much better shape, preserved at Boeing Field’s Museum of Flight.  Of course it’s not practical to save them all, and in most cases an airframe used is better than an airframe baking in storage in the Arizona desert… But it’s still unfortunate that the jet named for the guy who asked Boeing to create it will end up recycled, carved into itty bitty pieces, and then smelted into something with no hint of its former pioneering life.

If money were no object, I’d buy it, restore it, re-engine it with more efficient turbofans, install a 747-400-style glass cockpit, and probably repaint it in its former Pan Am livery.  And then go about refitting it for my very own Airborne Laser.  Well, it’s a good thing I’m not going to have a few billion dollars to spare for a while.

(Via Boing Boing.)

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