6 August 1955

Looking out across the right wing of the Boeing 367–80, inverted, at the city of Seattle, 6 August 1955. (Bill Whitehead/Boeing)

6 August 1955: Boeing’s Chief of Flight Test, Alvin M. “Tex” Johnston, barrel-rolled the Model 367-80, prototype of the KC-135 Stratotanker and 707 Stratoliner, over Lake Washington.


This photograph was taken by the flight test engineer, Bill Whitehead.

© 2015, Bryan R. Swopes

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About Bryan Swopes

Bryan R. Swopes grew up in Southern California in the 1950s–60s, near the center of America's aerospace industry. He has had a life-long interest in aviation and space flight. Bryan is a retired commercial helicopter pilot and flight instructor.

5 thoughts on “6 August 1955

  1. Tex was a calm, cool guy. He knew exactly what he was doing when he did the Barrel Rolls. Tex was one of my childhood heroes, I met him when I was 6 years old and living in Willow Springs, California with my family in the Bell Aircraft XS-1 community. I kept up with all his exploits during his lifetime.

  2. And just think that in 3 years it will be 75 years since that event that launched the “Jet Age” and the KC135 will still be in service!….and with the problems they are having with the new tanker based on a 767 platform don’t look for the KC135 to be retired soon and could be flying 80+ years since this momentous day!

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