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How Come UA Never Took The DC9/MD80  
User currently offlineCactusOne From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 10 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6275 times:

I know UA 'loved' their 737 even though they're now in bed with Airbus for the 320/319, but how come they never took on the MD80/83/88/90? QQ and DL's MD90's were nice. The only reason why I ask is because their affiliate carriers seem to be flying the CRJ-700, and ordered the CRJ-900, which some would argue would've been the size of some of the smaller DC9's.

Just Curious... Any thoughts?  Smile

63 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6249 times:

United was a lunch customer for the 737-200, so there was no reason to invest in two airframes that were designed for the same market.

User currently offlineHNL-Jack From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 819 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6206 times:

I worked in EXO (World Headquarters) at the time and the story that circulated around the office was that the board had approved the DC-9, but that George Keck , fought the decision and eventually got enough votes to go with Boeing.


Grew up in the business and continued the family tradition.
User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6188 times:

They had a ton of 727s back in the 70s and 80s as well so they already had a lot of narrow bodies.


Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineClrd2go From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 1000 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6136 times:

Didn't UA at one time have a couple MD80's in their fleet inherited from someone? I seem to recall seeing them but of course my recollection could be way off.




JIm



What a long strange trip it's been
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6097 times:

Quoting Clrd2go (Reply 4):
Didn't UA at one time have a couple MD80's in their fleet inherited from someone?

I was going to ask the exact same thing. I remember seeing pics of them, they only had a very small fleet of them, IIRC. Can anyone verify this?



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineCharlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1122 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 6075 times:

Quoting Clrd2go (Reply 4):
Didn't UA at one time have a couple MD80's in their fleet inherited from someone? I seem to recall seeing them but of course my recollection could be way off.

Seems like when the original Frontier failed UAL had a "paper transfer" of a couple MD80's,they were never operated by UAL not too sure who they went to. As far as never getting DC9/MD80 as someone said earlier it would have made no sense as the 737-222's were the competitor to the DC9 so it would have made no sense to have two types with the same basic mission,and the 727 kind of kept the '80 out of the picture.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 6004 times:

Quoting Charlienorth (Reply 6):

You may be right on that one. Not debating that. But I have seen pics of an '80 in UAL rainbow colors though....



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineTrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2353 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5991 times:

The best question is why didn't UA opt specifically for the MD-83, which was the best of it's class during the 1980's. Yes, UA had plenty of 727's, but so did AA and DL, which ordered Mad Dogs in massive amounts. I suspect part of the reason lies in UA's loyalty to Boeing. Until the A320 order, UA had not ordered anything besides Boeing since the DC-10. It's too bad, MD-80's would have looked great in the classic 70's/80's UA livery.

The DC-9 lost out to the 732 as mentioned and UA had already committed to the A320 by the time the MD-90 debuted.



There's nothing quite like a tri-jet.
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5822 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5952 times:

I, too, have seen pics of MD-80s in United's old colors.

User currently offlineGEG2RAP From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 851 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5910 times:

keep in mind way back when UAL was Boeings Airlines (and P and W their engine)

User currently offlineUAL777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1556 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5868 times:

Quoting HNL-Jack (Reply 2):
George Keck , fought the decision and eventually got enough votes to go with Boeing.

Thank God for that! The Mad Dog's cockpit looks like a high school science-fair project.





 vomit 



It is always darkest before the sun comes up.
User currently offlineMilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2000 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5843 times:

When UA ordered the 737-222, foregoing the DC-9-30, the decision meant that they had to wait another year for jet aircraft to replace their DC-6 and Viscount fleets. At the time, they extolled the virtues of the 737 claiming that 30-40 percent of the parts were the same those in the 727 (this claim was made in the Mainliner Magazine article that announced the 737 order, and I believe they liked the idea of 6 abreast seating, vs the 5 across of the DC-9. United was a loyal Douglas customer and bought more DC-8's than any other airline. In retrospect, the decision probably was a poor one. United ordered and received 75 737-222's during 1968. They introduced the aircraft on April 28th with the daylight savings time schedule, and by Thanksgiving, every DC-6 and DC-6B was retired, except the three kept to serve Ely and Elko Nevada. A few Viscounts were operated until January or February of 1969. But withn six or seven years or so later, almost half the fleet had been sold off. The aircraft that were not sold early on were operated until they were all retired in the 90's. Although they never ordered any 737-200A's they received 25 of them from Frontier when they went under. Those aircraft were retired after 9/11/2001 along with the entire remaining 727-222A fleet. United probably kept their aircraft longer than most other carriers. Had they ordered the 9's, they would have been able to sell off the Sixes and Viscounts a year earlier, and would have received more money for them. Most of the Sixes went to Mars Aircraft and many were reposessed after Mars failed to pay, the rest being scrapped, at Tracy, CA and ONT. As late as 1974, there were a few airframes remaining at Tracy. And the Nine may have been more suited to serving many of United's smaller cities that lost mainline service soon after deregulation took effect in the 1979-1980.

[Edited 2007-08-02 08:56:08]

[Edited 2007-08-02 08:57:21]

User currently offlineFlightopsguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 348 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 5687 times:

I definitely remember flying from BAL to PIT in 1968 on a UA 732, and seeing an advertisement in the seat pocket touting the DC-9 Mainliner "coming soon". Wish I would have stuck that ad in my bag!

UA has not ever operated in their colors, or any colors, any of the MD-80 series. Some of the DC-8 photos in the 70's rainbow scheme could maybe be mistaken for a -9 or a -80 (showing just a small part of the aircraft), but no -9's.

HNL-Jack: are you still in the die-cast model airport hobby?



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 offlineBohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2701 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5660 times:

Quoting Clrd2go (Reply 4):
Didn't UA at one time have a couple MD80's in their fleet inherited from someone?



Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 5):
I remember seeing pics of them, they only had a very small fleet of them


Here it is.

http://www.cardatabase.net/modifieda...earch/photo_search.php?id=00001440

 

[Edited 2007-08-02 15:15:00]

User currently offlineWA707atMSP From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2226 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5469 times:

Another reason UA would probably have been better off with the DC-9 is because the DC-9 has always been flown with a two person crew, but UA was required to fly their 737s with a three person crew until the early 1980s. This significantly increased the 737's operating costs.


Seaholm Maples are #1!
User currently offlineFlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 14
Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5375 times:

In case if anyone is interested, the original Frontier had 20 MD-80s in its fleet...5 -81s & 15 -82s. When United took over most of the routes & fleet from Frontier, the 737s were retained & the majority of the MD-80s went to Continental. But one MD-82 was held back by United, re-registered as N80UA, and probably repainted as well. This bird was on the UA's roster for 6 months only, in 1990. Perhaps UA was evaluating the aircraft for a possible order with Douglas then. Remember that was the time when AA, DL & TWA were building up their brand new Mad Dog fleets.
Regards.



"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6835 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5292 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
But I have seen pics of an '80 in UAL rainbow colors



Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 9):
I, too, have seen pics of MD-80s in United's old colors.

If you can find them we'll be interested-- but I'll bet the search takes a while.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 18, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5285 times:

Quoting Timz (Reply 17):
but I'll bet the search takes a while.

Youre righ't on that one. I saw it somewhere, I don't even remember where I saw it. It had the bare metal engine cowlings on the fuse. I think it was a D9-10? I honestly don't remember.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineSuper98 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 37 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5248 times:

Quoting UAL777 (Reply 11):

Compared to what? What airplanes designed back in 1978 didn't look like a "high school science project?"

I suppose you have never seen a Saudi MD-90 or the 717, or anything else with updated displays and avionics contemporaneous to your 777?

The airplane was regularly updated from the begining, even going back to when the -81s were basically DC-9-40s, to
the updates on the 87/88 with the Smiths indicating systems and new A/P glareshield control panel. Did you not like
the DFGCs? They oughta get some credit for being the first...

Just curious


User currently offlineJunction From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 768 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5207 times:

If anyone can find a real pic of any type of DC9/M80 in full UA livery it would be golden. I can’t believe that until I see it.
I remember when NW and Republic merged it was really very strange to see NW livery on a DC9. Times have certainly changed.


User currently offlineMakeMinesLAX From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 566 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5193 times:

Quoting Milesrich (Reply 12):
But withn six or seven years or so later, almost half the fleet had been sold off.

Are you certain about that? My 1985 JP Airline-Fleets book shows 49 737-222 still in operation out of the original 75.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
But I have seen pics of an '80 in UAL rainbow colors though....



Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 9):
I, too, have seen pics of MD-80s in United's old colors.



Quoting FlagshipAZ (Reply 16):
When United took over most of the routes & fleet from Frontier, the 737s were retained & the majority of the MD-80s went to Continental. But one MD-82 was held back by United, re-registered as N80UA, and probably repainted as well.

With all sincerity, I acknowledge that the several of you with the same recollection are probably likely to be correct, but I wanted to raise the possibility of a hybrid scheme, given the similarity between the UA and Frontier liveries:

View Large View Medium
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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.



User currently offlineSkytony From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5095 times:

I recall seeing a MDC publicity photo on ebay of a United MD-80 for auction a couple of months ago. Would this have been the photo mentioned?


Lower your expectations! You will always be pleasantly surprised!
User currently offlineAccess-Air From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1939 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5095 times:

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 9):
I, too, have seen pics of MD-80s in United's old colors.

Never saw nor heard of ANY of the Frontier MD-80s being painted in UAL colours....As far I have read they were leased back to Frontier..(Frontier also sold United 25 737-291As to supplement their own 737-222UN-advanced machines)because they were Operating the MD-80s up until they were acquired by Continental along with PeoplExpress, PBA and Britt in 1987....Then the former Frontier MD-80s went into the CO fleet...Which CO had also ordered their own MD-80s....

Would love to see actual pictures of UAL MD-80s.....Artist airbrushed impressions do not count.....

Access-Air



Remember, Wherever you go, there you are!!!!
User currently offlineUAL777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1556 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5062 times:

Quoting Super98 (Reply 19):


Compared to what? What airplanes designed back in 1978 didn't look like a "high school science project?"

I suppose you have never seen a Saudi MD-90 or the 717, or anything else with updated displays and avionics contemporaneous to your 777?

The airplane was regularly updated from the begining, even going back to when the -81s were basically DC-9-40s, to
the updates on the 87/88 with the Smiths indicating systems and new A/P glareshield control panel. Did you not like
the DFGCs? They oughta get some credit for being the first...

I wasn't referring to the 777. The flight deck is cramped and as one ex AA md-80 pilot put it to me, "when they came out with a new technology they just stuck it wherever it fit."



It is always darkest before the sun comes up.
25 Charlienorth : That's pretty much what I was getting at but wasn't exactly sure of the details,UAL may have tried an evaluation,but would not have put one aircraft
26 ADent : AFAIK all the 737s UA were flown by a crew of two. All the 727s were flown by three. I did find this So the third pilot sat in the jump seat or did t
27 UAL777 : Jumpseat.
28 Travatl : No MD80s ever made it into UA colors, I'm afraid. Would've liked to have seen that.....
29 Flightopsguy : NO DC-9's or MD-80's were dispatched by United. That is the simple fact. There is always the possibility of an airbrushed PR shot, as I said before, w
30 UAL777 : Ill go with the L-1011.
31 Flightopsguy : Naw. UA operated several ex-PA L-1011's.
32 AA737-823 : You're so certain as to state this several times, but if you'll read above in reply 16: That's not definite, but your word is no more reliable than h
33 Flightopsguy : Sorry. I personally dispatched L-1011's for UA. No DC-9 or MD-80 was ever dispatched by UA. It is certainly possible that a plane was repainted, but i
34 Flightopsguy : Oh, and just to add some info: I dispatched DC9-10 through MD-87 for ML. ML had a large fleet of DC-9-10 through -30's, plus MD-87 and MD82/83.
35 Flightopsguy : Oh, and Randy, I've been dispatching Part 121 in Chicago longer than you have been alive (according to your profile). My first airline job was loadin
36 Post contains images ShannoninAMA : Indeed...i could have sworn ive seen one... Then again, knowing how smart i am, it was probably just a CR7 or something..
37 Flightopsguy : The 70's rainbow scheme was long gone before the CR700 flew.
38 Post contains links and images Travatl : Flightopsguy speaks the truth... there were never MD80s in UA colors. Are you sure you guys aren't getting this beauties confused? They have that "rai
39 TrijetsRMissed : Can anyone confirm this? If true, it would have been a bad aircraft to evaluate for the type as it was inferior to the improved MD-80's that were ava
40 MakeMinesLAX : If we were discussing Eastern, I'd say a Jetstar. My money's on a similar VIP aircraft, since I can't recall (a) any special service which would have
41 Corey07850 : That's what a real cockpit looks like
42 Flightopsguy : You are correct, Sir. It was a Learjet that was used as a VIP aircraft. I can't find a photo on the net, but it was featured in one of the original a
43 Isitsafenow : The date is right but again its wrong. The 200came into service in 1968 with UA and at that time the plane had three in the cockpit. I knew a guy who
44 UAL777 : I take it you don't fly airplanes. I do not know 1 pilot who who likes the MD-80 over a 737.[Edited 2007-08-03 16:28:17]
45 Access-Air : Oh yeah, I remember seeing a picture of that United Lear.....someplace..If I find it again I will post a link..... Access-Air
46 HNL-Jack : The MD-80's acquired from Frontier were leased back to Frontier and never painted in the Saul Bass United colors. Several artist impressions of a Unit
47 Timz : Okay, guys, let's see a show of hands-- who thinks UA never had any TriStars?
48 Access-Air : Well Im NOT rasing my hand....I know UNITED had L1011-500s that they acquired along with Pacific routes from Pan Am....Also throw in a fleet of 747SP
49 ADent : The date is from the UA553 Midway crash on 08DEC1972 that killed three pilots and 42 others.
50 Milesrich : I am sorry but you have a faulty memory. There never, and I mean never, was such an advertisement. The 737's went into service on April 28, 1968 and
51 Milesrich : Mr. Dent, you are incorrect. UA and WA began 737 service with a three person flight deck crew. There was a F/E. Only later was the 737 allowed to ope
52 WA707atMSP : I dug through some back issues of Air Transport World, and found the answer to when United switched to 2 cockpit crew on the 737. In 1981, the FAA did
53 Charlienorth : My hand is up!!! When I started in 1997 there was still L-1011 stop lines at the gates and i saw one at ORD in 1989 or 1990 and yes I do know the dif
54 EA CO AS : Not sure if the times coincided 100%, but DL may be up there too. Incidentally, DL may be the only airline to have twice had the DC-10 and then get r
55 Post contains images Access-Air : Charlie......I guess you mis-read what he typed....If you raised your hand then you think UA NEVER had the Tristars... Access-Air
56 Starlionblue : At the time, the 727 and the 737 did not compete. The 737 was smaller and had shorter range than the 727. Jetstar?
57 Flightopsguy : I could have mistaken a DC-10 ad for a DC-9 ad. I remember the ad featured an artist's silhouette of the airplane as seen from above. The copy was so
58 Access-Air : Yeah, now everyone cannot wait to see the last one go bye bye.....Well some do...Not me of course.....Its too bad that Other carriers dont still fly
59 Charlienorth : Do'oh...my bad.....keeping the hand down and stopping the Horshack OOH OOOH's
60 TrijetsRMissed : DL did for a very, very brief time in the early 70's. Pan Am flew all three for about five years after the National merger. That's interesting, I don
61 FlagshipAZ : Yep. United did indeed had 6 L-1011-500 Tristars... all from the original Pan Am, along with 11 747SPs and PA's Pacific routes. The Tristars stay with
62 TrijetsRMissed : To add, one of them went to LTU.
63 Charlienorth : i don't remember seeing any more that the one,it was at the service center,maybe it was a display for WHQ,not sure it was before my UAL time, I'll bu
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