The Heavily Modified B707 N404PA will be transferred to the scrap yard next month.
On Sept. 15, 2020, the Boeing 707-321B carrying civil registration N404PA, recently renamed “Sashambre” (previously, “Hannah” and “Paul Revere”), flew its final data collection mission. The following day, on Sept. 16, the aircraft flew its last training flight. It will be prepared and then it will fly to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base to be retired at the “scrapyard”.
As we have reported just a few days ago:
N404PA is an experimental aircraft owned by the Air Force Systems Command and operated by a joint venture between the Air Force’s 350th Electronic Systems Wing and M.I.T.’s Lincoln Labs. It flew with Pan Am for many years since 1965 before being purchased by the Air Force. Based at Hanscom Air Force Base, Bedford, Massachusetts, “Sashambre” is one of the seven aircraft aircraft that research teams at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Labs Flight Test Facility’s staff can employ to test their prototype airborne systems: in fact, MIT researchers routinely schedule flight time with aircraft that range from the light C-152 to the heavy B707 “to evaluate new antennas, imagers for air surveillance, aircraft collision-avoidance tools, and long-range RF and laser communication systems,” as well as for for data collection missions.
Under the radio callsign “Research 4 Papa Alpha”, the B707 is used for testing airborne battle management, command, control and communication technology and concepts. The airframe has constantly been modified to accommodate new on-board sensors and equipment so much so the shape of the of the 55-year old Boeing 707, with a bunch of “bulks” and “humps” is pretty unique, and interesting.
The Lincoln Labs announced the final mission on their social media channels:
On 9-15-20, the LL Flight Test Facility flew aircraft N404PA Boeing 707 on its final data collection mission in its long history of service to the Lab & the nation. The aircraft will enter into “disposition status” in preparation for final transfer to Davis-Monthan AFB in Oct. pic.twitter.com/CJokihbaEY
— Lincoln Laboratory (@MITLL) September 17, 2020
To read more about this legendary aircraft, read the post we published here.
H/T Misael Oscar for the heads up.