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Toughest Commercial Airliner Ever Built  
User currently offlineMrComet From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 520 posts, RR: 8
Posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4777 times:

This is a weird one but its for a friend who is a writer. They wanted to know what commercial airliner had a reputation for being a really tough airplane. From what I gather, they mean what airplane would your really want to be in if you got stuck flying through a hurricane with severe turbulence. What can handle the really vicious loads and still fly. Thanks.


The dude abides
60 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMrComet From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 520 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4772 times:

BTW, I was thinking answering the DC3 but that may be due to all the old Hollywood movies I saw as a youth.


The dude abides
User currently offlineLH526 From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 2352 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4746 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

There once was a B707 over California who got one third (nearly a half) o her starboard wing ripped off and yet made it to the airport, call that tough.

Mario
LH526



Trittst im Morgenrot daher, seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer ...
User currently offlineCchan From New Zealand, joined May 2003, 1759 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4738 times:

I am very impressed with the MD11's performance during turbulance. MD11 will probably get my vote, followed by B767 and B777.

...by the way, the Saab 340 is a dog in turbulance, but it can still fly in very rough weather!


User currently offlineScouseflyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 3380 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4737 times:

Quoting MrComet (Reply 1):
BTW, I was thinking answering the DC3 but that may be due to all the old Hollywood movies I saw as a youth.

There was a story I remember from my youth about a DC3 that flew home from somewhere during WW2 with one DC3 wing and one DC2 wing (hopefully it didn't fly in circles!)


User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6688 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4699 times:

http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/loo...ingatearth/hurricane_aircraft.html

These do it as their job.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineBablackpilot From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 122 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4681 times:

B727 and L1011. Especially the L1011 because just about anything from Lockheed can take a beating.


My arrogance is only an issue between you and your self-esteem!"
User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2529 posts, RR: 23
Reply 7, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4645 times:
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Each generation brings aircraft that are supposedly "built like a tank". I remember crews that thought the Boeing (377) Stratocruiser was their choice to fly through the worst weather----but they forgot that PA had lost one over the South American jungle after penetrating a violent thunderstorm (not proven but highly suspected).

Then after the L-188 (Electra) went through the LEAP mod programme, it was believed to be nearly indestructible. It had, after all been the only aircraft built to date that was approved to operate in any know weather condition---including icing. A variation (the Orion) had been chosen to become the premier "Hurricane Hunter" alondside its older sister the C-130.
Then a BN L-188 came apart after penetrating a violent thunderstorm over Texas, and there was another similar accident about two decades later.

The Boeing 707 was once thought indestructable. After all, on TWO occasions, they had managed to limp home after loosing a third or more of one wing!
Yet, BA lost one to (a suspected mountain rotor) clear air turbulence near Mt. Fuji in Japan. And NW lost a 720B in Florida after it entered a violent thunderstorm.

As always, just when you think it's "bullet proof", fate conspires to remind you that it's not!   

Although there have been plenty of incidents involving "jet-upset" with various types involved------
if I had to come up with an all-time champion it would be the ( I believe, TW) Boeing 727 that went supersonic in a nosedive over one of the Great Lakes back in the 1980's. Had slats and flaps ripped off and still managed to limp to a landing.

[Edited 2007-02-15 13:09:53]


"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineEI321 From Iraq, joined Jul 2009, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4643 times:

The DC9 is extremly durable. So are most soviet aircraft.

[Edited 2007-02-15 13:18:46]

User currently offlineAwthompson From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 468 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4611 times:

The older heavier planes were the toughest as they were generally over-built.

I have heard stories about all of the following examples:

BAC 1-11
DC-8
Boeing 707 (however a BOAC 707-436 did break up in the air in 1966 near Mount Fuji in extreme turbulance)
Boeing 727


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6834 posts, RR: 46
Reply 10, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4575 times:

Most people think that flying in a hurricane is worse than a thunderstorm; I would beg to differ. The reason is that even though a hurricane is much larger and more intense than a thunderstorm by and large the air circulation is horizontal, while in a thunderstorm it is vertical. What tears an airplane apart in a thunderstorm is crossing from a violent updraft to a violent downdraft in a short distance (or vice versa.) Severe thunderstorms can posess vertical wind shear so abrupt that no aircraft ever built can survive it. It is not the intensity of the wind itself or even the turbulence that does the damage, it is the wind shear.


The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineFriendlySkies From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 4105 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4530 times:

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 7):
Boeing 727 that went supersonic

Didn't a DC-8 go supersonic once as well?


User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2529 posts, RR: 23
Reply 12, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4506 times:
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Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 11):
Didn't a DC-8 go supersonic

Yes, in a controlled shallow dive.



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4496 times:

Don't laugh but I would say that the Comet 4 would be up there with the toughest commercial airliners ever built.

After the initial Comet I accidents and investigations, de Havilland carried out modifications to the airliner and strengthened the fuselage beyond specifications that had been derived from the accident investigations. Earlier Comets were either scrapped or, in the case of the Canadian Air Force Comets, substantially modified and strengthened. The Comet 4 was flown in the days when many of the safety features that are standard on today's aircraft were unavailable and civilian jet transport was still in its infancy.

I have read somewhere that the extent to which some pilots had subjected the Comet 4 to (e.g hard landings etc) would have surely resulted in a break-up or worse for other aircraft.



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6834 posts, RR: 46
Reply 14, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4429 times:

One story I heard was that after WWII Douglas was concerned with all the C-47's that were being introduced to civilian use with uncertain history, and were worried that they might be structurally compromised by heavy use. They therefore took one that had been extensively used and subjected it to the same destructive tests that they had used in the original certification. The result? the wings broke at about 50% HIGHER load than expected. It turns out that aluminum, if worked at a low enough percentage of its yeild strength work hardens and actually gets stronger, which is what happened to that C-47. Unfortunately at higher stress levels aluminum fatigues, which is what we are most familiar with (i.e. the Comet, the Aloha 737 and the United 747). But it does go to show how strong and conservatively designed the DC-3 was.


The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineAwthompson From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 468 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4411 times:

Interesting about the De Havilland Comets. The UK Royal Air Force still use the Comet airframes in the form of Nimrods albeit with substantial re-working.

While on the subject, I guess we could add the Vickers VC-10 to the list. Do a search to see how far around the world they are still travelling routinely these days after FORTY years in service! (photographed recently at Hanover, Dubai, Halifax, Lajes etc.) I know they are in military service nowadays but these actual aircraft all seen passenger service with the airlines long before becoming military transports.


User currently offlineCadet57 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 9085 posts, RR: 31
Reply 16, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4365 times:

NW DC-9's!!

 duck 

Sorry, Couldent resist.



Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6834 posts, RR: 46
Reply 17, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4341 times:

Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 16):
NW DC-9's!!

Yes, when God announces the Final Judgement He'll charter a NW DC-9 to spread the word....



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineAwthompson From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 468 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4333 times:

I know Airbus get a lot of stick on this site, neverless I am aware of only ONE recorded fatal in flight break up of an Airbus aircraft and it was not the result of turbulence. No other major manufacturer has this enviable record.

Therefore it would be fair to suggest that Airbus probably make the toughest airliners in the modern jet age.


User currently offlineMD88Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1330 posts, RR: 20
Reply 19, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4268 times:

DC9, MD80, 727 (especially the 727), King Airs, most Soveit designs - all very overbuilt/tough. Airbus = not overbuilt/not tough. Falcon 20/50 = tough, Beech Starship = tough.

User currently offline1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4226 times:

The DC-8. When the PLFP blew up the aircraft hijacked at Dawson's Field in 1970 it took about three attempts to fully destroy the Swissair DC-8, every other plane was gone in the first explosions.

User currently offlineMrComet From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 520 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4134 times:

Here is the voting so far:

4 DC9
3 DC3
3 727
3 DC8
2 707
2 Comet



The dude abides
User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 24
Reply 22, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4124 times:

Quoting Joe Patroni...."that's one nice thing about the 707, son...it can do everything 'cept talk.."
The 707, and there is more than one factual story about it landing with part of wing off.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 23, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4122 times:

Quoting MrComet (Reply 21):
Here is the voting so far:

4 DC9

From Aviation Safety Network regarding a collision between an Iberia DC9 and Spantax Coronado over Nantes, France

Quote:
.....While in the midst of an overcast, the Convair collided with the DC-9. The CV-990 lost an outboard portion of its left wing and managed to carry out an emergency landing at Nantes. The DC-9 lost control and crashed.

The CV-990 sounds one tough bird.



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineBMED From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2004, 860 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4116 times:

The twin otter, its used in some rough places and even though its out of production theres yet to be a modern aircraft to replace it.


Living the jetset life! No better way to be
25 Post contains images AbleToFly : I would go for the DeHavilland DHC-7 Dash 7. Have flown it numerous times in severe weather in Greenland. As passenger of course. The best experience
26 Lucky42 : If I remember correctly. I believe Joe Patroni says "she can do everything but read" In reference to the guy in the right seat saying " the book said
27 Post contains images Alaska737 : I would have to say that these are some of the toughest. C-130 DC-3 727 L-188 L1011 Saab 340 Dash 8 100/200 Dash 7
28 N776AU : I love the very beastly 767's in that kind of weather. I flew out of ATL in moderate rain and high winds. Didn't even feel a bump.
29 Post contains images PlymSpotter : I'd go for one of the Dash's; the 6, 7, and 8 are all incredibly tough although the 8 is the only one I have been on, - they operate off paved or unpa
30 Post contains links ZBBYLW : The DHC-6 twin otter is I think by far the toughest Commercial Aircraft out there... Here are some videos http://youtube.com/watch?v=_8wmZ6hhpg8 http:
31 Jeffry747 : The MD-11 (and the DC-10 for that matter) may be able to weather turbulence well, but you try to put one onto the runway the wrong way and you might
32 AzoresLover : Was this maybe a Philippine Airlines plane that landed in San Francisco Bay short of the runway? I remember seeing pictures of the plane a long time
33 Post contains images Isitsafenow : Yeah........that's it! Thanks...... safe
34 Burnsie28 : Definately go with the DC-9, its the plane that gets damaged to no end, gets fixed and keeps on going. Almost 50 years that bird has been in service.
35 Post contains images LTU932 : Well, they do say that once NW retires all 787s, the pilots will fly back to base on a DC-9. My vote is for the DC-9.
36 Post contains images WestJetYQQ : 707 Hands Down! Filler Filler
37 United319 : I dont know about handling rough weather and all that, but id classify the workhorses that can stand many years in service are.... DC-9 737 (new gener
38 Post contains images 747400sp : Anything Douglas built. L1011 707 727 All these aircraft in my opinion, are not airliners, they are fling tanks!
39 Deskflier : My list would be like this: Antonov An-2 Junkers Ju52/3m Douglas DC-2 All these can take a beating, both in rough weather and from the hands of an ine
40 Post contains links and images Viscount724 : Fully agree, especially the DC-8. You may be interested in my Reply 39 with more on the Supersonic DC-8 in the following thread from the Tech/Ops for
41 747400sp : Yes! I happen to a Pan Am 707 fling from SFO to HNL it's wing caught fire and haft it's starboard wing was burned off. It landed safely at some USAF
42 Awthompson : I'll not comment any further on the British types; VC-10 (reply 15), BAC 1-11 (reply 9) or even European Airbus models (reply 18) since no-one seems t
43 57AZ : I'd have to say that the 727 is the toughest jetliner I can think of . I remember reading about the World Airways flight from Da Nang that nearly didn
44 CV990 : Hi! Noooop, you guys are all wrong!!! The toughest airliner built was the Convair CV880!!!! Hard has a rock!!! Read the "Great Airliners" book from Jo
45 Hoppe777 : Wow so many different opinons ! im inclined to go with the 707. didnt it do a barrell roll in testing without any effects whatsoever ? surely it must
46 GAIsweetGAI : Nope- barrel roll is a 1G maneuver.
47 Post contains links and images CV990 : Hi again! Yes BCAL, that's a great information you got to us here...that accident was really big and the one that crashed was certainly NOT the CV990!
48 Awthompson : I imagine the Convair 880/990 are tough without a doubt. I remember Spantax flying them into Belfast many years ago on charter flights to the Spanish
49 Post contains links and images Awthompson : Heres a great shot of one of the Spantax CV-990's in their last livery: View Large View MediumPhoto © Eduard Marmet ..... and another sad pic of
50 MrComet : Haven't there been a couple cases of jets plunging about 20K feet? I think a TWA plane did that. A 727? I think the loading on that would qualify a pl
51 Valcory : I got to say the DC-8 they are still flying after all these years
52 Luke7e7 : my vote goes for: DC-9 762 732 C17 ( non commercial )
53 Aloha73G : I think the jets of the Hawai'i interisland airlines deserve some recognition. They go thru 12-16 flights each day, and the Aloha 732 incident shows h
54 Blackbird : Lemme think... Convair 880 would be one. Thick-skinned to reduce the need for stringers, with triple-sparred wings. It's main-gears could be extended
55 Awthompson : Blackbird, I will not quote that all again but the above is indeed very interesting information and fascinating reading!
56 SEPilot : Actually any aircraft (including all airliners) can do a barrel roll. Tex Johnson did it because he knew it would turn heads, which it did.
57 VonRichtofen : We're not talking longevity here folks, we're talking planes that can take a beating. My vote goes to DHC Dash 7 DHC Dash 8 737-200 (Canadian North op
58 MrComet : I'll do a summary in a few hours....
59 Post contains links and images CV990 : Hi! Well indeed it's impressive to see a 732 using a gravel runway but......we cannot forget that the only airliner that actually LANDED in South Pole
60 Ebs757 : MD80 - 30+ years of heavy utilization and still going strong.
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