For the past year, Raisbeck Aviation High School’s ACE club members have been dedicating their own time towards restoring a Boeing 727 sitting at Boeing Field. The plane previously belonged to the Museum of Flight but now belongs to the National Airline History Museum (NAHM) in Kansas City, Missouri.
Dr. Richard Edgerton, advisor of ACE Club, was contacted by the Museum of Flight about the possibility of restoring the aircraft and decided to get ACE club involved.
“I got Ace club involved because I thought it would be a good project for the club for community service,” said Edgerton.
Although the plane now belongs to the Airline History Museum in Kansas City, it has to be restored before it can travel to its new owners.
“This aircraft has not flown for over a decade,” said Edgerton, “and for it to go to its home museum, it has to be put into airworthy shape.”
The task of making the plane airworthy is no easy one and requires help from the surrounding community. RAHS junior and ACE Club Treasurer Charles Skinner realizes the daunting task of restoring a plane as big as the Boeing 727.
“ACE Club has been aiding [in restoring the plane] periodically with help from club members and RAHS students,” said Skinner. “The refurbishing consists of removing corrosion, cleaning the aircraft, testing equipment, and much more!”
Members of ACE club have been hard at work giving up time on their weekends to ensure progress is made on the project.
“We’ve spent a lot of hours working on it,” said Edgerton. “We’ve done a very good job at refurbishing the interior, cleaning every single seat, vacuuming the floors, [and] removing the flooring so that we can get down to where there’s corrosion that needs to be repaired.”
ACE club is a service oriented club so this kind of project aligns perfectly with the club’s goals. Skinner acknowledges that the benefits of community service go both ways.
“Our vision is to lend a hand on events related to aviation,” said Skinner. “For example, ACE Club helps out on Alaska Airline’s Aviation Day in May and in return, our members are given exclusive access and time in the Alaska Airlines full-motion simulators.”
Although student involvement and time commitment is a huge factor to the progress ACE club has made, Skinner notes that without Dr. Edgerton’s commitment, their goal would not be possible.
“The B727 project would not have been possible without the National Airline History Museum and Dr. Edgerton,” said Skinner. “With support for tools and supplies from the NAHM, we are able to lend a hand in revitalizing the B727.”
This project will not only help the National Airline History Museum, but it will also help RAHS attract more recognition from the aviation industry, thus further promoting the schools focus on aviation.
“This B727 refurbishment project will indeed help the school, with recognition from the aviation community and from the National Airspace History Museum in Kansas City,” said Skinner. “RAHS’ reputation has been recognized around the nation. This will truly benefit RAHS’ stature.”
Student involvement on the 727 project has greatly helped to get the plane closer to airworthy condition. If it were not for the help of ACE club, it would likely be a long time before the Boeing 727 would be able to return to its home in Kansas City.