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Fedex 727-2 W/JT8D-200 Series Engines  
User currently offlineBeechbarron From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (16 years 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 6847 times:

A few months ago I was down at Hartsfield spotting, and the engines on a Fedex 727 caught my eye. What caught my eye was the fact that the #1 and #3 engines were 200 series P&W JT8D's complete with MD-80 clamshell TR's. Given the fact that these engines produce around 20-22k lbs. of thrust, would the center engine be used at all? Please clarify.



10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineFDXmech From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (16 years 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 6712 times:

Yes, all engines are used. Like you said, #1 & #3 engines have MD80 type thrust reversers that are hydraulically actuated as opposed to traditional
727 pneumatic operated reversers. The #2 engine has no thrust reverser.
This type 727 has the designation 727-200RE.

User currently offlineSCXmechanic From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (16 years 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 6714 times:


What you saw is whats now known as the Super 27 conversion. Or formally known as the Valsan conversion. The center engine is still used as normal. What the larger engines allow, is a higher gross take off weight, better climb performance, longer endurance due to better fuel burn and it meets Stage 3 regs for noise.

We have 5 of these Super 27's in our fleet and they are awesome airplanes. With the mod, the max t/o weight is increased to over 200,000 lbs vs 190,000 lbs or so on others 727's.

User currently offlineBuzz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (16 years 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 6699 times:

Hi Beech Baron, Buzz here. On a Tri-Jet you still want that center engine. It's a lot of airplane to get off the runway.
At UAL we have the Fed Ex hush kit, but the small engines. On hot days at PDX (ok, it's relative) our tri-jets use a LOT of runway, lift off really close to the employee parking lot.

User currently offlineSouthflite From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (16 years 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6693 times:

The FedEx B727-200s (11 of them) were amongst the first B727s to receive the Valsan re-engining conversions - they were all done around 1990/1.

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © M.J. Scanlon

Valsan subsequently went bankrupt, and the rights and patents to the conversion were acquired by Rohr.

Rohr was later bought out by BF Goodrich Aerospace, who are currently carrying out these conversions under the name "Super 27". The website is http://www.super27.com

User currently offlineBeechbarron From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (16 years 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6661 times:

Thanks for the info! And yes Buzz, you are right about hushkitted 727's struggling down the runway to lift off. I watch delta's 727's all the time at hartsfield, and boy oh boy do they ever drag ass! It's actually kinda scary. I thought the 727 was designed in the beginning to be an excellent short field performer, what with those Krueger leading edge flaps and massive triple slotted trailers there for assistance. Guess not though. I haven't researched it, but I bet the -100 was a much better short field performer. Am I right??? Also, I'm willing to bet those 5 fedex planes w/ 200 series pratts shave off 2 or 3000 ft. on takeoff roll.

Have fun!!!


User currently offlinePrebennorholm From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (16 years 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6641 times:

I remember that in the mid 80'es Danish Sterling Airways, who operated about a dozen 727-200, worked with Valsan on a test conversion of one Sterling Airway 727-200. #2 engine was kept, but somehow hushkitted, and reverser removed. And #1 and 3 engines were replaced with 209's.
In one report I read that the conversion was not very successful. The plane had to carry 1500 lbs of ballast in the nose to be operated within certified CG limits. The test plane was converted back to normal 727-200 standard before next charter season and the project was shelved.
The CG calculation is of course a different thing on a cargo plane, that was probably what saved the project in the end.

User currently offlineSouthflite From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (16 years 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6643 times:

The Sterling aircraft that Prebennorholm is refering to was OY-SAS, which was the Valsan re-engining prototype, converted in October 1987 (as N727VA).

Going by the history of this aircraft, it's true that Sterling didn't retain it for long - it was leased out to Air Columbus after a year. It seems to have stayed with them until it found its way to Sun Country in 1994. It still flies with this airline, as N288SC, where it's known as a "Super 27" (current name for the Valsan conversion):

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Carlos Aleman

Sun Country also has four other ex-Sterling re-engined B727s : N290SC (ex OY-SAU), N284SC (ex OY-SBC), N285SC (ec OY-SBD), and N291SC (ex OY-SBO).

User currently offlinePrebennorholm From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (16 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6630 times:

Thanks Southflite for the information about (some of) the former Sterling Airways 727's. I have often wondered what happened to those planes.
Unfortunately Sterling Airways ran into deep financial troubles and closed down around 1990. One result was that my bank suddenly stood as owner of a number of idle ex-Sterling 727's, which was one of the reasons that also my bank ran into deep troubles and their stocks dropped 75% on the stock market.
I remember very well one day in 1992 I said to my bank advisor: "Let's go down the drain hand in hand" and then she sold me shares for roughly 1500 US$. My bank recovered, I still have the shares and they are now worth some $9000 and have paid me a few thousand in profit over the last five years. That was by far the biggest gambling I have ever made, and I was successful most likely because those 727's after all got sold at a time when the demand for old non-stage-3 compliant airliners was at a deep low point.
Today there is another airline named Sterling European doing much the same job, but with an entirely different owner base. They operate a small fleet of 737-400.

User currently offlineJim From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (15 years 12 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 6615 times:

One of things that isn't well pubicized about the 'FedEx' hushkit that DAL has used (putting an extended tailpipe and mixer on the engine) is that the pilots are also given a new 'speedbook' which in effect de-rates the engines (ie after the mod, the engines are run at a slightly lower EPR for a given weight / temp) This is a way to reduce the noise the engine is producing, and it also degrades the performance.


User currently offlineBeechbarron From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (15 years 12 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 6595 times:

That's interesting, Jim. That would obviously explain the long take off rolls, right??? What is the difference in EPR used between a few years back and now with the hushlits? By the way, I sure do miss the thunder they made un-hushed. Don't you?



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