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NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Wed Jul 28, 2004 10:59 pm

I recently came across some information that Northwest Airlines recently contributed toward painting the highest time DC-3 in a retro Northwest livery.

Here is some info about "Old 728"

Ship 728 was built in 1939 as a standard 21-passenger version and saw service with Eastern Airlines, before being sold to North Central Airlines in 1952. When North Central retired No. 728 from scheduled service in April 1965, the plane had flown 83,032 hours and more than 12 million miles—the equivalent of more than 9 years in the air and 25 round trips to the moon!

No. 728 was refurbished by North Central and converted into a VIP aircraft. Airline executives flew in No. 728 until 1974, when the plane was donated to the Henry Ford Museum. North Central merged with Southern Airways in 1979 to become Republic Airlines, which was later purchased by Northwest Airlines in 1986.

The plane is painted in vintage Northwest Airlines livery in acknowledgement of the key role that company played in making the exhibit and the restoration of No. 728 a reality.


Here is a picture of how she originally looked:



And this is how she looks now:



Thinking about this logically, shouldn't they have repainted this bird in ex-NC colors? It seems that NWA owns the rights to the North Central brand, but this bird never flew for NW. Why in the world would they do something like this? Are they on a "seek and destroy" mission to remove Herman anywhere they can?

On the plus side:

They DID move her indoors and clean her up quite a bit. But I feel that the color scheme just isn't right.

What do YOU think about this?





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desertjets
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Wed Jul 28, 2004 11:17 pm

Why not repaint her in Eastern's colors as she was originally delivered? While the plane has a history with a company that is in todays Northwest family tree I don't neccessarily see the obligation to paint her in the North Central livery. As DC-3s flew for Northwest Orient in the day these colors are just as appropriate.

But then being I am a young dumb kid and do not fully appreciate the history in the same way that you do.  Wink/being sarcastic
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L.1011
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Wed Jul 28, 2004 11:33 pm

Those colors don't seem like something from the "Red Tail" airline, but they do look nice. That idea to paint the DC-9s in the retro colors of all the different airlines that led to today's Northwest, was a much better one than painting this DC-3 in North Central colors.
 
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Wed Jul 28, 2004 11:37 pm

The idea is that she became famous for the hours she put in for North Central, not for Eastern or Northwest. She has more time than any other DC-3 serving as a NC DC-3.

To me, this would be like painting museum replicas of the moon lander used in our moon missions in Soviet Colors!

I would certainly find even EA colors more acceptable than NW colors since she did serve EA for awhile.
If NW wanted to paint a ex-NWA DC-3 in NW colors I would have no problem with that. But this one is special!
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tjwgrr
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Thu Jul 29, 2004 2:37 am

Although the bird looks sharp, what a shame they couldn't preserve the North Central scheme, the colors this bird flew so proudly for so many years.  Sad
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isitsafenow
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Thu Jul 29, 2004 2:45 am

The red tails showed up under Donald Nyrop, the NW big boss of the 50's thru the mid 70's. He wanted the tails red so he knew when a NW plane was flying around Minneapolis, where his office was. He could see em easier....that was the story. Whether or not its true, will be a mystery in life.
NW has NO reason to put the bird in Eastern colors. I like the blue goose scheme shown above.
Also.........#728 was the ship number of a B-720 B, a plane in my NW daze.
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m404
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Thu Jul 29, 2004 3:20 am

Yes, it should have been the North Central colors. All this does is solidify the feelings of predecessor employees of alienation. The NC scheme would have helped so much erase that feeling. "Old 728" was famous as a NC plane and should stay that way
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Jano
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Thu Jul 29, 2004 3:31 am

Or it might have been differently...

NW's DC3s were originally painted with red tails during WWII when NW was as the only airline supplying US Army positioned in Alaska and at Aleutian Islands. NW DC3s were overflowing Canada at that time. If they had an unplanned landing somewhere in the middle of nowhere with lots of snow around, they were much easier to be spotted by the rescue team because of their red tails.
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4everRC
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Thu Jul 29, 2004 3:49 am

HERMAN SHOULD BE ON THE TAIL OF THAT PLANE! period.

Thank you (stepping down from soapbox)
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stirling
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Thu Jul 29, 2004 3:55 am

And.....

Babe Ruth is inducted in to the baseball hall of fame, as....

A Boston Red Sox. Not!
(apologies to all non-Americans who don't understand my sarcasm)

This really bums me out people.
Another example of revisionist history that is sweeping this country.
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Thu Jul 29, 2004 12:07 pm

What I am interested in knowing is why didn't the ex-North Central employees at NW say something about this? I am sure if they would have known about this they would have taken up a collection to have 728 painted in North Central livery.

It just seems like Northwest is doing all they can to remove any evidence of any of their predecessor companies from existance. They want everyone to think that everything was Northwest from the start. I can't believe that the employees allowed this to happen. I really do believe that the Henry Ford Museum and Northwest got together with our any fanfare or publicity or even any input from employees at all and repainted as seen. In other words, this was most likely a Northwest Managment directive, rather than a decision.

Anybody have any idea approximately how many ex-North Central employees are left at Northwest?
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cptkrell
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Thu Jul 29, 2004 12:34 pm

I saw "Old 728" being repainted for The Henry Ford last year when the new aviation section was still being constructed (I was actually doing some part-time work for a prototype company that was invited to quote on the resto, but they eventually decided it was beyond their capabilities).

I was sad that Herman's colors were being assigned to memory. From a corporate standpoint, I can understand why some NW suits would opt for NW colors as they where paying for the resto (much work other than paint tallied into quite a bit), but also feel that it would have been more to their benifit had they restored her in North Central's livery with placards or such noting the history of the aircraft, and they (NW) had chosen to keep original the last-service appearance of such a famous airplane. If I had the bucks, Herman would survive! Regards...Jack
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Thu Jul 29, 2004 12:49 pm

Cptkrell:

I could not have said it better. They could have painted her in North Central livery (the 1950's, Indian Feather one would be the best for her) and put out a sign of some kind indicating that this is now part of the Northwest heritage.

I agree that it was very nice of Northwest to pay for the restoration and to bring old 728 inside, but they could have been more sensitive to history.

Isitsafenow & Jano:
Thanks for the history lesson. I didn't know how the red tails came to be, I learned something new!

Here is more history about old 728:

http://www.hfmgv.org/museum/heroes/entrepreneurs/dc3.asp

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maiznblu_757
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Thu Jul 29, 2004 12:56 pm

Why would one think this needs to be painted in NW colors? NC colors would have been the right way to go. Its a travesty to have it painted in NW colors, plain and simple.
 
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tjwgrr
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Thu Jul 29, 2004 11:51 pm

Let's go to Dearborn to protest and picket the museum!!!

 Pissed

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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Fri Jul 30, 2004 2:16 am

As you can tell I find this very disturbing. Later today I am going to talk to a few ex-NC, Northwest pilots I know and get their take on this. Maybe they know more about it than I do.

Maybe a 'Freinds of 728" Foundation can be created to get this bird painted in the RIGHT livery? Anyone interested in becoming involved?

This afternoon I am going to call the Henry Ford museum and ask them how this came to be. I'll post their response here.

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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Fri Jul 30, 2004 3:06 am

I spoke with the people at the Henry Ford Museum and they were quite nice and cooperative. They explained to me that the entire "Early Adventures in Flight" exhibit is sponsored and paid for by Northwest Airlines, the dominant carrier in that part of the country. But they connected me with the aviation research department and I was very politely told to send them an e-mail with my questions and they would forward it to the proper museum managers for an answer. Here is what I sent them:

Gentlemen:

I have a question about one of your displays in the "Adventures in Early Flight" exhibit, particularly the DC-3 known as "Old 728".
At the time North Central Airlines donated it to the museum it was the highest time DC-3 in existance. It spent most of its working years with North Central Airlines. This is a historical fact.
My question is, why would this aircraft now be painted in a vintage Northwest Airlines livery when in fact this particular DC-3 never flew for Northwest Airlines, making this display historically inaccurate? I am very interested to know the reasoning behind this.

Sincerely,
Allen Moore


I'll post their response, if I get one.
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N766UA
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Fri Jul 30, 2004 3:09 am

Why did the cockpit window layout change? Note the 4 panes of glass in the 1st picture then the 6 in the 2nd. I thought the later DC-3s had only the 4 as 6 leaked too much?
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luv2fly
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Fri Jul 30, 2004 3:13 am

Maybe a solution would have been to paint one side in NW colors and leave the other North Central colors? Though from a Corporate side if I might, NW is still flying North Central is not, and yes us airline nuts know that, the general flying public is well DUMB. And NW is the dominate carrier in the region and it is advertising that is seen daily by hundreds of possible ticket buyers.
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Fri Jul 30, 2004 3:48 am

Actually, I found an article on the Internet addressing this issue:

http://www.avweb.com/news/columns/185973-1.html

Please note "There are a number of very angry former North Central employees -- for that was a proud airline

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BillElliott9
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Fri Jul 30, 2004 4:00 am

I sincerely appreciate the display of pride by the North Central/Republic contingent on this site.

Let us not forget, however, that NW is the oldest airline in the US (continuous name) and flew DC-3s, as well. I agree with Luv2Fly's assessment -- this is a marketing tool and the $$ should (and are) being used to point the public to the company still in existence today.

Having written that, I do hope that North Central is mentioned at the display.

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dc8jet
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Fri Jul 30, 2004 9:28 am

I am wondering where they got that shade of blue. In all of the photos that I have of aircraft in that paint scheme the blue is very dark, almost black. I agree that it should have been painted back into the North Central colors. Considering all of the people that visit The Henry Ford each year I guess NW figured it would be good advertising for them.
 
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Fri Jul 30, 2004 1:08 pm

Type-rated, I was gonna say what you did.


Before last December I had not been at Henry Ford Museum for probably 15 years. I remember seeing the Herman DC-3 parked outside the museum. When I was there in December 2003, I was looking outside for it only to see it now inside in Northwest colors.

I was disgusted that it was repainted. I went to one of the museum workers asking him why was the DC-3 repainted to Northwest colors when that DC-3 never flew for Northwest and he answered basically the same way you did. Northwest paid for a lot of the refurbished exhibit and part of the deal was to paint the DC-3 in Northwest colors to advertise.
 
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Fri Jul 30, 2004 9:13 pm

Hlywdctft:

I agree with you, I am totally disgusted over this. I can't wait to see if I receive a response from the Henry Ford.
I was able to speak with two ex-NC now Northwest pilots I know and they are more than aware of the situation with this DC-3. They know it's not right, but they also don't want to awaken the wrath of Northwest management. It seems when NW bought out Republic (RC), the merger didn't go exactly smoothly. Lots of demotions, pay cuts, etc. for the RC people. It was quite demoralizing, but you either went with the NW program, or you would be looking for a job elsewhere. One guy said that only in the past few years are the RC guys getting back to the positions they were in at RC before the merger. It was not a comfortable time.
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ei2ksea
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Fri Jul 30, 2004 10:01 pm

"Yes, it should have been the North Central colors. All this does is solidify the feelings of predecessor employees of alienation. "

"Old 728" was famous as a NC plane and should stay that way"


This makes me think about something similar which really enrages me - why are McDonald-Douglas aircraft rebranded as Boeing (e.g when you see Boeing MD-80 mentioned in magazines) even when they werent built at that time by Boeing.

Whilst they were at it, its a wonder they didnt just call it a Boeing DC-3????

:-(

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tjwgrr
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Sat Jul 31, 2004 12:34 am

So basically if a corporation donates money to a museum for restoration of a museum piece with historical significance, the museum will allow the restoration of the object with the corporate identity of the donating corporation?...... THIS STINKS! I don't care if NWA owns the rights to the North Central branding/ logos, etc. The museum really botched it!

Maybe GM should offer to restore a bunch of Model A's, Model T's, and other historically significant Ford vehicles at the Henry Ford Museum. GM could place "Buick" or "Cadillac" branding on the old Fords.......
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Sat Jul 31, 2004 12:43 am

TJGWRR:

It's called "revisionist history". It seems to be all the rage these days as pointed out earlier by Stirling:

Another example of revisionist history that is sweeping this country.

I would love to hear Northwest's side of the this story........


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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Thu Aug 05, 2004 8:23 am

Today I received a response from "the Henry Ford" to my inquiry (a copy of which is in Reply 16).

Here is their response:

Dear Mr. Moore,
I had forwarded your e-mail message to our Curator of Transportation, who has asked me to forward you the message below. I hope this explanation answers your worthwhile question.

If I can be of further assistance, pls don't hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,
Linda Skolarus
Access Services Manager
Benson Ford Research Center
The Henry Ford
20900 Oakwood Blvd
Dearborn, MI 48121-1970
E-mail: LindaS@TheHenryFord.org
Fax: 313-982-6244

Response from the Curator: Thank you for you e-mail. Yes, the DC-3 you saw is the North Central #728, and I appreciate your concern about the fact that it is painted in Northwest colors. The DC-3 illustrates some of the compromises we sometimes must make to preserve and interpret our artifacts. As I am sure you know, that aircraft sat outside behind the museum for over twenty-five years, deteriorating in the harsh Michigan climate. Various proposals had been made for getting it inside, but none came to fruition. When the new aviation exhibit was proposed, we knew that the DC-3 had to be part of it. Only by moving the plane inside could it be properly interpreted and protected. As you might imagine, the move was an expensive proposition. It required removing the wings and all the tail surfaces, and it required cleaning, polishing, and repairing the plane's aluminum skin.
When Northwest Airlines agreed to become the principal exhibition sponsor, we looked for ways to give them a presence that didn't look like a billboard. After a great deal of discussion and consideration, we concluded that the best way to provide such a presence was to paint #728 in period Northwest colors. This was not a decision that we took lightly, and we knew that some of our visitors would question the wisdom of that decision. Nevertheless, we concluded that the compromise was worth making to insure the long term preservation and interpretation of the aircraft. The labels describing the plane's history will explain its long, record-setting service with North Central. The plane, and its story will be preserved for future generations of museum visitors.
I might add that Northwest Airlines did not pressure us to paint the ship in their colors. That was our decision. While you may disagree with it, I hope I have demonstrated that it was taken only after due consideration.
Thank you once again for your interest and your comments. Please don't hesitate to write again if you have further thoughts.

Yours truly,
Bob Casey
Curator of Transportation


What do you think of this? I think that there is hope that one day old 728 can be returned to her original NC livery.
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burnsie28
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Thu Aug 05, 2004 8:33 am

I think its redicoulous that you make a big deal out of this, why is this such a big deal to you? Thats like saying that when someone buys a used aircraft they should not be allowed to paint it into their colors. Get Over it, its not the end of the world.
 
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Thu Aug 05, 2004 8:56 am

Now, now Mr. Burnsie28....

If you would have read the original posting you would have learned that this aircraft was put in a museum for accomplishing a certain milestone. It is a commercial aviation historical artifact.
Why do I care so much? Because as an ex-NC employee I find this appalling.
I suggest you start reading this thread, one reply at a time until you understand the meaning of this. To equate this aircraft with just another used aircraft is most nauseating. Northwest Airlines does not own 728, the Henry Ford Heritage Museum does. If you were the true NW expert you claim you are your would already know all about this.

As you can see, I am not the only one who cares about this!

[Edited 2004-08-05 01:59:17]
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stirling
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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:06 am

Burnsie28-

There's a right way and a wrong way to do everything and the way you lashed out at Typerated would be considered the wrong way of doing things.

I am not sure if 'being taken seriously' is important to you, but if aviation is indeed your hobby/avocation/passing fancy/career, you may want to re-think the way you talk to people that have come before you in the world of aviation.

Maybe you should have read a little bit more into the topic to find out why 728 is such an important piece of history.. If you haven't figured this out, airplanes are very sentimental objects, the business as a whole is a very emotional one.
Burnsie28, in your short life, have you ever been to a memorabilia event, like the Airliners Int'l this past July in LA? I dare to say if you muttered even part of the words you said, you would have found yourself out on your ear in the middle of Century Blvd. Golden rule, never belittle someoe because they don't share your same views.

Respect young man. Respect. It will get you everywhere. Otherwise you'll forever be on the outside looking in.....


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RE: NW Paints "Old 728" In NW Colors!

Thu Aug 05, 2004 12:49 pm

Stirling:

I could not have said it better myself. Aviation history is something that needs to be preserved and thanks to organizations like The Airline History Museum, The Museum of Flight, and other organizations that are dedicated to accomplish this task. If these kind of groups didn't get involved, lots of historical aircraft and artifacts of this industry would be scrapped by now. Most of these groups are supported by donations and the most generous donation of time by individuals to support these organizations as volunteers.

When I am wrong about something, I will admit it. When I first heard about this situation with "Old 728", all I saw was that Northwest Airlines sponsored this exhibit and that there was old 728 in Northwest vintage livery. After I investigated this and received a reply from The Henry Ford, this line stood out:

"I might add that Northwest Airlines did not pressure us to paint the ship in their colors. That was our decision."

A lot of work was done on that bird to keep it available for future generations, and Northwest provided the finances. For that I thank them. I hope that someday in the future they will repaint her back to her correct livery, but for now I am thankful that she has been restored for the future and not sent to the scrap heap.

THANK YOU Northwest"!
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