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AA 777-300ER, Minus Vertical Stab?  
User currently offlineflightsimer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (3 years 5 months 17 hours ago) and read 29887 times:

What is the reason behind this? I have never heard of or seen pictures of a plane being on the flight line in such an unfinished condition like this ( and the 787 doesn't count).

I'm assuming that there had to be some sort of issue with the vertical. Does anyone know if it was found prior to or after assembly?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/microvolt/8231546866/in/photostream

[Edited 2012-11-29 19:34:35]

58 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinetonytifao From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 16 hours ago) and read 29665 times:

They took it out for a wash  

Have no clue!


User currently offlinerj777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 16 hours ago) and read 29503 times:

OR.................... maybe they're going to use it to unveil the new AA corporate logo!

User currently offlineas739x From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (3 years 5 months 16 hours ago) and read 29506 times:

They need to take it off to apply their fancy new livery??

Seriously though, I have to agree, this is not a common sight.


User currently offlineFI642 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (3 years 5 months 16 hours ago) and read 29452 times:

I've seen DC-8's in the same situation on the production line

User currently offlineflightsimer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 16 hours ago) and read 29420 times:

Quoting FI642 (Reply 4):

But this is on the flight line.


User currently offlinetonytifao From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (3 years 5 months 16 hours ago) and read 29432 times:

might be for the special livery. That means the body might just be a solid color and the vertical have the slick design  

User currently offlineSXDFC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (3 years 5 months 15 hours ago) and read 29056 times:

Is this 717AN or 718AN?

User currently offlineliftsifter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (3 years 5 months 15 hours ago) and read 28999 times:

^ 718AN.

Something tells me they want to apply some special coat but are holding back.


User currently offlinedeltaflyertoo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (3 years 5 months 14 hours ago) and read 28908 times:

Quoting liftsifter (Reply 8):

Something tells me they want to apply some special coat but are holding back.


Agreed. There was article out this morning from local Dallas news station confirming new livery but saying that AA refuses to say when or how it will be revealed. My guess is they planned on doing it already but w/ the pilot contract out for vote they want to make double sure the labor issues have settled down first, i.e. last thing they need is to unveil new livery/logo/77W roll out along w/ commercials and such w/ backdrop of another major slowdown and media circus.


User currently offlinebrilondon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (3 years 5 months 6 hours ago) and read 26300 times:

Or maybe it is a conspiracy, they are going to paint it like every other AA aircraft and end all the speculation about a new livery. Just saying.

User currently offlinebaldwin471 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (3 years 5 months 6 hours ago) and read 26043 times:

Quoting brilondon (Reply 10):

I can't fathom how ghastly the 77W would look in the Current AA livery. Maybe as bad as their 772's.


User currently offlineRyanairGuru From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (3 years 5 months 6 hours ago) and read 25952 times:

Quoting deltaflyertoo (Reply 9):
My guess is they planned on doing it already but w/ the pilot contract out for vote they want to make double sure the labor issues have settled down first

I think it has more to do with the delay in 77W deliveries, although I see you point about avoiding a labor showdown after the "birth of the new American", or however they spin it.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 10):
Or maybe it is a conspiracy, they are going to paint it like every other AA aircraft and end all the speculation about a new livery. Just saying.

So they went and wasted a massive amount of money painting a 77W white and grey just to entertain ANetters?  
Quoting baldwin471 (Reply 11):
I can't fathom how ghastly the 77W would look in the Current AA livery. Maybe as bad as their 772's.

I agree, but it'll be much worse because there is so much more empty metal.


User currently offlineA388 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (3 years 5 months 6 hours ago) and read 25620 times:

I join the ones who say that it is strange that the vertical stabilizer is taken off completely on the flight line. Even if they wanted to keep the new tail logo a secret, it shouldn't have been necessary to take the vertical stabilizer completely off like this.

In the mean time we are all awaiting the new livery AA will be introducing   

A388


User currently offlineTC957 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (3 years 5 months 5 hours ago) and read 24707 times:

This strikes me as being a quite drastic move just to hide the new logo, why not leave it on and paint it all white instead.
After all, the rest of the aircraft still has teo be painted.
So what's happening to AA 77W's on the FAL in production now ? Presumably the third one is there or thereabouts by now. Is it being built without the vertical stab ?


User currently offlineStitch From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (3 years 5 months 5 hours ago) and read 24266 times:
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Isn't 717AN still out on the flight line with no logo on her vertical stabilizer?

Plus 718AN hasn't even had her fuselage painted, so why would Boeing slap the logo on her tail? And even if they had for some reason, easy enough to cover it up in the paint hangar before they rolled it out.

The only way this makes sense to me as a logo-related issue is if they're painting the vertical stabilizer separately, but if that was the case you think they would have pulled it off of 717AN, as well.

So I'm guessing there was an issue with the tail that requires fixing. Maybe they banged it into something and damaged it?


User currently offlinerOw44SeAtK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (3 years 5 months 5 hours ago) and read 23830 times:

It's the newest in liveries - "See-through Tails"

User currently offlineJAAlbert From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (3 years 5 months 4 hours ago) and read 23520 times:

How did they remove the tail? Did they do it outside, or move it into the factory and use a crane? I thought that balance of the tail is so critical that manufacturers must handle it very carefully. Yanking it off outside doesn't seem to fall within the handling protocol if that is the case.

User currently offlinetdscanuck From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (3 years 5 months 4 hours ago) and read 23291 times:

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 18):
How did they remove the tail? Did they do it outside, or move it into the factory and use a crane?

They would have had to use a crane, whether it was inside or outside. Given that the factory has overhead cranes everywhere, it would seem very likely that this was done inside.

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 18):
I thought that balance of the tail is so critical that manufacturers must handle it very carefully.

That's true, although it's really only the rudder that has a major balance concern.

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 18):
Yanking it off outside doesn't seem to fall within the handling protocol if that is the case.

Even if done outside, nobody is "yanking" anything. If you ding it, you've got to repair it regardless of the balance. So you don't ding it.

Tom.


User currently offlinezeke From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (3 years 5 months 4 hours ago) and read 23083 times:

My guess would be a production holdup, or possible damage.

User currently offlineLostSound From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (3 years 5 months 4 hours ago) and read 22929 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 20):
My guess would be a production holdup, or possible damage.

Agreed. Traditionally, when an airline is introducing a new design that is not ready for reveal, they "tape" white sheets over the design to hide the painted artwork. We saw this with many carriers including JetBlue, a couple years back now when they introduced the blueberry tail design and new upsized logo.

The removal or non-attachment of the the vertical stab. is too extreme of a move to be related to the new livery in my opinion. There are much less dramatic, and cheaper, options to hiding the colours.


User currently offlineYchocky From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (3 years 5 months 4 hours ago) and read 22646 times:

Any precedent for this occurring on any other programs?

Maybe?



User currently offlineNavion From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (3 years 5 months 4 hours ago) and read 22539 times:

Actually it is none of the speculation listed above. This aircraft is testing a new 777X feature which does not have a vertical stabilizer (saving a ton of weight) but instead uses fly-by-wire controlled split ailerons and differential computer controlled thrust asymmetry to achieve directional control resulting in significant fuel savings. If thrust control plus split-ailerons doesn't result in satisfactory yaw control, they will also use a control vane in the APU exhaust to supplement the authority.

User currently offline135mech From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (3 years 5 months 4 hours ago) and read 22477 times:
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Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 18):
How did they remove the tail? Did they do it outside, or move it into the factory and use a crane? I thought that balance of the tail is so critical that manufacturers must handle it very carefully. Yanking it off outside doesn't seem to fall within the handling protocol if that is the case.

Vertical fins, are hinged and are folded to one side before they are removed. This can be done outside or inside with the use of cranes.

As Stitch said, there probably was some damage as this is usually the only reason you ever remove a vertical fin. The Rudder is the only thing that gets removed for new livery applications (most of the time), due to the need to "balance" it after the new paints are applied.

135Mech


User currently offlineSomeone83 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (3 years 5 months 3 hours ago) and read 22301 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 20):
My guess would be a production holdup, or possible damage

Since the aircraft had its tail on when it was flying last week it can't be the first one...


25 pwdalmech : With AA 77W production delayed, this vertical stabilizer was probably swapped to another aircraft in final assembly.
26 Post contains images brilondon : Yes, and LH, AF and Swiss are so much better, not having any thing but a billboard style name on a blank white surface. Give me a break...
27 kanban : I believe they stopped doing that with the 707.. originally it was to allow the plane into low clearance hangers. As I recall all vertical fins are i
28 phxa340 : I think this is the most plausible. Why have inventory sitting around when you can put it in another plane that will be delivered soon ?
29 zeke : It can, just like the engines, they may belong to another airframe.
30 iad787 : Okay, this made me laugh. But I can say definitively it has absolutely nothing to do with the new colors.
31 Post contains images dtw757 : I think the delay which is due to "seat issues" is smoke and mirrors. I think Q1 2013 you will see AA emerge from bankruptcy with a completely new reb
32 baldwin471 : I never said that was better. Although in those cases yes they do look better than shiny tacky metal. Look at TG or EY and their liveries, no-one is
33 strandedinbgm : It's there. It's painted in AA's new invisible livery.
34 brilondon : They have the technology but have never put into use. WONDER WOMAN'S AIRPLANE!
35 Kempa : Waiting for a polished metal stab perhaps? Can't remove paint if the new logos are on AA polished metal background. Possibly getting a new stab that i
36 Stitch : The 777 vertical stabilizer is CFRP, not Al, so it can't be polished. 718AN flew on 16 November with an unpainted vertical stabilizer (I can't tell i
37 ckfred : Having spent a lot of time on AA, as well as sitting at ORD, I love the look of the 772 in the bare metal finish. Considering the number of planes th
38 Stitch : Have to say I was a fan. But I was also like 7 when I saw them at BUR.
39 Post contains links and images Viscount724 : The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser tail could be folded to fit low hangars. I've never heard of any jets with that capability.
40 Post contains images AZA330 : Please do not tell me that AA cannot afford to buy the tails for their new 77Ws...
41 rc135x : I believe both the B-52 and the KC-135 had this capability. Photos of early B-52 roll out show the folded tail. This capability saw little (if any) u
42 KC135Hydraulics : The vertical stabilizer on the KC-135 can be folded down, but it's a major production to do it so there has to be a good reason for it, IE serious mai
43 rj777 : I don't believe a word of this. No airplane can fly without a vertical stabilizer. It's a matter of simple physics. Every airplane from the Wright Fl
44 etoile : The B-2 doesn't, but Navion is jk anyway.[Edited 2012-11-30 16:19:25]
45 American 767 : The B-2 Stealth doesn't have a vertical stabilizer, like etoile said. But, with all due respect to Navion, I think that he was just kidding in what h
46 Post contains links and images tdscanuck : Really?
47 Post contains links maxpower1954 : Yes, Navion was trying to be funny. The nuances of humor can be difficult to convey through the printed word. Speaking of aircraft with no vertical ta
48 RobK : Oh dear... Whoosh parrot anyone?
49 amccann : For curiosity sake and somewhat unrelated; Was the X31 ever actually flown without the vertical stabilizer? It appears the photo above is an edited ph
50 boeing767mech : Interesting little bit of useless information that airplane in the picture has the APU running. Funny since the vertical isn;t in the way you can see
51 Navion : You guys are right in noting that I was joking however there is a germ of reality in my comment. I just got done reading astronaut John Youngs new bo
52 Post contains links and images flightsimer : To add... some planes that came well before the ones you showed The Yb-35 which started out in 1941... The Horten 229 from WWII The proposed, but not
53 Post contains links maxpower1954 : So Stanley Kubrick was right! http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&s...&ndsp=25&ved=1t:429,r:13,s:0,i:126
54 135mech : Yes, they were designed to be able to do that if needed, and then the AF built bigger/taller hangars (or tail out Docks) and did not utilize that muc
55 LMP737 : DC-10's and MD-11's did not have their vertical stabs attached until after leaving the paint hangar.
56 flightsimer : Anybody know the status of this bird? Is it still missing the vertical?
57 etoile : Flew to DFW today without a vertical stabilizer. Barely made it.
58 flightsimer : Above, they said this bird was 718, 717 was the plane delivered today.
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