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The Fate Of Airliner Prototypes  
User currently offlineL-1011-500 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 368 posts, RR: 1
Posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2764 times:

Why is it that some airliner prototypes are scrapped and some enter service? The first DC-10 is now sitting in Arizona after 20+ years of faithful service with American Airlines after being handed over in the early to mid 1970s, and is waiting to be converted to an MD-10 for FedEx. However, the first L-1011 was scrapped in Oklahoma in the 1980s after only 8000 flight hours. Why? Other examples include the first MD-90, recently scrapped, that made its first flight in April of 1993, while at the same time the first Boeing 777 will be delivered to JAL soon, after making its first flight in 1994 (I believe, maybe 1995?). The first MD-11 was converted to a freighter and now flies w/ FedEx. The first DC-8, an ex-Aeromexico example (XA-DOE) rests in Marana after many years of service. Why are some planes scrapped and others in service?


7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineMls515 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3081 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2743 times:

I believe the first 777 is going to Cathay Pacific and not JAL.

User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 3192 posts, RR: 34
Reply 2, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2722 times:

The Dash 80 (707 #1) suvives and is sitting at the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field (at least last i heard)

I believe the 1st Dash 8 is still in service... it was sold to an airline in Papua New Guinea back in 1996 when NorOntAir was sold off.
The 1st 737 is also preserved at Boeing field
The 1st 737-300 is in service with SW
-400 with USAirways
-500 with SW i think
I think the 1st 767 is still in service with UAL
the 1st 757 i dont know (was an EAL bird, could be anywhere)
the prototype BAC 1-11 was scrapped at Lasham in the 70s  
The 1st comet i think is preserved somewhere in england.
1st 146 i believe is in store as the RJ70 demonstrator.
The 1st Viscount is preserved

The 1st 8 Concordes all are preserved in one form or another.
The 1st IL-86 is preserved, at Zhukiovsky (sp?)
The 1st 727 i dont know... i heard UAL donated it to someone but can't recall whom.
747 #1 is at the Museum of Flight...
The 1st Metro i believe crashed in a lake and sank... might be wrong though...
the 1st A300 is in store at Antwerp i think.
The 1st A320 crashed
The 1st YS-11 also crashed...
The 1st Do328 is now the Do328JET demonstrator
Saab 340 #1 i think is preserved at Linkoping?
The EMB-145 prototype became the ERJ-135 proto and now is the ERJ-140 proto (go figure, waste not, want not?)

thats the ones i can think of,

oh, and L1011-500, the 1st L1011 wasnt entirely scrapped at Ardmore Oklamhoma, the Nose and forward fuselage went to Disney World...(im serious, its still there in Delta colors)

keep those wings level and dont look back!!! 

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2704 times:

To add/amend to NorthStarDC4M's post...

Note that I am using serial numbers to determine the first, not delivery date.

- The 1st A300 was scrapped in 1974, after only 2 years.
- The 1st A310 is flying for FedEx.
- The 1st A319 is with Swissair.
- The first A320 is stored at Toulouse (the one that crashed at the airshow was #9).
- The 1st A321 is with Lufthansa
- The 1st A330 is flying for Cathay Pacific
- The 1st A340 is with Airbus, which uses it as a flying testbed for engines.
- The 1st 717 is with Boeing.
- The 1st 727 is with the Museum of flight.
- 737 and 747, as you said,
- 1st 757 is still with Boeing.
- 1st 767 is also with Boeing, and was used as a testbed for a new AWACS system to teplace the 707-based E3 Sentry.
- The DC-8 prototype is flying with Fine Air (I think they just went under.)
- 1st DC-9 is with Viscount Air Service
- 1st MD-80 - I'm not entirely clear. Frame 909 was the demonstrator, but I think frame 917 was the actual, flying prototype. 909 I believe is still with Boeing, and 917 crashed in 1980.
- The 1st MD-90 was broken up in 1999.
- The 1st DC-10 is being converted to freight for FedEx.
- The 1st MD-11 is with FedEx as well.



User currently offlineRyaneverest From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2696 times:

The A330 with the lowest c/n in Cathay Pacific fleet is 12 (B-HLJ).
Is this the first A330? I don't think so.

The first 777 I know by fact now belongs to Cathay Pacific as B-HNL.

User currently offlineA320FO From Austria, joined Oct 2000, 211 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2678 times:

You can find out who flies the prototypes or about their fate at:


User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2668 times:


Airbus considers the A330 and A340 as the same product line. Numbers 1 to 11 were A340s.


User currently offlineOO-AOG From Switzerland, joined Dec 2000, 1426 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2628 times:

The first MD90 still exist, with many parts missing, at IGM.
The oldest Airbus (A300 Line #2) OO-TEF is still stored at BRU in a sorry state while #1 F-OCAZ was broken up in the 70'.

Falcon....like a limo but with wings
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