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Boeing 727 Launch  
User currently offlinebaileyncreme From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 35 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 17425 times:

Greetings from N. Scottsdale!

I've had a fondness for the 727 aircraft and have recently wondered about what type of teething issues this model experienced during its design, roll out and deliveries.

The 787 has had it's share of news, but what occurred with the 727..??

Anybody have any knowledge or history to share with the group?

61 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4938 posts, RR: 43
Reply 1, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 17327 times:

What always amazed me is that the time from its first flight (February 9, 1963), to its first airline delivery (October 29, 1963) to its first entry in airline service (February 1, 1964) was less than a year!

The only major "quirk" I recall, (reading about, as I was very young at the time), were the B727 "sink rate" accidents shortly after its introduction. Not a fault of the aircraft, but as the vast majority of the pilots had never flown a jet, they were not used to the spool up time of a jet engine vice a prop engine.

When configured to a high drag/low speed condition, if the thrust was brought back to idle, the consequences could be and were fatal.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineSLCGuy From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 168 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 17234 times:

Greetings!

I too am a 727 fan. The 727 aircraft itself had very few teething problems, but an issue arose after entry into service that in todays media/online age might have doomed it. There were 3 or 4 major crashes in the first year of service, all in approach/landing phase of flight. Unlike the other jets of the time which behaved a lot like the prop planes they replaced only faster, the 727 had a very large advanced LED/flap system to allow operations out of short to medium length runways. The downside to these devices was the large amount of drag they created. Pilots not used to this, especiallly ones transitioning from props would get too slow and steep on approach with the engines spooled down near idle. Since jet engines don't respond as quick to throttle commands as props, several aircraft were not able to arrest the high descent rate and crashed short of the runways. I believe these crashes were at CVG , ORD, SLC, and one in Japan. Once the problem was realized, pilot training for the type was improved and a few airlines even restricted max landing flaps to 30 degrees. This resolved the problem and 727 went on to be a very popular aircraft and the backbone of the airline industry in the 70's and 80's.

[Edited 2013-01-29 11:48:44]

User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 16972 times:

Quoting baileyncreme (Thread starter):
I've had a fondness for the 727 aircraft and have recently wondered about what type of teething issues this model experienced during its design, roll out and deliveries.

There were 5 AD's in the first year (Fuel Tank Access Panels, Flight Spoiler Actuators, Thrust Reverers, Cove Light Systems, and the Autopilot) and more than 30 in the first five years.

First year had 323 Service Bulletins.

By comparison, the 787 had 3 AD's in the first year and no Service Bulletins.

Tom.


User currently offlineSpaceshipDC10 From Canada, joined Jan 2013, 1727 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 16910 times:

Another fan of the 727 here.

Quoting SLCGuy (Reply 2):
Since jet engines don't respond as quick to throttle commands as props, several aircraft were not able to arrest the high descent rate and crashed short of the runways. I believe these crashes were at CVG , ORD, SLC, and one in Japan.

They happened in just six months:

on approach to ORD; on approach to CVG; at SLC and on approach to HND.



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User currently offlinetb727 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1590 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 16758 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 1):
The only major "quirk" I recall, (reading about, as I was very young at the time), were the B727 "sink rate" accidents shortly after its introduction. Not a fault of the aircraft, but as the vast majority of the pilots had never flown a jet, they were not used to the spool up time of a jet engine vice a prop engine.
Quoting SLCGuy (Reply 2):
The 727 aircraft itself had very few teething problems, but an issue arose after entry into service that in todays media/online age might have doomed it.
Quoting SpaceshipDC10 (Reply 4):
They happened in just six months:

on approach to ORD; on approach to CVG; at SLC and on approach to HND.

You know it's funny, I have been thinking these exact same things the last few weeks with all that has been going on. My poor 3-holer would have never made it out of the 60's if these things happened in todays world and I would have never had a dream to live!



Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
User currently offlineTan Flyr From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1906 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 16665 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 1):
The only major "quirk" I recall, (reading about, as I was very young at the time), were the B727 "sink rate" accidents shortly after its introduction. Not a fault of the aircraft, but as the vast majority of the pilots had never flown a jet, they were not used to the spool up time of a jet engine vice a prop engine.

When configured to a high drag/low speed condition, if the thrust was brought back to idle, the consequences could be and were fatal.

Just going by my memory, but wasn't there 2 at CVG, one AA and one TWA?


User currently offlinetb727 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1590 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 16630 times:

Quoting Tan Flyr (Reply 6):
Just going by my memory, but wasn't there 2 at CVG, one AA and one TWA?

You might be thinking of the TWA Convair 880 that crashed there about 2 years later while on approach. TWA flight 128.



Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25205 posts, RR: 22
Reply 8, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 16616 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 1):
What always amazed me is that the time from its first flight (February 9, 1963), to its first airline delivery (October 29, 1963) to its first entry in airline service (February 1, 1964) was less than a year!

That was also the case for the 737, DC-9 and even the 747. The DC-9 probably holds the record with the first dellivery slightly less than 7 months after the first flight, and entry into service with DL only 9.5 months after the first flight.


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4938 posts, RR: 43
Reply 9, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 16572 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 8):
That was also the case for the 737, DC-9 and even the 747. The DC-9 probably holds the record with the first delivery slightly less than 7 months after the first flight, and entry into service with DL only 9.5 months after the first flight.

Yes, I always thought that was amazing, compared to today's Introduction to Service times ... then Tom quotes this ...

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 3):
There were 5 AD's in the first year (Fuel Tank Access Panels, Flight Spoiler Actuators, Thrust Reverers, Cove Light Systems, and the Autopilot) and more than 30 in the first five years.

First year had 323 Service Bulletins.

By comparison, the 787 had 3 AD's in the first year and no Service Bulletins.

Tom.

It is hard to tell which is better, or safer, as everything always seems to develop into a safe airliner, as I am certain will the B787.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinetype-rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4996 posts, RR: 19
Reply 10, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 16526 times:

The ones at SLC & ORD were both UA, I believe the CVG was an AA plane.

As noted above some pilots transitioning from props had a hard time dealing with the "slickness" of jets. They didn't slow down as fast as the prop planes did and you really have to keep your mind more ahead of the aircraft then you had to with props. The NYC collision between the UA DC8 & TW Constellation cited this as one of the causes. The DC8 simply got ahead of the pilot.

[Edited 2013-01-29 15:07:32]


Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4938 posts, RR: 43
Reply 11, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 16525 times:

Quoting type-rated (Reply 10):
The ones at SLC & ORD were both UA, I believe the CVG was an AA plane.

Yes, I don't think the ORD one was a "sink rate" accident, as it was still 30 miles from the airport, and not likely in a high drag/low speed condition. When reading the report, that one is a very curious accident!



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineSpaceshipDC10 From Canada, joined Jan 2013, 1727 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 16434 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 11):
Yes, I don't think the ORD one was a "sink rate" accident, as it was still 30 miles from the airport, and not likely in a high drag/low speed condition. When reading the report, that one is a very curious accident!

The flight was cleared to descend from 16,000 ft to 6,000ft, but continued downward until impact.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 10):
I believe the CVG was an AA plane.

From what I can read in a book I have, pilots were totally unaware of their dangerously low altitude, and the crash site was 225ft below the airport elevation.



KEEP LOOKING UP as in Space Fan News
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4938 posts, RR: 43
Reply 13, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 16415 times:

Quoting SpaceshipDC10 (Reply 12):
The flight was cleared to descend from 16,000 ft to 6,000ft, but continued downward until impact.

Yes, but the "sink rate" accidents (and incidents) were all characterized by having full flaps, speed near Vapp, then bringing thrust back to idle. The slow spool up rate of the jet engines compared to a prop, would put them in a dangerous situation as they would also likely be near the ground, to be in such a configuration.

Being 30 miles from the field, in a clean configuration and descending to 6000', they would have had room to correct the error of not anticipating the slow spool up rate of the engines. While no probable cause was named, I understand that some confusion with the type of altimeter was likely the cause. Something that had happened in the past.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineSpaceshipDC10 From Canada, joined Jan 2013, 1727 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 16374 times:

Indeed, that case probably wasn't a 'sink rate' accident. It's too bad the FDR wasn't retrieved.


KEEP LOOKING UP as in Space Fan News
User currently offlines5daw From Slovenia, joined May 2011, 253 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 16326 times:

Quoting SpaceshipDC10 (Reply 12):
The flight was cleared to descend from 16,000 ft to 6,000ft, but continued downward until impact.

Wikipedia has an article on that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Airlines_Flight_389

One theory was misread 3p altimeter ...


User currently offline7BOEING7 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 1553 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 16072 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 8):
That was also the case for the 737, DC-9 and even the 747. The DC-9 probably holds the record with the first dellivery slightly less than 7 months after the first flight, and entry into service with DL only 9.5 months after the first flight.

Don't forget the 777 -- just under a year.


User currently offlineN243NW From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1630 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 16008 times:

You might enjoy this - not so much in-service problems, but an interesting overview of the flight test program...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IY-jkT_sMw



B-52s don't take off. They scare the ground away.
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 18, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 15083 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 1):
The only major "quirk" I recall, (reading about, as I was very young at the time), were the B727 "sink rate" accidents shortly after its introduction. Not a fault of the aircraft, but as the vast majority of the pilots had never flown a jet, they were not used to the spool up time of a jet engine vice a prop engine.

When configured to a high drag/low speed condition, if the thrust was brought back to idle, the consequences could be and were fatal.

A point made very clear in Robert Serling's aviation book "Loud and Clear". A lot of the older prop guys had a hard time with the transition. IIRC Serling devoted a whole chapter to the rash of 727 accidents shortly after service entry. Probably the best airline safety book ever written. Brother of Rod ("Twilight Zone") Serling, b.t.w.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offline802flyguy From United States of America, joined May 2012, 188 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 15055 times:

The accidents early in the 727 days are discussed in detail in two books from the 1960s on air safety: Robert Serling's "Loud and Clear" and Capt Vernon Lowell's (somewhat more sensationalist) "Airline Safety is a Myth". (Both available used on Amazon). Previous posters have described the basic issue: crews (who earned their wings on slower props) getting behind the airplane. While Serling's book is the better of the two, the latter is well worth a read.

[Edited 2013-01-29 19:31:15]

User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5478 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 14876 times:

Though not a fault of the aircraft type and well after the 727 proved itself as a workhorse, the hijack craze took hold on many 727's culminating in the DB Cooper hijacking where he bailed out through the rear aft floor mounted retractible airstairs. Shortly after DB Cooper and his antics, the rear bottom stairs were sealed to prevent a repeat performance.


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User currently offlinewinstonlegthigh From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 14738 times:

Quoting N243NW (Reply 17):
You might enjoy this - not so much in-service problems, but an interesting overview of the flight test program...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IY-j...T_sMw

Thanks for linking that. Great stuff.



Never has gravity been so uplifting.
User currently offline7BOEING7 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 1553 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 14532 times:

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 20):
Though not a fault of the aircraft type and well after the 727 proved itself as a workhorse, the hijack craze took hold on many 727's culminating in the DB Cooper hijacking where he bailed out through the rear aft floor mounted retractible airstairs. Shortly after DB Cooper and his antics, the rear bottom stairs were sealed to prevent a repeat performance.

Actually rather than going to the trouble of sealing the door (because they wanted to use its airstair capability on the ground) they put a metal right angle mechanism that when hit by the airflow rotated 90 degrees and prevented the airstairs from opening in flight.


User currently offlineFlyMKG From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 184 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 13723 times:

Early 727s had bucket reversers before they switched to the cascading vanes. Too much FOD from the buckets if I recall. Also the first 727 built did not have the wing fence in early pictures. Obviously over the course of the test program they discovered the span wise flow issues and had to instal the fence.

FlyMKG



Essential Power, Operating Generator.
User currently offlinetype-rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4996 posts, RR: 19
Reply 24, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 13672 times:

Quoting 7BOEING7 (Reply 22):
Actually rather than going to the trouble of sealing the door (because they wanted to use its airstair capability on the ground) they put a metal right angle mechanism that when hit by the airflow rotated 90 degrees and prevented the airstairs from opening in flight.

Hence this lock was commonly referred to as the "DB Cooper Lock".

Speaking of the rear stairs wasn't there a case where a TW 727 near SAT had the rear stairs come open in flight and an F/A had to go down the stairs to pull the stair up so the plane could land? I believe the F/A, male, was held on to by passengers so he wouldn't fly out the opening. I seem to remember something like this happening. Maybe someone here knows more.



Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
25 Post contains links 7BOEING7 : http://articles.latimes.com/1996-01-18/news/mn-25948_1_crew-member I think they're confused about what he actually did. After the plane was depressuri
26 milesrich : The fast sink rate accidents, United into Lake Michigan on approach to ORD, United at SLC, American at CVG all occurred more than a year after introd
27 type-rated : I remember that UA 727 going into Lake Michigan. At the time it happened the CAB was investigating to see if the pilot mistook the lights on the shore
28 SpaceshipDC10 : Only two thirds was recovered.
29 tdscanuck : The airplane had *tons* of teething problems. Just not all resulted in crashes. Tom.
30 Post contains links and images Newark727 : Speaking of the early 727, I seem to recall a tech/ops discussion saying that the 727-100 had its R1 door further back on the aircraft because it was
31 Tan Flyr : [Yes, Thank you.. perhaps I am recalling, if I am doing that correctly, that the locations were close? maybe the same approach path? All accidents ar
32 type-rated : The 727-100's usually had 4 or 5 rows of F then a galley mid ships then maybe 12-14 rows of Y. the first time I was on one, I thought the plane looke
33 SpaceshipDC10 : I guess it depends of the time. In my book, there's a seating chart with 28 first and 66 economy. That configuration was apparently typical. There ar
34 NYCAAer : By the time I started flying with AA as a flight attendant in the late '80s, we had a configuration of 10F/108Y. The galley in the middle of the cabi
35 milesrich : United started out with S class service and I think were 90 seats, 18 rows of 5. Then they went to 24F and 72Y, and as time went on made the F smaller
36 iceberg210 : If you want some great information on the launch and especially the story of HOW it ever even got off the drawing board and into the air try "Billion
37 Viscount724 : The 727-200 had the galley moved to the front but I can't recall any 727-100s with a forward galley. How would that have worked as the only galley se
38 Viscount724 : CP only had 4 727-100s delivered in 1970/71. They couldn't do much the 737-200 couldn't do (and required one more engine and one more cockpit crew to
39 longhauler : I have a seating sticker chart (most of the old-timers on here would know what I mean) for the Eastern B727-100 dated 1979. The configuration is 12F/9
40 Post contains links Viscount724 : As of 1987 it was 12 F/107Y. http://boardingarea.com/blogs/freque...-eastern-air-lines-boeing-727-100/ AA 721 seat map from 1977, then 14F/86Y with t
41 Tomassjc : I can remember thinking that little "private" section of 21 Y seats forward of the center galley and coat closet on EA's -100s was pretty cool!! 5 ac
42 type-rated : I don't know how. But I do know I was on a BN 727-100 around 1971 in F and drinks were served out of the front space and meals were served out of the
43 Post contains images CF-CPI : Right, this is when F class was shrinking and economy seats were moved into this area. It wasn't just Eastern. Depending on the airline, this area wa
44 longhauler : That is correct, Braniff's B727-100s only had a galley service door just ahead of the wing on the right side. In fact, I don't think any B727-100s we
45 135mech : Thanks for the recommendation! Just looked, there are a few copies left at varied prices on Amazon. 135Mech
46 type-rated : Thinking back it wasn't a cart because it had a bulkhead between the seats and the area. I did see the F/A pull out a fifth of Boodles Gin when I orde
47 planesofthepast : I still clearly remember seeing several Eastern 727s at MIA circa 1970! And being impressed with their "radical" engine placement.. Have liked the pla
48 rcair1 : Actually - I think it was called the Cooper Vane. I do remember 727's and how, as you got onto final, the engines would spool up to be above a partic
49 longhauler : No that's what I mean. A cart could be taken from the galley and "parked" by the forward entry door, between the bulkhead and the cockpit wall, out o
50 milesrich : When the 727-22,23,25,31,35,51, and 27 went into service with UA, AA, EA, TW, NA, NW, and BN, no coach seats were forward of the galley. United's were
51 type-rated : True, everything was carried from the galley to your seat by hand. An F/A at WN once told me they call this method of serving "hand job style".
52 DL_Mech : I can't think of any 721s that had galley carts. I think most 722s had hand carried meals as well......I remember a TW F/A carrying six trays at once
53 VC10er : There was an awesome looking 727 parked at LGA for years. As new looking as an expensive sports car with winglets. It was unfortunately defiled with a
54 Newark727 : Good question, I'd estimate a couple dozen scattered around the world. I've photographed 6-8 privately operated 727s over about four years of spottin
55 tb727 : I know of a couple -100's left, Peter Nygard has one with a pretty gaudy interior and flashy exterior and one I have seen in PBI but I don't know muc
56 bobloblaw : I think that was more a aspect of the times. The 1960s and 70s. I certainly recall carts on 727s in the 80s and 90s.
57 rcair1 : According to the book Loud and Clear (which I just finished based on the suggestion in this string) the most likely reason was a misread altimeter co
58 Post contains images ImperialEagle : According to one theory, it was a "hit" ordered by the Whitehouse to get rid of a pax. on the aircraft! That was part of the "plan". Well, a lot of t
59 ImperialEagle : I was at the old EA hanger in ATL for the 727 "open-house" November of '63. It was quite an impressive sight, especially when one toured the -7B and L
60 jc2354 : On many 727-100s, there was a forward galley at the 1L door. Referred to as a wet or cold galley, as there were no ovens. With sliding doors, and fold
61 pqdtw : I can tell you that at Northwest, there was never a meal cart on the 727-100 or -200. There were two beverage carts housed behind the 2L galley and f
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