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NW's DC-9 -- Condition And Perceptioon  
User currently offlineSllevin From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 3376 posts, RR: 6
Posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2695 times:

Since we haven't seen anything about NW's DC-9 fleet for at least a few days, I figured it was a good time to comment.  Smile

In all seriousness, the past couple of weeks I've had a chance to finally fly some of NW's DC-9 fleet. And I was very, very impressed. The refurbishment of the interior is extremely nice and gives no sign of the plane's age. The big overhead bins are nice as well -- I flew back-to-back legs on a 757-300 and a DC-9, and my rollaboard fit better in the DC-9! Even the lavs have been redone very nicely.

I am sure that most of the passengers had no idea they were on a 30+ year old aircraft. It was, in short, nice.

Steve

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCanyonBlue From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2686 times:

We get the NW DC-9's here in ROC and I have to agree that most are in great condition. However I don't like the new livery on the DC-9's. IMHO I think it looks good only on on their 747's

User currently offlineUnited_Fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7482 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2670 times:

Welcome,fellow NY're Canyonblue! . I have yet to see a NW new colors in ROC,yet.


'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
User currently offlineCanyonBlue From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2667 times:

Hola! United_Fan! NW had their new livery DC9 overnight here in ROC about 2 weeks ago. I flies in and does a turn to DTW every now and then.

User currently offlineN951U From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2616 times:

Having flown on maybe 20 Northwest DC-9s, I must say that inside they look like a newer airplane. The interiors were much better than the Northwest B757s I was on and even the A320. The last NW B757 I was on (501US) had just about the rattiest interior I've experienced recently on a US major airline.

User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2568 times:

I've seen a few of the new liveried DC-9s down here @ ATL a few times, and I have to say that the new livery does look pretty good in person (unlike Midwest's new livery, which looks as bad in person as it does in a photo, at least the MD-80 I saw did) as opposed to photos.

User currently offlineIndustrialPate From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2546 times:

The interiors were much better than the Northwest B757s I was on ... the last NW B757 I was on (501US) had just about the rattiest interior I've experienced recently on a US major airline.

You’re not kidding, either! Thankfully, the entire B757 fleet was renovated within the past year… the 5500 still don’t look as nice as the 5600, but it’s still a HUGE improvement!

America West now takes the lead in having the “rattiest B757 interior.”


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2515 times:

I have seen the new livery on the NW DC-9 as well and I think it looks hideous...can't speak to the interiors though...

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineB747ca From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 677 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2318 times:

I like the DC-9. To bad AC got rid of theirs. I really enjoyed them.


ma va funk ulo
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 9, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2308 times:

Remember the only people who even KNOW they're old are aviation buffs like us.
The average passenger doesn't know, all (s)he knows is whether the seats look nice and the aircraft is clean.

NWA keeps excellent care of their fleet, which is one reason they can keep them flying until a ripe old age.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineDeltaMD11 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 1701 posts, RR: 35
Reply 10, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2259 times:

"America West now takes the lead in having the “rattiest B757 interior"

Uhhh, HP's 757's are relatively nice inside, albeit they do have an old feel to them. Nothign wrong with them really-the seats are intact, the IFE works; they've been taken care of pretty nicely. You also have to remember that HP operates some of the oldest 757's in the skies today as well.

Bryan



Too often we ... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 49
Reply 11, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2253 times:

In this day and age, where new is always better! It is refreshing to see a carrier care for and keep there planes flying, and it make financial sense does it not. Also you are not always having to train your staff on new planes. And like others have remarked unless you are an airline geek you really do not know the age of these planes.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineBeltwayBandit From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2247 times:

Imagine it's 1973, and you are boarding a 30 year old aircraft. That could very well be a DC-3!!!

Now it's 2003, and you board a 30 year old DC-9. Hardly perceptible.

What does this mean. Have we perfected the machine, or are we stuck in a rut?


User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6552 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2222 times:

The problem I have with the Northwest DC-9's is the fact that my head always rests on the top metal bar on the top part of the headrest. The soft cushioned part is always on my neck. Not too comfortable at all really. The First Class seats are only marginally better in my opinion, but overall very dissapointing. I agree that the interiors are very nice appearance wise...but the seats leave ALOT to be desired. And don't get me started on NWA' s DC-9 cargo bins....from the looks of those things it looks like the planes have been to hell and back.


Steve in NOLA


User currently offlineSllevin From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 3376 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2170 times:

I can't comment on the coach seats (all my flying was up front), but the first seats were pretty nice in my opinion... but I like the adjustable "neck bar" thing that you can set to fit cleanly to my neck.

Personally, I wish the new livery painted engine nacelles red. That would seem a touch more 'lively' but I guess would have not solved the core issues with the fading red paint.

Steve


User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8002 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2148 times:

Most of the NW DC-9 fleet will probably fly till 2010, mostly because they underwent a major rebuild program starting in 1997 with a major structural life extensions and completely new 717-style interiors.

But they're not going to last after 2010, mostly because the engines won't meet future jet engine noise and exhaust emission regulations.  Sad Small wonder why NW wants more A319's and possibly more Mesaba-flown CRJ700's. This also may be the opportunity for NW to look at the Boeing 717-200 or Embraer 190 to replace a good portion of the NW DC-9 fleet after 2007.


User currently offlineJean Leloup From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 2116 posts, RR: 19
Reply 16, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2139 times:

30 years? Try 37!:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © JLS Photo



I wouldn't be surprised if a couple of these puppies get close to 40. Amazing. Go Northwwest! Way to get your money's worth out of these beauties!



Next flight.... who knows.
User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16248 posts, RR: 56
Reply 17, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2125 times:

This also may be the opportunity for NW to look at the Boeing 717-200

Yikes! Be careful suggesting this on anet!

Seriously, perhaps now IS the time for NW to drive a hard bargain with Boeing or Airbus on a DC-9 replacement given the manufacturers' desire for more orders in this trying time.




Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineIndustrialPate From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2044 times:

[The DC-9 fleet] underwent a major rebuild program starting in 1997 ...
NW commited to the DC-9 in 1994 when they purchased nearly 75 used birds (mostly from the former Midway, but also a handful that hadn't found new operators since EA went bust) ... I think the rebuild program began shortly after that because all of the DC-9s have the "thin" seats that NW had abandoned by 1998.

But they're not going to last after 2010 ... small wonder why NW wants more A319's and possibly more Mesaba-flown CRJ700's. This also may be the opportunity for NW to look at the Boeing 717-200 or Embraer 190 to replace a good portion of the NW DC-9 fleet after 2007.
One has to remember that NW purchased more than 100 used DC-9s in the early to mid-90s, and then spent millions rebuilding them... Their investment has paid off -- the DC-9 fleet is maintenance friendly (in fact, it's the second-most maintenance friendly fleet type behind the A319) and NW has a near-unlimited supply of spares... these birds are clearly here for the long-run.

NW fully intends on replacing the DC-9 with a combination of RJ and A319. At MEM, NW proposed that 60 gates be renovated to accomodate RJs. From TW / KDTW), USA - Michigan">DTW, they're flying A319 on short-hops (e.g. CLE, ORD, BOS, LGA, etc.). In 2000, NW was leaning toward purchasing US's fleet and deliveries of A319/A320/A321 + leases/obligations at PHL after the UA-US merger was approved. The lease on virtually every ARJ expires in 2007 -- at that point NW will likely return them in favor of the CRJ-700 ... their union contracts prohibit them from operating more than 36 RJs that seat 69-pax, so we'll see if they get rid of that clause.

I doubt you'll ever see NW purchase the 928JET (too risky) or EMB17X/19X (it's reported that talks between NW and Embraer got very ugly when NW was looking at the ERJ). The B717 is doubtful as well ... It's reported NW refused to "test fly" two B717 and wasn't interested in a package deal that would've given them the former TW birds for cheap. I'd put my money on the A318 if NW were to purchase a 100-seater ... I'm told the a.net story about the A318 and gates at TW / KDTW), USA - Michigan">DTW is a myth, not really into technical aspects so I'm not sure myself.

However, the DC-9 is here to stay!


User currently offlineBUFJets From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 231 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 1845 times:

The DC-9's used to have a small metal label riveted just inside the main door which listed the serial number as well as the date of manufacture. I remember taking note of these when flying on US Airways old DC-9's before they got rid of them. NW has removed these labels. In a way, this is deception. Although, other manufacturers like Boeing don't have these labels either.

User currently offlineBrons2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3010 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 1825 times:

I have never flown on a plane that did not have that label on the door jamb when I was boarding. It's one of the things I look forward to when boarding the aircraft.


Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
User currently offlineIndustrialPate From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 1729 times:

The labels have been moved... however, they're still on the aircraft.

[Edited 2003-06-17 04:04:03]

User currently offlineERJ135 From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 680 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 1661 times:

I've flown the DC-9 types in reverse order and I was surprised that with all the flying I'd done that it took till the year 2003 before I got a flight in a DC-9!
The DC-9 disappeared from Australian skies long ago with the then two airlines changing to the 737.
Three years ago I flew with Impulse Airlines for the first time and that was of course the 717, I'd fly them another 32 times before they were absorbed by Qantas and haven't had one since because Qantas doesn't use them were I go.
I made a trip to the USA late that year and got the first trip in an MD-82 of American, and this year I finally made it aboard a DC-9 of Northwest for the short hop from Detroit down to Columbus. I had a quick look at the aircrafts history and noted it was a former Hughes Airwest machine so obviously it's been around a while.
I was fascinated to watch and later experience the aircraft reversing back from the terminal which was loud both from outside and in, I'd never heard or seen this before. Anyway the aircraft surprised me by being incredibly fresh inside, not quite a new 717 but close. These aircraft are very well kept and I'm happy that I got the chance to fly it even if it turns out the be the only time.



I remember when the DC-3 was new!
User currently offlineIMissPiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6287 posts, RR: 34
Reply 23, posted (11 years 2 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1578 times:

The only reason for a DC-9 to be retired is if something cheaper to operate comes along. Ithink that perhaps the day will never come. The DC-9 is like the DC-3/C-47 in that respect. Fairly cheap to operate, totally amortized and built like a tank.

I do not like the DC-9 in it's latter incarnation (the -80) but it sure is the ultimate for the very short flights. Maybe the RJ will be able to replace it in 10 years or so though.



Damn, this website is getting worse daily.
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