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Electra Vs. Jet Turnarounds  
User currently offlineUscgc130 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2049 times:

I seem to recall reading somewhere that one reason PSA and Air California dropped the Electra (either originally or some years after they were reintroduced in the Seventies) was that it took longer to turn them around than it did 727 and 737s.

I've always wondered about the veracity of that. As a former Coast Guard C-130 flight engineer (hence my moniker), I know from experience that a four-engined, T56-powered airplane can be fired up and sent on its way very quickly. It seems to me that if there was any difference between the amount of time it took to launch an L-188 versus a Boeing, it was probably lost in the proverbial noise. (And what a noise it was! Big grin )

Does anybody know whether turnaround time was actually a factor in either PSA or Air California retiring the Electra?

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineStirling From Italy, joined Jun 2004, 3943 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2011 times:

Quoting Uscgc130 (Thread starter):
Does anybody know whether turnaround time was actually a factor in either PSA or Air California retiring the Electra?

The turn-around time issue seems to be a stretch, because I could have sworn PSA left the starboard engines running for quick turns....Someone confirm or deny, it's been a long time!!! (I'm thinking 40 years for my memory to have completely screwed up what actually went on!!!)

When the Electras came back, (There was a time there in the early 70's I believe when they all left both fleets) were they not intended for Lake Tahoe service only? And when the traffic dropped, the route went and so did the Electras? Again, the memory is failing........among other things  Wink



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User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2003 times:

Hi!

I really don't know if that was a factor but let me tell you something regarding the L188 in Europe, has you know KLM was the only airline in Europe to operate this awesome looking airplane and when the Caravelles started to operate in short/medium routes KLM said that the Electra could be faster in their turnarounds than the Caravelle operators.
Regards


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29795 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1988 times:

Luckly there is an ex-reever on this website. So I got to play with Electras and 727's on the same day.

Quoting Uscgc130 (Thread starter):
I seem to recall reading somewhere that one reason PSA and Air California dropped the Electra (either originally or some years after they were reintroduced in the Seventies) was that it took longer to turn them around than it did 727 and 737s.

I would have to call BS on that one. The Electra has smaller lower bays, and although not as well designed ergonomicly as a 727, they wheren't bad. PSA didn't deal with topside loads so I don't think we need to bring those up.

The big issue for loading cargo was the fact the floor was lower then the bottom sill of the pit doors, but it was still better then the setup on a MD-80. Boeing really did seem to have the best interface between the floor and the door.

More then likely if something was to slow it down, it would be the fueling. The Electra, especially the longer legged ones had several tanks fueled through a 2 3/4 inch nozzle. If I remember correctly the 727 has two ports.

Quoting Stirling (Reply 1):
The turn-around time issue seems to be a stretch, because I could have sworn PSA left the starboard engines running for quick turns

Number #1 Has a two stage gearbox, so it turns the prop slower while providing pressue air and electrical power.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1914 times:

Quoting L-188 (Reply 3):
Number #1 Has a two stage gearbox

All T56s have a two stage prop gearbox


User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2529 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1910 times:
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Quoting Stirling (Reply 1):
starboard engines running for quick turns

It was pretty common for NW to leave #4 running on quick stops, especially in the mountain stations (although on a MIA-FLL-TPA leg, zipping in and out of FLL saw #4 turning also).

Quoting Philb (Reply 4):
All T56s have a two stage prop gearbox

 checkmark 



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineBroke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1853 times:

I was the powerplant engineer responsible for all aspects of the engine and propeller on the L-188 Electra from March ,1972 until their retirement in October, 1977 for Eastern Airlines.
I did quite a bit of jump seat flying between BOS, LGA, and DCA during that time because the Electra's were used almost exclusively on the Shuttle operations.
I never notice much difference in the turn times between the L-188 and the DC-9 and 727's which were also used on the Shuttle. One difference that I did note, that amused the L-188 crews, was operations from DCA to LGA.
When taking off to the North, the jets had to use runway 36 and then fly to the Northwest until they passed the Naval Observatory which was actually outside of Washington.
The second section L-188 would use the shorter runway and turn out over the Anacostia River to the Northeast. If the Electra reached the Woodstown VOR ahead of the jet, then it arrived in LGA ahead of the jet because traffic was always in line sequenced by then.
The L-188 also holds the fastest gate to gate time between DCA and LGA, 34 minutes.
I had a great time working on the L-188. With the help of the crews I even got my FE rating on the L-188.


User currently offlineFlightopsguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 348 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1836 times:

Quoting Broke (Reply 6):
was the powerplant engineer responsible for all aspects of the engine and propeller on the L-188 Electra from March ,1972 until their retirement in October, 1977 for Eastern Airlines.

Bravo! We flew the Electras on the Air Shuttle service many times during the early 70's! We always hoped for a 2nd section because we knew it would be an L-188. I seem to recall that the last LGA-DCA scheduled flight was always an L-188 due to DCA noise rules. Many fond memories of this great aircraft.



A300-330 BAC111/146/J31/41 B99/1900 CV580 B707-777 DC8/9/10 L188/1011 FH227/28/100 SB340 DO228 EMB2/170 CR2-900 SH330-60
User currently offlineCrownvic From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1898 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1630 times:

I doubt turn times had anything to do with it. I think the real issue was image. The Electra was a large prop and people associated props with old WW II bombers. They wanted jets and the airlines had to adjust. I am sure that the economics of four thirsty Allison engines played against the aircraft too. As much as we have loved the Electra, it's days were numbered from the start as it ran right into the jet age. It is my opinion that this factor more than any, forced it's retirement.

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29795 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1583 times:

Quoting Crownvic (Reply 8):
As much as we have loved the Electra, it's days were numbered from the start as it ran right into the jet age.

At this point I feel obliged to point out that the last one left passenger service in 2000.

Quoting Philb (Reply 4):
All T56s have a two stage prop gearbox

Sorry, I was referencing the gearbox for the generator. I'll have to find my old training tape, but there was a ground idle speed that one of the two speeds on that gearbox accomdated.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineTomTurner From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 247 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1577 times:

Quoting Crownvic (Reply 8):
I doubt turn times had anything to do with it. I think the real issue was image. The Electra was a large prop and people associated props with old WW II bombers. They wanted jets and the airlines had to adjust. I am sure that the economics of four thirsty Allison engines played against the aircraft too. As much as we have loved the Electra, it's days were numbered from the start as it ran right into the jet age. It is my opinion that this factor more than any, forced it's retirement.

I guess that was probably true for most airlines, but Eastern liked thier props, operating the Electra well past when many airlines had dumped them, and before that the Connies as well.

Tom


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