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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Karl Martinez Dash-80 Barrel Roll Film

 Collection — Box: Film Box 1, Reel: 1
Identifier: 1993-05-29
The Karl Martinez Dash-80 Film consists of one home movie-style film of Boeing Company test pilot Alvin “Tex” Johnston performing a barrel roll of the Boeing 367-80, a prototype of the Boeing 707, over the 1955 Seafair Gold Cup Hydroplane races.

The footage begins with scenes of hydroplanes and boats on Lake Washington, spectators on boats, and a U.S. Navy airship with the text "Join the U.S. Naval Air Reserve / Be a Naval Aviation Cadet" on its gasbag. The barrel roll footage begins at 00:01:57, showing the Dash 80 in flight over the crowd, then performing the roll.

The footage is in color and is silent. It is about three minutes long.


  • 1955 August 6


Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The film in this collection may not be handled, but a digital surrogate is available on our The Museum of Flight Digital Collections. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


0.1 Cubic Feet (1 film reel)

Biographical Note: Tex Johnston

Alvin M. “Tex” Johnston was a jet age test pilot. He was born in 1914 in Admire, Kansas to Alva and Ella Johnston. In 1932, Johnston graduated from Emporia High School and went on to enroll in the airplane mechanic program at the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

During World War II Johnston signed on to the U.S. Army Air Corps Ferry Command, before taking a position as a production test pilot at Bell Aircraft.

In 1948, Johnston moved on to another test pilot position at The Boeing Company. He participated in test flights for the XB-47 Stratojet; YB- and XB-52 Stratofortress; and the 367-80, in which he famously executed a barrel roll during the plane’s public debut at the 1955 Seafair hydroplane race.

In 1935 Johnston married DeLores Honea. Johnston died in 1998 in Mount Vernon, Washington.

  • "Johnston, Alvin "Tex" (1914-1998)." by John Caldbick, May 6, 2020. History Link.
  • "Alvin M. Johnston". Wikipedia, March 4, 2021.
Historical Note: Dash-80 Barrel Roll The Dash-80 Barrel Roll was an aerial stunt executed by Alvin “Tex” Johnston during the Seafair Gold Cup hydroplane race on August 6, 1955. Johnston, while flying over Lake Washington in the prototype 367-80 (precursor to the modern 707). He surprised crowds by pulling off two barrel rolls in the jet over the lake.

Historical note derived from

Existence and Location of Copies

Materials from this collection have been digitized and are available at The Museum of Flight Digital Collections.
Guide to the Karl Martinez Dash-80 Barrel Roll Film
Completed - Level 2
A. Matthews
Description rules
Language of description
Processing, cataloging, and digitization of the film in this collection was made possible by a Council on Libraries and Information Resources (CLIR) "Recordings at Risk" grant.
Edition statement
1st edition

Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
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