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AA 707s In The Late 1970s  
User currently offlineHodyOaten From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 17 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6010 times:

In August 1979 on a Wednesday around midday I flew an AA 707 from DFW-SFO. I've always wondered whether I might have been on a -120B or a -320B. Any ideas?

My grandparents lived in Fort Worth back in those days and I remember there was a very steady stream of westbound 707s (almost all of them AA). I recall how distinctly you could hear the restrained roar of them climbing even as they were passing FL080 or so. I also remember how almost overnight around 1982-1983 they all changed from 707s to MD-80s. The climb noise definitely was less noticeable with the new twinjets.

Of course that leaves the question WHY AA was using all those 707s on 1500-mile DFW-LAX and DFW-SFO sectors when 727s had almost identical 2-class seating capacity and probably a little bit better operating economics.

EDIT: Forgot to add the year, 1979... doh

H

[Edited 2009-07-03 19:46:28]

[Edited 2009-07-03 19:47:55]

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 5914 times:



Quoting HodyOaten (Thread starter):
Of course that leaves the question WHY AA was using all those 707s on 1500-mile DFW-LAX and DFW-SFO sectors when 727s had almost identical 2-class seating capacity and probably a little bit better operating economics.

Geez why is AA operating MD-80s when their 738s can do the same mission and burn only 2/3 the fuel??? Why was AA operating DFW-DCA with 727s in 1999 when the MD-80s could do the same mission and burn much less fuel????

You could ask that exact same question at any point in airline history.


User currently offlineBHMNONREV From Australia, joined Aug 2003, 1374 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5767 times:



Quoting HodyOaten (Thread starter):
Of course that leaves the question WHY AA was using all those 707s on 1500-mile DFW-LAX and DFW-SFO sectors when 727s had almost identical 2-class seating capacity and probably a little bit better operating economics.

Well they had the planes and had to run them somewhere, and although the 727-200 had better economics the 707-120/320 still had their uses, most likely for their cargo capability ..

TWA was in a similar situation in STL in the late-70's/early 80's with their 707 fleet. They were pretty much exclusive to a handful of stations, including LAX, SFO, PHX, LAS and DEN. Eastbound, they were regulars at BOS, PHL, JFK and SDF.


User currently offlineHodyOaten From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 17 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5510 times:



Quote:
Well they had the planes and had to run them somewhere

OK, that makes sense. Assuming hypothetically that AA did retire all their 707s in 1976, I guess they would have had to axe routes or get more 727s. I guess they were holding out for the great leap forward with MD-80s and 737-300s appearing on the horizon.


User currently offlineTAN FLYR From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1909 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5353 times:



Quoting BHMNONREV (Reply 2):
Well they had the planes and had to run them somewhere, and although the 727-200 had better economics the 707-120/320 still had their uses, most likely for their cargo capability ..

AA tried to deploy 707's (in the late 70's-Sept.1981) on routes where the pax mix might include more a) premium traffic,b) full fare traffic,c) the highest probable laod factors. Did this apply to every flight, NO..but that was the intent. Cargo cap on a 707 would be very close to a 727-200.

After the 1979 oil shock (Iranian revolution), AA began the plan to retiring the 707's ASAP. They acquired 15 727-200's from BN..and IORC, had a few new frames on order from Boeing...I think about 10. They had also orderd the 767 in the summer of 78..with first deliveries expected late 81 or early 82. ..I also remember a note from the 79 or 80 annual report about increasing seating with "New" slimline seats..Probably the first generation of those.

The MD-80's did not come along until 83or 84 as I recall. Thus at least a nearly 2 year window from the retirement of the 707 and the md 80.. AA made do with the 57 frames of 727-023's, the fleet of 727-200's and the DC-10's and handful of 747's.

Regaring the OP question..at this point in time it might be hard to ever firmy say it was an 123B, or a 323B..however..my bet would be a 323B as I seem to recall the 123's being phased out first..maybe starting in 75 or 76 after the 73 oil embargo.

FYI.. the first 20 MD-80s were on a 30 day notice to return deal. Dougles was desperate to jump-start the MD 80 product..gave the same deal to TWA (15 frames). Told AA to try'em..if you like'em we will make a deal..if not, we take 'em bak with 30 days notice.

Crandall saw the performance, teh 2 man crew, etc. and saw a way to grow AA substantially with lower costs than other US mainline trunks..eventually buying over 250 frames. The deal he made with MD was one the shrewedest in avaiation history..making every third frame virtually free....and the rest is hsitory.

Hope all that helped!


User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6835 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5251 times:

In earlier years the OAG used B3F for 707-320B/C and B7F for 707-120B, but by 1979 they didn't bother-- all 707s were just "707". And of course AA public timetables didn't say, so unless you can find an AA employee timetable you're outta luck.

[Edited 2009-07-04 16:27:19]

User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39887 posts, RR: 74
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5040 times:



Quoting HodyOaten (Thread starter):

The only 707 flight that I can remember was on an American Airlines 707 from LAX to ORD.
I was 5 years old.


As EXAAUADL mentioned above, they had them in their fleet, so why not use them?

The 707 looked so nice in the current American Airlines colors.  Cool


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Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineHodyOaten From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 17 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4984 times:

Heh... my Social Studies book (c. 1980) had a picture of an AA 707 with folks boarding from airstairs. It had great detail of the forward half of the plane. I think I tuned out for about 3 minutes every day looking at that picture since it was so unlike all the other typical promotional pictures from that era. Little did I know that 20 years later I'd be drooling over the Airliners.net photo database (well,30, but I've dabbled around on this website since it started).

[Edited 2009-07-04 18:40:16]

User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39887 posts, RR: 74
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4861 times:



Quoting HodyOaten (Reply 7):
Heh... my Social Studies book (c. 1980) had a picture of an AA 707 with folks boarding from airstairs.

My ex-girlfriend had a 4th grade math book (c. 1982) that had multiple aviation references.
On the cover, it featured a United Airlines DC 8. Other cool photos and illustrations were a United DC 10
Diagram comparing the tail height of the 747, L1011, DC 10, and 727.
It even had a CAD blue print of an AMC Gremlin.  Cool
I need to scan in those photos.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineSparky35805 From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 283 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 4609 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

You guys make me feel ancient.In the secaond grade we had a publication called My Weekly Reader.The big news in the November issue was about Pan Ams 707 inaugural.The February 1959 issue told of AAs first transcon jet service with the 707.
Sparky


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39887 posts, RR: 74
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4495 times:



Quoting Sparky35805 (Reply 9):
You guys make me feel ancient.In the secaond grade we had a publication called My Weekly Reader.

I was reading those up until the early 1980s!
I was one of those weirdo kids that enjoyed sniffing the fresh ink off the new publications of the Weekly Reader as well as ditto copier handouts.  crazy 



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineDL_Mech From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1952 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4223 times:



Quoting TAN FLYR (Reply 4):
Regaring the OP question..at this point in time it might be hard to ever firmy say it was an 123B, or a 323B..however..my bet would be a 323B as I seem to recall the 123's being phased out first..

I used to go to CVG in the 79-80 time frame and AA had plenty of -123B's overnighting there.



This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
User currently offlinePackcheer From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 332 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4124 times:

I'm only asking this in this threat because there appears to be some visitors to this thread with some very good historical knowledge.

When has American changed their livery in recent memory? Obviously they haven't changed much, but what have they been through? Any fonts/stripes/other small changes?

Noting the pictures from 1969 and 1977, They look nearly the same!



Things that fly, Girls and Planes...
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39887 posts, RR: 74
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4091 times:



Quoting Packcheer (Reply 12):
When has American changed their livery in recent memory?

They haven't. That is the beauty of American Airlines.  Smile



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4506 posts, RR: 33
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4029 times:

The 707 looked so nice in the current American Airlines colors.

Agreed. Such an elegant, beautiful plane and paint scheme. And that scheme looks as up-to-date today on a 777 as it did in 1970 on a 707.

At my home airport ROC, AA's 707s were the only thing bigger than a 727 after the 1973 oil shock ended AA's' DC-10's to the airport. There was a daily ROC-CLE-LAX flight, which my grandma would use when she went to see our relatives in LA. The flight left early enough before my school day that I could ride along to the airport. And of course then nonpax could go to the gate. Even though there were jetways as of 1977, I always saw the pax walk out and up airstairs for the 707's.

We would watch the aircraft taxi away and take off. It was always a -123 when I saw it, identifiable by the fin under the back of the fuselage. Stately on the ground, and majestic in the air. Crandall knew what had to be done after the 1979 oil shock, but what a loss.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39887 posts, RR: 74
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3979 times:



Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 14):
And that scheme looks as up-to-date today on a 777 as it did in 1970 on a 707.

Very true!
I hope they never change it.

Quoting Packcheer (Reply 12):
Any fonts/stripes/other small changes?

I forgot to add. They newer aircraft with composite tails have gray paint.
The DC-10 and 727 were the last in their fleet that didn't have gray painted tails.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3623 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3630 times:



Quoting HodyOaten (Thread starter):
Of course that leaves the question WHY AA was using all those 707s on 1500-mile DFW-LAX and DFW-SFO sectors when 727s had almost identical 2-class seating capacity and probably a little bit better operating economics.

EDIT: Forgot to add the year, 1979... doh

I can beat that, my mother few AA on the DFW-LAX or LAX- DFW one of these routes. The a/c she was on was a Boeing 747, and I remember she said something to the fact, that it did not make since to fly such a big planes on this routes.


User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4470 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3610 times:



Quoting BHMNONREV (Reply 2):
TWA was in a similar situation in STL in the late-70's/early 80's with their 707 fleet. They were pretty much exclusive to a handful of stations, including LAX, SFO, PHX, LAS and DEN. Eastbound, they were regulars at BOS, PHL, JFK and SDF.

And EWR too  Smile

Quoting Timz (Reply 5):
In earlier years the OAG used B3F for 707-320B/C

My OAG from 1976 shows it as B3J. Did they have two codes for essentially the same plane?


User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7591 posts, RR: 27
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3560 times:

Are they are pilots still flying for AA that flew the 707?

User currently onlineAmerican 767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3795 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3495 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR



Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 18):
Are they are pilots still flying for AA that flew the 707?

Only 767 and 777 captains may have flown the 707 as FE or FO or both, but not as captain. Pilots that have flown the 707 as captain are by now definitely retired. The last 707 was retired 28 years ago so if a pilot at American today has flown the 707 he or she must be with the airline for at least 28 years. In other words no pilot with less than 28 years of service with American has flown the 707, at least not for AA. After 28 years with a major airline you are obviously a captain on widebody equipment, usually after 25 years you are.

In 20 years from now, one will ask: Are there pilots still flying for American that have flown the 727 or the DC-10?
In 40 years from now, one will ask: Are there pilots still flying for American that have flown the MD-80?

Ben Soriano



Ben Soriano
User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7591 posts, RR: 27
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3465 times:

Yeah I wondered if there were a couple of super-senior guys out there still that may have been on the 707 still in its final days, now as you said flying the 767 or 777. It would be interesting to hear their take on flying the 707. Even then, they would've been just starting then, so its possible they were on the 727 back then.

Quoting American 767 (Reply 19):
After 28 years with a major airline you are obviously a captain on widebody equipment, usually after 25 years you are.

At NW, you'd be surprised at the number of super-senior guys that are still on the DC-9. Sure they could be flying the 744 or A330, but there a few that have no desire to do international, long-haul flying. These guys are old-school and just love flying the -9. They love doing turns throughout the upper-midwest, doing 4-6 segments a day, and being home a lot more often.


User currently offlineBeechnut From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 726 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3325 times:



Quoting HodyOaten (Thread starter):
FL080

Just a minor quibble on an interesting thread but in N. America there is no such thing as "FL080".

In N. America flight levels commence at 18,000 ft when altimeters are adjusted to 29.92", and aircraft fly a constant pressure altitude (hence flight level).

Below 18,000 ft aircraft use the local altimeter setting and thus fly at an altitude above sea level. So in N. America "FL080" should rather be restated as "8000 ft".

Any thread about the 707, DC8 or VC10 captures my fancy; I remember my dad taking me to YUL when there was still an observation deck and watching the steady stream of these old classics from overseas, BOAC, AF, Alitalia, Sabena, etc. God I miss those old birds.

Beech


User currently offlineGeorgiaAME From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 980 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3243 times:



Quoting Sparky35805 (Reply 9):
You guys make me feel ancient.In the secaond grade we had a publication called My Weekly Reader

Glad to know that I'm not the only one who remembers that edition (I was in the 3rd grade). It also mentioned that the planes had to be scrubbed clean, because even a small amount of dirt on the skin greatly increased the weight of the aircraft, and caused a lot of drag, which meant a lot more fuel had to be burned. Unfortunately, we are looking at 50 years of time, so I don't remember the actual figure that was printed, but I seem to recall that it was in the thousands of dollars per year. That article has been jumping out of my deep memory everytime someone posts about how dirty Air France aircraft are. (I dunno, the AF jets I fly out of Atlanta look pretty spotless to me, but I digress...)

Oh, and by the way, the 707 was, and remains, the most beautiful passenger aircraft ever to take to the sky, bar none. (The 340 comes close though)



"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
User currently offlineTan Flyr From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1909 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3122 times:



Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 22):
Oh, and by the way, the 707 was, and remains, the most beautiful passenger aircraft ever to take to the sky, bar none.

I think I would have to add 2 (maybe 3) that as far as graceful flight is concerned..I'd add:

The DC-8-61/63 series, the Caravelle, and probably the 727-200.


User currently offlineBeechnut From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 726 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3024 times:



Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 22):
Oh, and by the way, the 707 was, and remains, the most beautiful passenger aircraft ever to take to the sky, bar none. (The 340 comes close though)

While the 707 certainly was/is a fine looking aircraft, I beg to differ "the most beautiful".

For jets, the most beautiful is the Concorde, no contest. Nothing comes close.

For props, the Connie.

Beech


25 Post contains links and images Viscount724 : AA's first 707, N7501A, delivered October 1958, less than a year before it was retired in December 1978. As the caption says, it was written off in a
26 Xaphan : In August of 1965, I flew an AA from SDF-MEM-LAX. It was a 707-123B. It had the camera in the nose gear, which was really only useful on approach. The
27 Timz : In 3/75 and 9/75 it was still B3F. Sure there is-- ATC doesn't use the term, but the altitude exists here the same as everywhere else.
28 Post contains links Beechnut : It's not that ATC never uses the term. It's that flight levels are never assigned below 18,000 ft in US or Canadian airspace. That's not the case in
29 Timz : Sure, they're never assigned. Probably you meant to say they're never assigned, rather than saying they don't exist.
30 American 767 : Thanks for your explanations Beechnut. But what about above 60000ft, would an altitude be assigned as Flight Level? Flight Levels go up to FL 600 bec
31 KC135TopBoom : Do you remember if that B-707 had a "stinger" attached to the top of the fin, if it did, it could have been an early B-707-120 (later reengined to th
32 Post contains links and images Viscount724 : I don't agree. AA's 707s only had 2 turbo-compressors on #2 and #3 engines. There was no difference between AA's -120Bs and -320B/Cs in that respect.
33 Falstaff : I like to smell the paper when it comes out of the copier.
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