Boeing B-1: The seaplane mail runner at MOHAI

The MOHAI museum in Seattle, Washington has a very rare piece of aviation history hanging from its ceiling. The wooden Boeing B-1 seaplane on display (built in Seattle in 1919) was the only one ever built, yet it had a very successful and long career.

Boeing B-1 Seaplane at MOHAI Seattle Washington USA
Boeing B-1 Seaplane
Boeing B-1 Seaplane MOHAI Seattle
The museum has great viewpoints to take in the B-1

Boeing designed and built their first aircraft in 1916 (the B&W Seaplane) and by 1919 they had really started to hit their straps in aircraft design. The B-1 first flew on December 27th, 1919 and for 8 years, pilot Eddie Hubbard ran the mail from Seattle up to Victoria, British Columbia in Canada using the B-1 on what became the first regular international airmail route. The airframe outlived 6 engines and covered 563,270 kilometres / 350,000 miles in that 8 years! Pretty impressive for a relatively small all wooden biplane!

Eddie Hubbard with the Boeing B-1 on Lake Union in Seattle
Eddie Hubbard with the Boeing B-1 on Lake Union in Seattle circa 1925 (photo source: MOHAI)

The B-1 mail flights would depart from Lake Union which is just happens to be the lake right next to the new MOHAI museum that relocated there into an old armoury building in late 2012. The B-1 has been beautifully restored and I think it is fantastic that a great piece of aviation history has remained in Seattle and over 90 years later can reside right next to its former base of operations.

Boeing B-1 Seaplane MOHAI Seattle
The B-1 had neat lines – a nice looking biplane
Boeing B-1 Seaplane MOHAI Seattle
Room for a pilot and 2 passengers along with mail and cargo
Boeing B-1 Seaplane MOHAI Seattle
The B-1 is a classic all wooden design
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s