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Western Airlines 'Londoner'?  
User currently offlineCF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 994 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 9847 times:

Western Airlines flew a single DC-10-30, N821L on a short-lived DEN - London service in 1981. I have very little info on the cabin configuration of this aircraft, interior design, etc. Was there a dedicated business class cabin? Did they opt for a sleeper-type seat in First? I have googled this topic but there seems to be very little in the way of a photographic record (that I could find). This is surprising, since it must have been a big deal for them. Any help or info is appreciated.

58 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinen901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 428 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 9762 times:

I was young back then, but I remember it being a Teal color, and my Dad (who was a WAL AMT) told me it was the Air New Zealand interior. I got a pic somewhere, but that's what I remember. I forgot to add, I also think it was in a standard F/C Y setup wit 2-2-2 and 2-5-2. Flew on it once, and saw it a few times in the hangar ( Back then my Dad you to take us to work to look at airplanes ) Sorry, I could not be more helpful.

[Edited 2012-10-05 11:58:15]

User currently offlineCF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 994 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 9696 times:

Thanks for the info. (Judging from your s/n, I'm not surprised you could answer this). The TE cabin has been photographed here and there, but I thought it would be cool to find one when it was flying for WA. I believe there was a small 2x2x2 F class up front, with manual legrests. It did indeed have a bluish seat cover. The economy cabin was 2-5-2 in various yellow, green and blue wavy patterns. At the time WA's own DC-10s were leaning to the orange red and purple 70s look.

User currently offlinen901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 428 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 9609 times:

Also WALs DC-10 F/C had the Big Swivel Seat, that could be turned. I still remember seeing guys playing cards and watching Jonny Carson in F/C while it was on overnight checks. Funny, I still have 3 Y seat sets in that color ( My Dad bought a bunch of seats when WAL upgraded the seats, and made a club house with them ) I could only get to a seat cushion to photo the seat bottom from my storage shed.



User currently offlinegreggariouspdx From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 61 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 9498 times:
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WA also flew HNL-ANC-LGW for a short time. I lived in Juneau, AK for a time in the 1980's and scored an upgrade to F from the JNU Station manager on the ANC-LGW legs, which flew almost empty. I remember F as 2x2x2 in blue leather with manual footrests. While not all that special by today's lie-flat standards, I also remember it being a comfortable experience with great, personalized service. On the return LGW-ANC segment, I had F all to myself and slept most of the way.

User currently offlineCALPSAFltSkeds From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 2495 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 9041 times:

Quoting greggariouspdx (Reply 4):
WA also flew HNL-ANC-LGW for a short time.

Probably the worse route decision of the jet era. No passengers, double crews. DC10-10 equipment.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24080 posts, RR: 22
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 8956 times:

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 2):
At the time WA's own DC-10s were leaning to the orange red and purple 70s look.

Speaking of Western in the '70s (1976).
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jw-jets/4835991649/in/pool-1135129@N25/


User currently offlineWALmsp From United States of America, joined Sep 2010, 130 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 8874 times:

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 2):
At the time WA's own DC-10s were leaning to the orange red and purple 70s look.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Fenrich Family



Pic of WA's first DC-10-10 from my late-father...



In memory of my Dad, Robert "Bob" Fenrich, WAL 1964-1979, MSP ONT LAX
User currently offlineviscount630 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 233 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 8265 times:
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I was actually interviewed to be a Customer Services Rep' for WA at LGW not long after the service started. The person doing the interview did not exactly sell the idea to me as even she was despondant about future loads, although she said part of the new job would be to promote the service more in Europe and give it a badly needed boost. I was quite relieved not to to be offered it!  Wow!


RIP Dan-Air. Where the Secret was SERVICE.
User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12325 posts, RR: 35
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 8104 times:

When did WA stop using DC10s? Did they survive as far as the DL merger; I have seen photos of DL DC10s, but I think these were from the early 70s, when DL acquired DC10s to cover for the late arrival of their first Tristars.

User currently offlineviscount630 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 233 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7982 times:
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Quoting kaitak (Reply 9):
When did WA stop using DC10s? Did they survive as far as the DL merger; I have seen photos of DL DC10s, but I think these were from the early 70s, when DL acquired DC10s to cover for the late arrival of their first Tristars.

Several WA DC-10s were taken over in the DL merger. The earlier DL DC-10s were leased from UA in the early 70s to help cover late L1011 deliveries (I think?) For a while, DL was the only operator of all wide-bodies then available, B747, DC-10 and L1011.



RIP Dan-Air. Where the Secret was SERVICE.
User currently offlinen901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 428 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7934 times:

Western used the DC-10 till the end. In fact the Last Western flight was a DC-10 from HNL to LAX. It took off as Western, and Landed as Delta. I think it was flt 568 ( could be wrong on the flt number, it been a long time ago). Delta then used the DC-10 to HNL untill around 1990ish. I was there on the Last Delta DC-10 flt out of HNL, it was ship 783 - N907WA. The easy way to tell the old Delta DC-10 from the WAL DC-10 in Delta service is the black nose. If the whole nose is black and swoops back to the stripe ( like the picture I took), then its a Wally bird. If the nose is white with a small black dot, is the old Delta DC-10. HTH

It was neat working the same acft that my Dad had worked on, and being able to compair the DC-10 and L-1011 side by side. Both were Good aircraft, and I miss both of them, and I miss HNL.

One last time, a sad day for me.
N907WA


[Edited 2012-10-06 02:29:18]

[Edited 2012-10-06 02:41:16]

User currently offlineCF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 994 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 6602 times:

If you include the one-off DC-10-30 N821L with the New Zealand cabin, WA had a total of four cabin designs in the DC-10s during their life 1973-87. The pic from WALmsp is the delivery interior, and at the time they had that geometric pattern that WAL employes called 'rainbow' . The F class was a bright red - very attractive actually - and was probably Hawaii-inspired. From what I know, the red and blue design that N901wa posted was adopted fleet-wide in F class sometime in the 1970s. Somewhere I have a picture of the economy cabin of a Boeing 720B from that period, and it was a red/orange thing. I was told by a former WA f/a that the DC-10s eventually got the same treatment. I think the idea was a Mexican fiesta look, but of course the 1970s were know for the bright cabin colors. Shortly before the DL merger, WA had opted for a more conservative blue and grey look inside (as others have mentioned). I'm told that DL operated those -10s in the WA cabin design, despite painting all of them in the widget very quickly. However, WA featured had featured those 'carpeted' designs on the real bulkheads of both F and economy which featured the big red 'W' prominently, and these were removed by DL. Anecdotally I was told that an employee in LAX maintenance took one home with him (after removal from the aircraft), and was terminated by DL.

User currently offlinecschleic From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 1228 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 6460 times:

Didn't that route start with a 707, before switching to a DC-10?

User currently offlineogshelly From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6016 times:

Whenever I hear or read about Western Airlines, I remember the beautiful wide body painted white with the big red W that crashed early in the morning in Mexico city's airport. It was a shock to many, as it was the early bird arriving from LAX. The pilot was flying his last flight prior to retirement, rest in peace, he perished in that accident. It was back in the 70's, I was in college. My apologies if I change gears.

User currently offlineProst From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 634 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5411 times:

Seeing the economy cabin of the DC-10 with only 8 abreast looks very comfortable. The lack of Overhead bins over the center seats really opens up the cabin as well. When K started with NW there weren't OH bins in the center, either, but there was a strange garment bag hanging mechanism that went up into the ceiling at doot 3. Does anybody know if WA had that as well?

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24080 posts, RR: 22
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5352 times:

Quoting cschleic (Reply 13):
Didn't that route start with a 707, before switching to a DC-10?

As far as I can tell, Western had disposed of all their 707s before the LGW routes started. They acquired the ex-NZ DC-10-30 specifically for the DEN-LGW route and used the DC-10-10 on the HNL-ANC-LGW route. If memory correct, the DEN-LGW flights operated LAX-LAS-DEN-LGW.


User currently offlinecschleic From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 1228 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5242 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 16):
As far as I can tell, Western had disposed of all their 707s before the LGW routes started.

I was thinking back that they leased a 707 short term until the DC-10 started service, but could be wrong.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24080 posts, RR: 22
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5121 times:

Quoting cschleic (Reply 17):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 16):
As far as I can tell, Western had disposed of all their 707s before the LGW routes started.

I was thinking back that they leased a 707 short term until the DC-10 started service, but could be wrong.

To launch a new route like that with a 707 would have been a big mistake, as everyone expected a widebody on transatlantic routes then. I can't think of any carriers still using narrowbodies on US-Europe routes then except Icelandair and probably a few charter operators.


User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2885 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5100 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 16):
As far as I can tell, Western had disposed of all their 707s before the LGW routes started. They acquired the ex-NZ DC-10-30 specifically for the DEN-LGW route and used the DC-10-10 on the HNL-ANC-LGW route. If memory correct, the DEN-LGW flights operated LAX-LAS-DEN-LGW.

Everything you stated is accurate, I just reviewed some old WA timetables and you are 100% correct, good memory!



Rule number One, NEVER underestimate the other guys greed
User currently offlinetype-rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4845 posts, RR: 19
Reply 20, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5078 times:

The Western DC-10's were called "DC-10 Space Ships". Was that because they offered more pitch in Y like AA did with MRTC?


Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4762 posts, RR: 43
Reply 21, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4942 times:

Quoting cschleic (Reply 17):
I was thinking back that they leased a 707 short term until the DC-10 started service, but could be wrong.

I don't think so. I recall seeing a picture of the inaugural flight, and it showed the DC-10 with "The Londoner" markings on the side of the nose.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinen901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 428 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4837 times:

Wow CF-CPI you are bringing back memorries. I know the guy, and lucky he got in trouble, but he didn't loose his job   I know of 3 surviving W Panels, and I wish I had one.
Hey Prost, I wanna say they did have the closet at 3 L/R in the cross way fwd side like the MD-11 had. I will check my WAL DC-10 books in my rollaway at work when I get back. It might be awhile. But I am sure it did. In fact the part nbr for the drive motor for the hanger on the MD-11 was the same part nbr on the MD-11, and came in a WAL box  
Its a shame Western canceled the order for the 767. The Model I saw looked good in the W paint  


User currently offlinelemonkitty From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 129 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4817 times:
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Here is the timetable showing "The Londoner" service..



I met my wife on Airliners.Net!!!!
User currently offlineAY104 From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 505 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 4738 times:

Quoting Prost (Reply 15):
Seeing the economy cabin of the DC-10 with only 8 abreast looks very comfortable. The lack of Overhead bins over the center seats really opens up the cabin as well. When K started with NW there weren't OH bins in the center, either, but there was a strange garment bag hanging mechanism that went up into the ceiling at doot 3. Does anybody know if WA had that as well?

I don't think Western had the garment bag mechanism, although I worked for them at YVR from 1975 to 1987, when we merged with DL.
Exciting times in the 70s (can't remember the exact date). When I started with WAL at YVR in 1975, we had a daily LAX "Spaceship" service. You are right, the 8-abreast seating was very comfortable. About the same size seat as a 737 F-Class seat, maybe a bit narrower.

The excitement continued, when we were awarded the YVR-HNL route. DC10, daylight flight there and back. The 8-abreast seating was great for the 5hour flight. Non-revving, when we couldn't get in F, was still a most comfortable flight in Y. A couple of times, I even had the middle seat, but it was still comfortable. The centre group of 4 seats was more like 2 pairs of seats, with about a foot of space between the 2 pairs. What luxury! And the meals were excellent as well. I remember coming back from HNL, a dinner service, and in Y there was a choice of Mahi-Mahi and another entree as well. Delicious!

The HNL service also had complimentary Mai-Tais, served from a "Steaming Volcano" set up on one of the service trolleys. The "steam" being made by dry ice. Those flights were always lots of fun, and they had fantastic crews as well.
F-Class had wonderful service, menus, and a vivid blue and red porcelain. There were also special wicker glass holders, for hot after dinner coffee drinks prepared by the flight attendants.

Although we enjoyed working for Western, and travelling on Western, I don't think any of us really realized at the time how good we had it. Things have changed so much since then, including the behaviour of the travelling public.

I remember we also had a YVR-PDX flight, twice daily, which continued on to SFO or LAX. The flight at 11:30 was admittedly over the lunch hour, and we had complaints that there was no meal. It was only a 45min flight. Still, Western ended up providing a small snack tray at one point with little sandwiches that were distributed with the beverage service. We did not even have competition on that route, yet Western wanted to provide the service. At least until the 80s when times started to get bad.

I apologize for getting off the topic. Please forgive an old guy and his ramblings! It is a pity that the Londoner service never proved a success. There was also a "Canadian" service, when Western inaugurated service to Vancouver in the early 70s, with a special tea service.

Great thread this, with all the memories!

Cheers,
AY104



The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
25 OzarkD9S : Nothing to forgive! Great story, it's the insight of experiences such as yours that make this site what it is. Thanks for sharing.
26 Post contains images Viscount724 : Western's YVR service started a little earlier - sometime in 1967. It was part of a batch of new Canada-USA route awards announcd in 1966 which also
27 longhauler : Thanks for that, and I agree completely. Western's service was great, and very unique! I remember the Smoking Volcano that they wheeled down the aisl
28 AY104 : Thanks, Viscount724. Soon after my post, I remembered that I flew Western in 1967 or 1968 to SFO! And the Canadian service was called "Royal Canadian
29 maxpower1954 : I was a DC-8 F/O and captain for Arrow Air from early 1982 to 1985, and I have remember flying with crews that had operated this flight on a wet leas
30 Tomassjc : I remember that day well, October 31, 1979, because it was my hire date with Mexicana Airlines at LAX. At sad event indeed. Interestingly, MX leased
31 greggariouspdx : As I mentioned in my previous post in this Forum, I lived in Juneau, Alaska at one time and I loved Western's service into the Alaskan Capital. I was
32 milesrich : No, it was just a tradename. Spaceship as in NASA. It was space age, as it was Western's first and only wide body jet. American's DC-10's had just as
33 RWA380 : Didn't CO have the "Pub" on their DC-10's?
34 type-rated : I remember those were heavily advertised on flights from ORD-DEN and ORD-LAX. I can't remember if those flights continued on to HNL or not. They were
35 Post contains links milesrich : Yes, they had lounges in First and Coach on the Tens. On the 747, the lounge, like with other carriers at the time, was upstairs. I flew on the CO DC
36 Lono : I remember I was working operations doing the weight and balance for this flight in ANC December 1982 and the flight was full. Problem was the fuel re
37 Flyingsottsman : How big was Western at HNL ?
38 RWA380 : Somewhere I have an advertisement from the 70's advertising the HNL hub, with all their Pacific destinations, plus mentions of the "Pub" service. It
39 Aeri28 : Another WAL offspring here. I flew often as a young kid beginning in the late 60s all the way until about the Delta merger. Western had several flight
40 milesrich : When? In the 1973-1976 era, they had two DC-10 flights a days from LAX; a 720B that operated HNL-SJC-OAK-HNL on some days of the week, and on others
41 longhauler : Yes, it was a totem pole, wasn't it? They also had a sombrero for the Mexican flights. A couple years later, I flew with them in February 1978. Almos
42 Prost : When I was a child, I was crazy about airports and airlines. We lived under the approach path to LAX, and by age six, I could identify all of the airl
43 Viscount724 : Reminds me that CP called their DC-8-63s "Spacemaster" in their early years of service, but that was "Space" as in room and spaciousness (although th
44 Viscount724 : In September 1973, Western's HNL departures were as follows (all 720B or 707 except one daily DC-10 each to LAX and SFO). Most days they had 10 depar
45 Post contains images n901wa : Great memories. Hnl service was called the islander if I remember right, Mexico was fiesta flts. Also if I remember right meal service was chk, steak
46 PacificF27 : Was on a Western 720B from SEA to SFO in the late sixties--my seatmate said "Delta has planes just like this but they call them Convairs." I cringed!
47 Lono : I believe the London flight came from Denver. WE also had a flight that was a dc10 IAH-YEG-ANC connecting with a 727 going FAI-SCC, this was the "Oil
48 mayor : When I worked at SLC, some of the WA guys told me that the WA "Londoner" service had problems leaving DEN as they had to block off quite a few seats,
49 Post contains images Viscount724 : I doubt a DC-10-10 would have been able to operate DEN-LGW with any type of economic payload. I thought that route began with the DC-10-30 but not ce
50 mayor : Ok....the bottom left one is the one I've seen........I saw it at SLC before the DL/WA merger.
51 cageyjames : They did at least until 1990 when I flew HNL-CNS-BNE-HNL on their DC-10's. I mostly recall the drunk Aussies all over the airplane.
52 Post contains links cedarjet : I have always been curious about their "Western International" brand - different logo, different typeface, but never appeared on an aeroplane, just se
53 longhauler : You are right, it pre-dates "The Londoner" by about 13 years. It looks to appear on the timetables about the same time Hawaii flights were awarded by
54 Tomassjc : I believe this title appeared shortly after the Vancouver BC inaugural in 1967, during the "Indian Head" color scheme and it did carry the same typef
55 Post contains links Viscount724 : During that period they were also promoting MEX as a connecting point to Central and South America, and included connecting flights on many other car
56 CF-CPI : Delta had some on the MIA-FLL sector - including L10s and 727s, right up into the early 90s at least. I believe WA had an IAD-JFK add-on as part of f
57 WALmsp : IIRC, WA also had a DCA-IAD flight because of the perimeter rule.
58 Viscount724 : Yes, in the March 1987 timetable 2 of WA's 3 daily IAD-SLC nonstop 727-200s originated at DCA and flew the 21 nm to IAD.
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