The Mellowcat and Resident Expert returned from Washington, DC last night aboard a Boeing 757 on its last commercial flight. They didn’t tell us about that until we were in the air, but the plane is about 18 years old and the IAD to SFO flight would be the last one with paying passengers aboard. Today it’s to be flown to “the desert” where it will be dismantled. We went out in style; they took off from DC in the midst of a tornado warning, climbing on a nearly vertical trajectory through some giant storm cells. The guy next to me said “he’s climbing like there’s no tomorrow”. Which was in fact true for the plane, although we didn’t know it at the time. The old bird made it up to cruising altitude in one piece, we’re happy to report. They only had two snacks left on the cart at the end of the flight, so that was good planning. When they mentioned that the plane was being retired, I initially thought that 18 years wasn’t a very long life span for a plane. But I suppose it would be like renting a car and being presented with a 1993 Toyota Corrolla. That was a great car in its day, but would have some wear and tear after so many miles. These Boeing jets have generally been very durable workhorses, and the 757 has its own place in history. United flight 93 and the American Airlines flight 77 were both 757’s.