BY ERIC ULIS
On December 30, 2019 I was granted a special tour of one of the original Boeing 727s very similar to the one jumped by DB Cooper. The jet is mothballed at Tucson, Arizona and hadn't been opened for several years.
The airliner was registered as N7004U. It was the fifth 727 to roll off the assembly line and the first 727 delivered to a customer--United Airlines on October 29, 1963. Its first commercial flight was March 28, 1964. The jet was retired by United Airlines in 1991.
Below are several pictures I took during my visit.
Above is N7004U as it appeared in Tucson, Arizona on December 30, 2019.
Above is the interior of N7004U as it appeared on December 30, 2019. It is the original interior from when the jet was retired in 1991.
Above is the bulkhead door leading to the aft airstairs.
Above is the aft airphone next to the bulkhead door on the port wall.
Above are the airstairs in the up position.
Above is the airstairs' release compartment closed on the starboard wall.
Above is the aft airstairs' release compartment open on the starboard wall.
Above is a cutaway view of the fiberglass paneling that makes up the interior walls and ceiling in the aft airstairs compartment. I believe this is also the same skirting that would be used along the airstairs' railings.
Above is an exterior decal on the port side of the jet pointing to the location of the exterior airstairs' emergency release compartment on the starboard side of the jet. Note the perforated holes in the placard. These perforations are in all of the exterior placards.
Above is an image of the decal and exterior door leading to the airstairs' emergency release compartment on the starboard side of the jet.
Above is a close-up of the starboard side placard denoting the location of the exterior airstairs' emergency release compartment. Again, note the perforation holes in the placard.
Above is the Captain's seat.
Above is the Co-Pilot's seat.
Above is the Flight Engineer's consul.
Above is more cockpit instrumentation.
Above is the view from underneath the tail.
Above is N7004U in its heyday.