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Why Did American Drop The 747?  
User currently offlineJetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2783 posts, RR: 4
Posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 18950 times:
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Why did American drop the 747? I was reading they were finished with them in 1994 any reason why they didn't get more?
Blue


You push down on that yoke, the houses get bigger, you pull back on the yoke, the houses get bigger- Ken Foltz
61 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAlbird87 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 18910 times:

I thought they got rid of them a lot earlier than that!! I also thought that they traded their 741s with UA for more DC-10s?

User currently offlineContrails From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1833 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 18889 times:

Robert Crandall was behind it, as I recall. His reasoning was that it would be better to have 10 twin-engine jets going to a destination a day than to have 1 or 2 747's a day. He also figured it would be more economical.

I have to agree that his reasoning makes a lot of sense, but I do miss those big birds in the AA livery. When I was at JFK the other day I saw several 747's, and it made me realize how much I really do miss them.



Flying Colors Forever!
User currently offlineLifelinerOne From Netherlands, joined Nov 2003, 1920 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 18883 times:



Quoting Jetblueguy22 (Thread starter):
Why did American drop the 747? I was reading they were finished with them in 1994 any reason why they didn't get more?
Blue

American Airlines considered the B747 to large for their passenger operations at that time and for it's future plans.

Quoting Albird87 (Reply 1):
I thought they got rid of them a lot earlier than that!! I also thought that they traded their 741s with UA for more DC-10s?

In 1983, American Airlines reached an agreement with Pan Am to trade their Boeing 747 for the DC-10's of Pan Am. The last (cargo) B747 left Americans fleet in 1984, not 1994.

Source: http://www.aa.com/content/amrcorp/co...ateInformation/facts/history.jhtml

Cheers!  wave 



Only Those Who Sleep Don't Make Mistakes
User currently offlineCF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 1053 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 18852 times:

I think he meant 1984, not 1994.

As far as I know, it was a matter of capacity and cost. They had plenty of DC-10s by then, and were expanding internationally, but using DC-10-30s instead of the 747s. The 747s were domestic aircraft and as such not optimally used.
They were also series -100s - pretty basic.

UA and TW soldiered on with 747s, but had other uses for them (Hawaii, International). Alot of domestic 747s bit the dust: CO, NA, DL.


User currently offlineTracker From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 18782 times:

They certainly had them in the early 90s. The dbase here shows them. I thought they used them primarily for routes from DFW to Japan, but there are photo's of them in the dbase in Europe in the 90s as well. 747SPs BTW.

I believe they needed them until their M11s arrived as their 10s did not have the legs for some routes. Could be wrong there, but that was my understanding.


User currently offlineORDagent From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 823 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 18591 times:



Quoting Tracker (Reply 5):
They certainly had them in the early 90s.

Sorry but that is completely wrong. I worked for AA from 91 to 95 in the international ops CSA department. The 747s were gone by the early '80s. I was trained on all the aircraft types in the fleet for the jetbridges and the DC-10/MD-11 were the largest aircraft in the fleet.


User currently offlineWA707atMSP From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2221 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 18522 times:

American ordered 16 747-100s in 1966, based on the assumption that demand for air travel would continue to grow at 10-15% per year, as it had throughout the 1960s. Unfortunately, the economy went into a recession in 1969, and the growth rate AA had counted on to fill their 747s never materialized.

AA grounded 8 747s in 1974. All of the grounded aircraft were converted into freighters. AA kept 3 747Fs, and sold the others to Flying Tiger and TMA of Lebanon. After AA grounded their 707Fs in 1981, AA purchased three of the 747Fs back from Flying Tiger.

AA's remaining 8 747 passenger aircraft were mainly used on JFK-LAX and JFK-SJU, the only two routes in AA's system with enough demand to fill them. They were also used occasionally on LAX-ORD, JFK-SFO, and JFK / BOS - BDA. One of the 8 aircraft was leased to BN in 1978, when BN needed an extra 747 for DFW-LGW.

In 1980 / 81, AA began service to HNL from LAX and DFW; some of the 747s were moved onto these routes. After Braniff I collapsed in 1982, AA was awarded DFW-LGW. AA moved the 747 onto this route, routed LAX-DFW-LGW, until AA bought ex-Air New Zealand DC-10-30s for use to LGW.

In 1983, AA agreed to swap their eight passenger 747s to Pan Am, for Pan Am's fleet of 15 ex-National DC-10s. All 8 aircraft were out of service by summer, 1984.

The six 747Fs were sold to UPS in 1984 / 85.

In 1987, AA was awarded DFW-NRT. The DC-10-30 did not have enough range for DFW-NRT, so AA bought two ex-TWA 747SPs. These aircraft were modified to AA standards by Evergreen at Marana, Arizona. AA flew the SPs on DFW-NRT until they were replaced by MD-11s in 1991. The SPs were then flown on JFK-LHR and JFK-BRU in 1991 / 92, before being grounded.



Seaholm Maples are #1!
User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 8, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 18306 times:



Quoting Tracker (Reply 5):
They certainly had them in the early 90s. The dbase here shows them.

Yes, it does:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © David Oates
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © B.G.



View Large View Medium
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Photo © JetPix
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Photo © Prince Aviation Images




"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offlineHikesWithEyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 816 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 18233 times:

I saw an AA sp on the ground at NRT in March of 1989.


First, benzene in my Perrier, and now this!
User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2688 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 18214 times:

Quite simple. The Boeing 747 was too big for its transcontinental routes. American was not really an international carrier in the 1970s. Also, the passenger numbers that were expected in the 1970s did not occur, and the 747s flew relatively empty on their routes.


Fly one thing; Fly it well
User currently offlineBurner71 From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 18147 times:

I have a picture in a scrapbook at home of my sister going to New York on a school trip from DFW to JFK
This was 1980 -81 ish and shes boarding a 747SP


User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8092 posts, RR: 54
Reply 12, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 18015 times:

OK to summarise, we're talking about two different fleets here. AA had 747-100s from 1971 til the late 70s, 1980. That fleet was ordered because air travel in the 60s was BOOMING, and jet fuel was basically free. Also, the huge prestige of flying this great new behemoth. Then came a big recession and the first oil shock, rendering the 747 way too big for AA (and DL, National, Eastern, UAL, who all had em on domestic runs in the early 70s). So that was the first fleet; all 747-100s.

Then in the late 80s, AA picked up the rights for DFW-NRT, and the best plane for the job was the lovely 747SP. These flew to Tokyo until the Scud (MD11) was delivered, and the range problems were fixed. So the SPs were used across the pond, mostly to Heathrow. Then they left the fleet.

Quoting Burner71 (Reply 11):
I have a picture in a scrapbook at home of my sister going to New York on a school trip from DFW to JFK
This was 1980 -81 ish and shes boarding a 747SP

Not an SP. The SPs were still a decade away. Maybe a -100, although DFW to JFK seems rather unlikely.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineFlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 17946 times:

A little known fact regarding AA's early fleet of 741s. Before AA's own -123s came online,
American leased 2 -121s from Pan Am for a little more than a year. They were N740PA and
N743PA.
In all, AA operated 21 different 747s thru-out its history, including a wet-leased 742F briefly.
Regards.



"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
User currently offlineByrdluvs747 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 2358 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 17944 times:

I guess the relevant question is why AA can't use the 748 today? Can AA use that kind of capacity on any of its current or future routes? India? China?


The 747: The hands who designed it were guided by god.
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21509 posts, RR: 60
Reply 15, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 17889 times:



Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 12):
OK to summarise, we're talking about two different fleets here.

Yes, the 747, a VLA, and the 747SP, a mid-sized plane with long range.

AA determined VLAs were not for them and mid-sized widebodies were for them. Buying the 747SP for NRT did not alter that philosophy, because they were no bigger than DC10s in terms of pax. Their benefit to anyone was range, and that's why they didn't sell that well, because 744s and MD11s and such came along on offer with greater range and economics. AA didn't want a VLA, and flew the DC10 already, so chose the MD11 over the 744, and later the 777 over the MD11/744.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineFlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 14
Reply 16, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 17877 times:



Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 14):
I guess the relevant question is why AA can't use the 748 today?

AA won't operate any more 4-engined aircraft. They're dinosaurs as far as American is concerned.
If Boeing would put RRs on 772LRs, AA would buy that model. Otherwise, it's the 772ERs doing
the ultra-long haul work.
Regards.



"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
User currently offlineStretch 8 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 2568 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 17821 times:

I am probably the only one old enough to remember that AA had a "coach lounge" at the rear cabin of their 747s back in the 1970s . . . with a piano! Also recall the AA 747 operating DTW-LAX and DTW-ORD in those days.


Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
User currently offlineBurner71 From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 17810 times:



Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 12):
Not an SP. The SPs were still a decade away. Maybe a -100, although DFW to JFK seems rather unlikely.

you are correct, I meant to just say 747

It was definately heading dfw to New York, I could have sworn it was JFK, maybe ewr or lga, who knows, I was 11


User currently offlineFlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 17767 times:



Quoting Stretch 8 (Reply 17):
I am probably the only one old enough to remember

You're not the only one old enough here, Stretch. I remember the piano too, back in the day.
It was a baby Grand piano. AA had a wet bar set up as well in those days. First class had
those small round tables & 4 seats that could turn 180 degrees.
American's 747s in the very beginning are the SQ's A380 of today. Classy flying then.
Regards.



"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
User currently offlineStretch 8 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 2568 posts, RR: 16
Reply 20, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 17734 times:

Yep, back in the day when the AA motto/advertising jingle was:

"It's good to know you're on American."

The upper deck F lounge and Y lounge had very 1970's minimalist red furniture, sort of Danish modern, with silver lamps.

In that era, you could only get into the Admiral's Club if you were invited by the airline.



Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
User currently offlineSWABrian From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 299 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 17655 times:

AA flew the 747SP into the 90s on the DFW-Tokyo route until they received MD-11s. I used to watch the SP taxy by on the ramp, and I didn't transfer to DFW until 1990.

User currently offlineWA707atMSP From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2221 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 17527 times:



Quoting Stretch 8 (Reply 17):
I am probably the only one old enough to remember that AA had a "coach lounge" at the rear cabin of their 747s back in the 1970s . . . with a piano! Also recall the AA 747 operating DTW-LAX and DTW-ORD in those days

I still think of AA's gates B7 and B8 at DTW as the "747 gates", because that part of the DTW terminal was an addition to accomodate the 747.



Seaholm Maples are #1!
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25145 posts, RR: 22
Reply 23, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 16983 times:



Quoting FlagshipAZ (Reply 19):
You're not the only one old enough here, Stretch. I remember the piano too, back in the day.
It was a baby Grand piano.

The caption to the following NY Times photo of the AA 747 coach lounge refers to the "piano" as a "compact Wurlitzer electronic organ".



User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 438 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 16431 times:

American flew 747SPs', but I'm curious why so many on this site profess a great love for the SP? Everytime the plane is mentioned, there are many posts about how much the plane is held in such a reverential position. I wonder why this is. I wasn't too fond of the plane, because it was, what 50 feet shorter? The truncated fuselage just ruined the beautiful line of the 747-100-200, in my opinion. I ask with a big smile on my face, why so much love for this stubby 747 variant?  cheerful 


747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
25 Dc863 : I figured it was a Wurlitzer not a baby grand. From the articles I've read it was never a big hit. Kids would get on it and play chopsticks over and o
26 Ikramerica : And it was unstable in the air (not unsafe), not great to fly on, especially in the back. I flew on the 747SP on two trips. JFK-SFO-HKG-SIN and back,
27 MD-90 : The Wurlitzer being much lighter than any piano. That would drive me stark raving mad. Best performing 747 ever made, the fastest and highest flying
28 CF-CPI : I have heard the same thing about the 737-600, so you have to wonder if truncating the fuselage to make a mini-jet results in some passengers turning
29 Glbltrvlr : I suspect it's because it was the first truly long haul 747. The economics stunk, but I can recall my trip on it. One of the 747SPs United took from
30 Viscount724 : But by far not the most economic 747. Even later model 747-200s had almost the same range as the SP but could carry 1/3 more passengers. And the SP d
31 Ikramerica : yes, when the wings are wider than the plane is long, it often leads to problems in turbulence and of yaw oscillation. One way to combat this is a ho
32 Dc863 : Perhaps, but for late 70s tech it was the best out there. SAA used the SP for some of their longest routes.
33 CodyKDiamond : Any photos of the 742?
34 HOOB747 : Fair enough, I appreciate everyone's love for the 747, I have it too. Hey, longer range in the late 70's? Cool!! Thanks for the responses.
35 Sparky35805 : One of the two leased aircraft from Pan Am was in full American colors,but retained Pan Ams white top.This was N743PA.The other was in full American c
36 FlagshipAZ : None can be found, probably because the aircraft was only leased to AA for just 6 months in 1984, from World Airways, its original owner. The aircraf
37 Eastern747 : When I started at DCA , IAD had more or less just opened. We drove out there one night after work to see the 747 before it was it service.(PA I believ
38 Psyops : Oops?
39 Bjwonline : Would AA consider the 77W? It is clearly the next step up in capacity without going into the VLA market. With many other airlines having 77W, 744, 748
40 KC135TopBoom : I don't see why AA wouldn't buy the B-777-200LRs and B-777-300ERs, if they had the routes for them. Simply because you can only buy these models with
41 KC135TopBoom : Does anyone remember when AA sold the B-747-123 to NASA for the Shuttle Carrier Airplane? What was the AA "N" number of that bird, before NASA put the
42 Western727 : See reply 16. You both bring up an important question: why not the 77W for AA? I understand 77Ws are exclusively engined with GEs, but doesn't AA hav
43 Ikramerica : Why does the AA 747SP pictured look like it had a cargo door that was removed? There's an outline of what looks like the shadow of a cargo door around
44 Western727 : Looks to me like a "stain" from the jetway. Note how it's positioned to give door 2 space to open.
45 Dtwclipper : I think you mean the area around 1L? That is just from the Jetways.
46 Western727 : Another notable: the door that Dtwclipper properly labels as 1L was generally the principal door used for boarding; door 2L, because of its position
47 Cubsrule : When there isn't engine commonality, AA likely needs a somewhat larger fleet of 77Ws than they would otherwise need to make it economically viable to
48 Post contains links N702ML : Some information from the wonderful book "Silverbird: The American Airlines Story:" "Introduced in March 1970, when air travel was slumping, the 361-s
49 FlagshipAZ : Before the bird was N905NA, it was originally N9668 with AA. The bird was sold to NASA in July of '74. Yes, it's the issue of engine commonality, plu
50 Jwil7503 : My dad worked for American back in the late 60's/early 70's. I was lucky enough to be on one of the first 747-123 JFK/LAX flights for them. I now have
51 Mandargb : They dropped 747 since the experiment did not go good with them. Arent they Douglas shop from day one. Right from DC1s and DC2s ?
52 Rampart : Which explains their massive fleet of 727s and 707s? Never flew the DC-8? Launch airline for the 767? -Rampart
53 Rockinflyer : Quite awhile back, I read in Aviation Week, that AA's goal was to operate only twin engine aircraft. It seemed short sighted when I read it, but I gu
54 RJ111 : It pretty much is. AA are very committed to the Trent and kicked up quite a fuss when GE got the exclusivity. Even threatening to order the A345. The
55 Triple7man : Cedarjet said it well in summarizing AA's use of the 747. There were 2 different fleets. Actually the 777-200ER's are quite capable of serving AA's u
56 FlagshipAZ : American flew DC-2s, DC-3s, DC-4s (really C-54s), DC-6s, DC-7s, DC-10s, MD-11s & MD-80s. AA has owned 5 DC-8s after buying Trans Caribbean, but never
57 LongHauler : I guess I am old too, I recall the coach lounge with the piano. I flew on an AA B747-100 ORD-PHX!
58 Post contains images Ikramerica : My bad. I'm not used to seeing the 747SP and forgot about the shifting of the wing and all that jazz. That position just feels like door 2 visually,
59 AR385 : I remember reading somewhere that AA was not even that pleased with their 747SP's route to NRT due to the fact they often had to make a tech stop in S
60 AirAmericaC46 : Anybody knows examples of routes AA 747-100F cargo flew? Thanks in advance.
61 GARUDAROD : If I recall they ran between LAX, ORD and JFK with occassional runs to DTW and SJU. I was trained to operate my first FMC loader and to operate the c
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