Eternal Life

This is a publicity photo for the production start-up of Mercedes 300 SEL (W109) passenger car at the Sindelfingen plant in March 1966. The 300 SEL differs from the SE (W108) by its standard air suspension and a 100 mm longer wheelbase.

The feeling of perfection is further emphasized by Germany’s flagship airline, Lufthansa and the brand new Boeing 727-100 aircraft which was registered recently in June 1964. Lufthansa was the third customer to order and the first in Europe. This specific aircraft (D-ABIH, Wiesbaden) was returned to Boeing in May 1975, with over 24,000 flight hours.

After several changes in ownership and registration the aircaft was acquired by the current owner in November 2007 and had it registered as N665DH in February of 2008. According to the last public photo, the plane was still in operation in 2017. Possibly, that was the last flight of its life to a small airport at Port Alberni in the Vancouver Island interior (British Columbia). Routing was along the east coast of the island at 4000 feet (IFR) then VFR through the mountain pass to destination. Must have been exciting for the crew.

Then, the aircraft had some 36,215 flight hours, and was the oldest operational Boeing 727-100 in the world. Outfitted with long range fuel tanks and new generation radios and electronics, it had true worldwide operational range. The aircraft features a VIP interior with Living Room, Private Bedroom and Bath, complete with shower, a kitchen, and dining area. The aircraft provides an apartment like atmosphere capable of accessing airports around the world.

Boeing built 1,832 Boeing 727 aircraft from 1960 to 1984. This specific one accumulated only a fraction of the total flight hours most Boeing 727’s acquire in their careers. However, its durability and versatility demonstrates why the Boeing 727 is considered one of the most significant aircraft ever designed.