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lindy field
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Delta 747 At LHR In 1975

Mon Oct 07, 2002 12:16 am

A photo by Howard Chaloner was added to the database yesterday showing a Delta 747 at London Heathrow in 1975. Why was a Delta aircraft flying into Heathrow? Was this one of the interchange routes with Pan Am? If so, could someone explain how the old system of interchange routes differs from today's code-sharing? Thanks for your help!

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Photo © Howard Chaloner

Chaloner also took a photo of a National Airlines DC-10 at Heathrow. Could someone please explain why this aircraft was at LHR?
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RE: Delta 747 At LHR In 1975

Mon Oct 07, 2002 12:41 am

Both for the same reason, Pan Am interchanges. National from MIA, Delta from ATL.
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RE: Delta 747 At LHR In 1975

Mon Oct 07, 2002 12:51 am

I've flown a National DC10 out of London in the 70s, it was a scheduled service to MIA.

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RE: Delta 747 At LHR In 1975

Mon Oct 07, 2002 4:05 am

That was a long trip without any movies, Delta aircraft did not have any Video until 1982.
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.

RE: Delta 747 At LHR In 1975

Mon Oct 07, 2002 4:09 am

National service MIA-LHR was not a interchange, National served the route with its own aircraft and crews. The Delta service was a interchange. A Delta or Pan Am 747 would leave Atlanta and fly to Dulles flown by a Delta crew where then the Pan Am crew would fly the aircraft to London Heathrow. This interchange ended in 1977 and Delta was awarded the Atlanta-London (Gatwick) service commencing 30 April 1978 with L-1011s leased from TWA until ordered aircraft were delivered.
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RE: DL_Mech

Mon Oct 07, 2002 4:13 am

In the book written about Delta's history, it said the inaugural flight from Atlanta to London in 1978 showed a film. I believe it was "Oh, God" starring George Burns.

This must have been because it was a TWA aircraft.
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RE: Delta 747 At LHR In 1975

Mon Oct 07, 2002 5:25 am

When were Delta 747s discontinued?
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RE: Delta 747 At LHR In 1975

Mon Oct 07, 2002 1:31 pm

DLs 747 were finally phased out of operations in March 1977.
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RE: Delta 747 At LHR In 1975

Mon Oct 07, 2002 1:40 pm

In the late 70s, National had a number of DC10 flights out of MIA to Europe. I flew National to LHR, AMS, and Paris, I think ORL. I think they also went to FRA and MAD.
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RE: Delta 747 At LHR In 1975

Mon Oct 07, 2002 2:49 pm

In 1970, National was awarded the coveted MIA-LHR route, thus becoming the 3rd US pax airline into LHR. Services commenced with the DC-8-61 pending delivery of 2 741's. National also ordered 4 DC-10-30's along with their fleet of DC-10-10's (the 1st airlines to order both variants). The 741's were sold to NW in the late 70's and the DC-10-30's were placed on the LHR route. National was purchased by PA in 1979.

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RE: Delta 747 At LHR In 1975

Tue Oct 08, 2002 6:16 am

Why did DL get rid of their 747s. Its amazing that only UA and NW have 747s. Do the other US operators feel that the 747 is too big for operations when they could operate one 747 to some destinations rather than 2x767? If LHR opened up to more US carriers would they maybe use 747 rather than smaller aircraft due to slot makes sense?
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RE: Delta 747 At LHR In 1975

Tue Oct 08, 2002 7:00 am

Delta got rid of their of their 747s because they were not well suited to their route system, which consisted of many short hops. Delta 747s were flown on routes such as Atlanta-Jacksonville (FL), Dallas-Los Angeles and Chicago-Miami. Yet the traffic on these routes at the time did not warrant using such a big aircraft. Further, they were terribly inefficient since they had four gas-guzzling engines.

In 1977, when the Delta 747s were removed from service, there were no long, international routes that the 747 could be used on.

The reason why only UA and NW have 747s is simple - they are the only US airlines with large Pacific networks. These long-range routes are where the 747 is best utilized.

Now, with the 777 capable of crossing the Pacific with only two engines (and less fuel), the 747's advantages have diminished even more.
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RE: Delta 747 At LHR In 1975

Tue Oct 08, 2002 7:41 am

Yes, I remember National being awarded the MIA-LHR route, and this was a welcome announcement. If I remember rightly, they started with leased Airlift DC-8-54F's N108RD and N109RD, and later 747's (N77773 seen 28.6.72, N77772 2.9.72) and DC-10's were then used (N80NA and N81NA both at LHR 24.3.74).

I also remember Delta DC-8's on the Panam interchange which were actually ex PA aircraft such as N8016 (logged 28.5.70), N8038A (14.4.69), N8148A (7.2.71), N8166A (15.2.69) and N8170A (4.5.69) - ex N803PA etc.

Also, who remembers the short-lived use of Northwest 707's on the MSP-LHR service, again, another PA type service? Was it PA54/55 or something similar? Examples logged @ LHR were N352US (10.1.71) N379US (12.3.71) N371US (31.3.71). Unfortunately, I never got a picture of one of these as my camera came a few months later!
Does anyone have the flight numbers for these routes, as I'd like to include this detail when I upload the Delta and National widebodies this winter.

LHR spotter of yesteryear!

RE: Delta 747 At LHR In 1975

Tue Oct 08, 2002 11:32 am

From the 9/1/70 Pan Am timetable...

MSP - DTW was NW 54
Depart MSP 5:15pm
Arrive DTW 6:35pm
Depart DTW 7:30pm PAN AM
Arrive LHR 8:40am

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