N766UA
Topic Author
Posts: 7843
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 1999 3:50 am

Is American Ridding Of Black-nosed MD-80s?

Wed Jul 02, 2003 3:13 am

I noticed that more and more AA Mad Dogs are showing up without the signature black dot on the nose. They aren't even ex-TWA planes. Here's an example:


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Photo © Joe Statz



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Photo © John Martin



Same plane, new nose. Is this an American thing or was it maybe just a replacement radome?
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SESGDL
Posts: 2611
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:25 am

RE: Is American Ridding Of Black-nosed MD-80s?

Wed Jul 02, 2003 3:25 am

It seems to me they are. In STL I saw at least 6 original AA MD-80's with white noses.

Jeremy
 
cptkrell
Posts: 3186
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2001 10:50 pm

RE: Is American Ridding Of Black-nosed MD-80s?

Wed Jul 02, 2003 3:46 am

With the advent of radar, the protective black nose cone coating not only served to lessen damage (from ice/hail, birdstrikes, etc) but was of a compound that that did not interefere with radar ops as other coatings (read: paint) would. The black "radar nose" stood as a status symbol and some airlines even advertised "radar equipped" with a photo of the black nose of their particular aircraft featured prominently in ads, timetable covers, etc.

With newer protective compounds and "decal" technology eliminating most (all?) of the above worries, plus "radar equipped" is a given now, I think you'll see more carriers retiring the black nose, IE: going to a more analogous grey, or even carry their livery color(s) through the nose cone.

Second paragraph above is only my opinion; I could be 180 deg. off-base, here. Regards...Jack
all best; jack