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Why NWA Never Had 737s  
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3669 posts, RR: 2
Posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 10574 times:

I was wondering, why NWA never operated 737s?

35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6490 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 10522 times:



Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
I was wondering, why NWA never operated 737s?

When it came time to order an aircraft of that size, NW felt the A320 was a better aircraft for their needs and less expensive.


User currently offlineOzarkD9S From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5153 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 10487 times:

I've wondered that myself. NW never went for either the DC-9 (pre-Republic) or 737, or the 1-11 for that matter. Apparently they found the 727-100 and later-200 as an aircraft that fit all they're domestic (and YWG) narrowbody needs. Part of it may of had to do with NW's odd pre-deregulation network:

East of MSP they primarily served rather large metropolitan areas: MKE, ORD, DTW, PIT, NYC, BOS, DCA, PHL, ATL, MIA, TPA etc...with only two smaller stations; RST and MSN.

West of MSP they had alot of smaller markets: BIS, Montana, GEG. But may of those flights continued on to SEA (and many of those flights were multistop thru Montana). But the 727 could handle those shorthauls as well as turnaround in SEA and fly nonstop back to MSP if needed.

Cargo was another concern west of MSP, as NW handled quite a bit into Montana, which was rather isolated geographically vis a vis the highway system at the time.

The early model 737's probably could have found a niche at pre-deregulation NW, but the 727's handled the needs admirably so why take on another fleet type which would have more limited use on the NW system?

In the years immediatly following deregulation, NW might have looked at the 737-300, and I'm sure they did, but NW's only pre-Republic aircraft order after deregulation for a new type went up the scale: the 757. Not sure if they ordered the A320 before or after Republic. Had the Republic buyout not happened, with NW gaining an enormous fleet of DC-9's, we probably would have seen NW order the 737 (or MD-80) in due time.



Next Up: STL-EWR-STL for my first mileage run!
User currently onlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7653 posts, RR: 27
Reply 3, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 10489 times:

NW never had 737's for a few reasons. Considering why NW or any of the airlines that made up NW never had 737's, you have to look back when the different 737 models were introduced.

737-100/200:
Airlines like Republic, North Central were all very reliant on the DC-9 and 727. Those two aircraft filled in the capacity and range gaps that the original classic 737s filled.
NW itself only had 727's, DC-10, and 747s

737-300/400/500:
By the time these aircraft were introduced, NW was in the process of digesting the Republic-Northwest merger and had an abundant fleet of DC-9's and 727's, a small fleet of MD-80's, along with new 757s. There were many challenges associated with this merger and the priority at the time was not on the short/medium haul fleet. Their priorities were first on getting new widebodies. They were taking delivery of new 757s, retiring the original 727-100's, and then made a large deal with Airbus. Airbus in the late 80's was desperately trying to made in-road in the North American market hence they were offering great deals on the, arguably newer and much more advanced A320 (compared to the 737-3/4/5). NW placed an order for A320's, and then planned a large widebody order of A330's and A340's in the late 80's. Also the 744 was introduced during this period.

By the early 90's, NW was in very poor financial position and ended up deffering the A330 and A340 order. Following Eastern's shutdown, NW ended up aquiring a bunch of 727's and DC-9s second-hand, cheap. With the NW-KLM alliance, NW needed widebody lift fast for their rapidly expanding European network, so they got the second-hand DC-10-30's.

NW was committed the DC-9 -10/30/40/50 (which filled the 75-125 seat range perfectly) and then the 727, A320, MD-80 for the 150 seat range, and 757 for 180 seat. The 727's generally didn't fly west of DEN/SLC. The DC-9's didn't fly west of the Midwest and the MD-80, A320, 757 was used to the West Coast.

737NG:
By the time NW got back on its feet financially, they had a decent sized fleet of A320's as well as the differed A330 and A340, and additional A320 orders. They ended up placing a large order for A319s, which shared a common platform with the A320.

So in short, they didn't need them earlier in time, then went with the Airbus narrowbody when Airbus was making good deals and had a better airframe in the late 80s and then NW was committed to the A320 narrowbody platform.


User currently onlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7653 posts, RR: 27
Reply 4, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 10403 times:



Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 2):
In the years immediatly following deregulation, NW might have looked at the 737-300, and I'm sure they did, but NW's only pre-Republic aircraft order after deregulation for a new type went up the scale: the 757. Not sure if they ordered the A320 before or after Republic. Had the Republic buyout not happened, with NW gaining an enormous fleet of DC-9's, we probably would have seen NW order the 737 (or MD-80) in due time.

Part of the reason the 733 was never seriously considered when it was first introduced was because of the DC-9-50 which were still relatively new and did most of the same things as the 733.

The real question I think came down to A320 vs. MD-80 in the late 80's. NW got a small fleet of MD-80's from the RC merger and was very much committed to the DC-9 platform. At the time AA and DL were order gobs of MD-80's which were very much in flavor. It wouldn't have been a new fleet type either. Had NW gone with MD-80's instead of A320's its very likely their fleet would've looked much different.
Arguably it was the right decision then to go A320 and its appears to have been the right decision in retrospect as well. The A320 has been a great aircraft for NW and will be for DL for years to come.

Now things are coming full circle, since we'll see DL MD-88's and MD-90's in MSP this year.


User currently offlineTjwgrr From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2460 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 10197 times:

Would have looked pretty cool....


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Or if the acquisition went the other way:


Aviation-Design.Net:
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Design © Jennings Heilig
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Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 3038 posts, RR: 36
Reply 6, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 10138 times:
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Just one little point of Trivia,

NWA almost DID acquire some 737-200s when it made a bid to take over the original Midway, they would of gotten MD-82s ans MD-87s as well... might of changed the fleet outlook at NWA some but more likely the 737s would of been sold off in short order and the MD-80s would of been different flightdecks than the ex-Republic ones so who knows what would of happened with those.

Of course NWA didn't complete the purchase of Midway, Midway collapsed and their fleet found homes elsewhere.



Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently offlineFX1816 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1400 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 10042 times:



Quoting Tjwgrr (Reply 5):
Would have looked pretty cool....



Aviation-Design.Net:

Design © mikephotos
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That's pretty cool!!

FX1816


User currently offlineBlueSky1976 From Poland, joined Jul 2004, 1896 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 9922 times:



Quoting Tjwgrr (Reply 5):
Would have looked pretty cool....

Ugh...

Quoting Tjwgrr (Reply 5):
Or if the acquisition went the other way:

Now that's soooo much better  Smile



STOP TERRORRUSSIA!!!
User currently onlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 2997 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 9901 times:



Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 3):
A340

I believe NW did not operate 340's, and if so, Pictures!!!! Must have looked good in bowling shoe.



The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlinePqdtw From Netherlands, joined Aug 2008, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 9643 times:



Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 9):
I believe NW did not operate 340's, and if so, Pictures!!!! Must have looked good in bowling shoe.

No. They were just on order.


User currently offline1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 9539 times:



Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 9):
I believe NW did not operate 340's, and if so, Pictures!!!! Must have looked good in bowling shoe.

The NW A340s that were on the production line went to Virgin (G-VBUS, G-VAEL, G-VSKY and G-VFLY)


User currently offlineTjwgrr From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2460 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9492 times:



Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 11):
Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 9):
I believe NW did not operate 340's, and if so, Pictures!!!! Must have looked good in bowling shoe.

The NW A340s that were on the production line went to Virgin (G-VBUS, G-VAEL, G-VSKY and G-VFLY)

Interesting archived 1987 article announcing NWA's order for A340's and A330's:

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/04/04/bu...irbus-a-2.5-billion-jet-order.html



Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
User currently offlineTranspac787 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3214 posts, RR: 13
Reply 13, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9391 times:



Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 3):
The 727's generally didn't fly west of DEN/SLC. The DC-9's didn't fly west of the Midwest and the MD-80, A320, 757 was used to the West Coast.

That's not completely true.

After the A320 was brand new to the fleet - 1989/1990 - there were several performance-critical airports & routes on which NW had to re-introduce the 727 as the primary type, as the first-delivered A320's to NW had the de-rated CFM56-5A1's that, as it seemed, took significant weight limits out of some airports like SAN, PHX, etc.

NW's high-powered 727's, the 727-2S7/Adv and the 727-2M7/Adv, ended up having better performance and payload lift out of those airports and operated them for some time before NW uprated the thrust-ratings on the -5A1 motors and, eventually, took delivery of the remaining A320's with the CFM56-5A3 motors.


User currently offlineFlyCaledonian From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2093 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9264 times:



Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 11):
Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 9):
I believe NW did not operate 340's, and if so, Pictures!!!! Must have looked good in bowling shoe.

The NW A340s that were on the production line went to Virgin (G-VBUS, G-VAEL, G-VSKY and G-VFLY)

What registrations were they due to carry in the NW fleet?



Let's Go British Caledonian!
User currently offlineN501US From United States of America, joined May 2005, 221 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 9236 times:
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A few more thoughts; It is my understanding Donald Nyrop was not a fan of twins back in the day (meaning Northwest Orient). For a long time NWA operated a 3 plane fleet: 727, 747, and DC10. It was not until the 757 order that NWA operated a twin.

Part of me wonders with all of the labor issues they had during the '60 and '70s that the addition of a two man crew plane (eliminating the flight engineer) may have been part of the thought process, as well. (Ironic since NWA was always very cost conscious).

Thanks,
N501US



Fools and thieves are well disguised in the temple and the marketplace.....
User currently offlineTranspac787 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3214 posts, RR: 13
Reply 16, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 9132 times:



Quoting N501US (Reply 15):
A few more thoughts; It is my understanding Donald Nyrop was not a fan of twins back in the day (meaning Northwest Orient). For a long time NWA operated a 3 plane fleet: 727, 747, and DC10. It was not until the 757 order that NWA operated a twin.

While I'd imagine it's more urban legend than fact, I had always heard old Don Nyrop never ordered the 767 because it couldn't hold LD3's like the 747 and DC10, making their cargo operation - especially at HND/NRT - a bit more difficult & complex.

In regard to not ordering of twins, the 757's were ordered and delivered some years before the A320/737 order came to pass.


User currently offlineNWADC9 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4897 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 9129 times:



Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 9):
I believe NW did not operate 340's, and if so, Pictures!!!! Must have looked good in bowling shoe.

When it was just an order, they had it as a model in the WorldGear catalog. Also, in the 75th Anniversary Special Commemorative WorldTraveller Issue, there's a picture of the A330's nose in Bowling Shoe. Let's just say, some planes just don't do the Bowling Shoe livery justice...



Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that? -Capt. Picard
User currently offlineFX1816 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1400 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 9077 times:

Schabak also made an A340 model of NWA in the bowling shoe livery along with a CO A340 and a TWA A330 in the 1980's scheme. My brother has all 3 and they are pretty nice looking.

FX1816


User currently onlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7653 posts, RR: 27
Reply 19, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 7900 times:



Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 16):
While I'd imagine it's more urban legend than fact, I had always heard old Don Nyrop never ordered the 767 because it couldn't hold LD3's like the 747 and DC10, making their cargo operation - especially at HND/NRT - a bit more difficult & complex.

Nyrop wasn't the CEO of NW when the 767 was introduced.
Anyways, flying the 767 across the Pacific was unheard when they first came out.
Based on NW route structure and existing fleet at the time when the 767 came out it didn't make sense to add to the fleet. NW did seriously consider the 767 as a DC-10 Trans-Atlantic replacement, along with the 777 and the A330 in the late 90's, ultimately going with the A330 when the order was announced in 2001.


User currently offlineNwarooster From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1105 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 7678 times:
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Northwest never bought the 737-200 as it was a twin engine aircraft and Donald Nyrop did not like twin engine aircraft. He stuck with three engine aircraft and one reason was if an aircraft had an engine failure and required an engine change, the aircraft could be ferried with two engines to a location where a spare engine was available.
Northwest had an interest in the 777, but wanted Boeing to build a shorter fuselage 777.
Boeing showed no interest in doing this. Northwest then went to Airbus and ordered the A330. If Boeing had built that aircraft, Maybe Boeing would have won the USAF tanker aircraft contract. Boeing insisted on trying with the USAF contract with a warmed over 767.  old 


User currently offlineOzarkD9S From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5153 posts, RR: 21
Reply 21, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 7649 times:



Quoting Nwarooster (Reply 20):


He stuck with three engine aircraft and one reason was if an aircraft had an engine failure and required an engine change, the aircraft could be ferried with two engines to a location where a spare engine was available.

That's a reason I hadn't considered, but seeing as NW covered some pretty rugged and mountainous terrain west of MSP, that does make sense.



Next Up: STL-EWR-STL for my first mileage run!
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25626 posts, RR: 22
Reply 22, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 7649 times:



Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 9):
Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 3):
A340

I believe NW did not operate 340's



Quoting FlyCaledonian (Reply 14):
Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 11):
Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 9):
I believe NW did not operate 340's, and if so, Pictures!!!! Must have looked good in bowling shoe.

The NW A340s that were on the production line went to Virgin (G-VBUS, G-VAEL, G-VSKY and G-VFLY)


What registrations were they due to carry in the NW fleet?

I believe 8 A340-300s were in various stages of production when they were cancelled, or had at least been assigned Airbus serial numbers. According to one site, NW had reserved the following registrations for those 8 343s:

N3401A
N3402N
N3403G
N3404G
N3405N
N3406A
N3407G
N3408A

NW had also apparently reserved sequential registrations continuing the above series (N3409, 3410 etc.) for the balance of the ordered A340s, with the number followed by one of half a dozen letters.


User currently offlineWA707atMSP From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2245 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 7424 times:



Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 19):
Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 16):
While I'd imagine it's more urban legend than fact, I had always heard old Don Nyrop never ordered the 767 because it couldn't hold LD3's like the 747 and DC10, making their cargo operation - especially at HND/NRT - a bit more difficult & complex.

Nyrop wasn't the CEO of NW when the 767 was introduced.
Anyways, flying the 767 across the Pacific was unheard when they first came out.
Based on NW route structure and existing fleet at the time when the 767 came out it didn't make sense to add to the fleet. NW did seriously consider the 767 as a DC-10 Trans-Atlantic replacement, along with the 777 and the A330 in the late 90's, ultimately going with the A330 when the order was announced in 2001.

In 1985, Northwest seriously considered both the 767 and A300 to replace DC-10-40s on domestic US routes. The Aug 85 issue of Air Transport World has an interview with NW's then-CEO, Steven Rothmeier, who was Nyrop's successor. In the interview, Rothmeier says NW favored the A300 over the 767, because the A300 used LD-3s. Of course, neither the A300 nor the 767 was ever purchased by NW.



Seaholm Maples are #1!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15780 posts, RR: 27
Reply 24, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 6603 times:



Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 3):
Airlines like Republic, North Central were all very reliant on the DC-9 and 727. Those two aircraft filled in the capacity and range gaps that the original classic 737s filled.

Some of them were like that, but others (notably Frontier) had 737s and used them well for many years.

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 19):
Anyways, flying the 767 across the Pacific was unheard when they first came out.
Based on NW route structure and existing fleet at the time when the 767 came out it didn't make sense to add to the fleet.

True, and at the time they had a pretty young fleet of DC-10s. They just didn't need it, and the A330 is better suited to their shorter transpacific flights and transatlantic flights from their midcontinent hubs.

Quoting Nwarooster (Reply 20):
Boeing showed no interest in doing this.

Boeing did, twice actually. There was a shorter bodied 777-100 idea that was shorter range which suffered from poor economics and the ULH 777-100X which eventually became the 777-200LR.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
25 VC10DC10 : I know it's incredibly petty of me, but technically Donald Nyrop's successor was M. Joseph Lapensky (who became president of NWA in 1976 and CEO in 1
26 Nwarooster : You are correct. Also, your reply is NOT petty
27 WesternA318 : Got all of them too! Although I also have a pacmin of an A340 in the old silver scheme before the bowling shoe livery. This model I guess was one of
28 Jetmechof7s : -Just an interesting little memory of mine.... I won't pretend to know the full reason why, but I recall a time, somewhere around 1990 (I'm guessing h
29 Jetmechof7s : [Quote] Northwest had an interest in the 777, but wanted Boeing to build a shorter fuselage 777. Boeing showed no interest in doing this. Northwest t
30 Kappel : NW ordered the a333, that's about the same size as the 772. IIRC they ordered the a332 later.
31 Transpac787 : AFAIK they were all ordered at the same time - the A332's were just delivered later than the initial A333's.
32 Kappel : IIRC at the time of the original order in 1987 the a332 was not available yet. Of course this oreder was deferred and at a much later time the order
33 WA707atMSP : I'd forgotten about Lapensky - and you are NOT being petty by reminding me! When Northwest (re) ordered the A330 in Dec 2000, the order was only for
34 Post contains links VC10DC10 : Sorry to go off-topic, but as long as past NWA execs have come up, can anyone confirm if Nyrop and Lapensky are still alive? It sounds a little blunt,
35 Nwarooster : Bot Donald Nyrop and Joe Lapensky are still alive. Donald Nyrop was asked a few years ago what he thought about Northwest Airlines then. He stated he
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