On Aug. 7, 1955, Boeing’s chief of flight testing, the legendary Alvin “Tex” Johnston, pulled an impressive stunt in the prototype of the Boeing 707.
Johnston didn’t just do a flyover. No. At a speed of 490 miles an hour, Johnston executed a barrel roll.
The stunt, called a Barrel Roll, was performed in front of a crowd of 250,000 spectators attending the Gold Cup hydro races which included many airline executives from around the world (who were in Seattle for an annual meeting) in attendance.
When asked what he thought he thought he was doing Johnston answered, “Selling Airplanes”.