hawk44
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Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:44 pm

On my way to work today I saw a Pan Am charter 727 and was wondering why the majority of these birds have been retired?
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Hawk44
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Jano
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:45 pm

3 engines
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
The Widget Air Line :)
 
RDUDDJI
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:46 pm

too expensive to operate. The 737 (esp. the NG's) replaced the 727's

Nice fast airplane...but in the end...too expensive
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
flymia
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:49 pm

I also love the 727 and am so happy that I still get to see them in MIA and FLL on a daily basis just not in DL CO or AA colors. But the reason is because they cost to much to operate and a three man crew.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:50 pm

3 engines, 3 pilots, gas guzzler.

Workhorse for 30+ years, time to move on.
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2travel2know
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:50 pm

B727 questions:
Is it true that from places like LPB CUZ and other high altitude airports a B727 performs better when taking-off than a B737/A320 ?
Could a B727 fly with only its 2 side engines on and the middle reartail engine off?
I don't work for COPA Airlines!
 
hawk44
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:51 pm

What year did most airlines pull them off routes?

Hawk44

[Edited 2005-04-15 05:55:52]
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zvezda
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:58 pm

Quoting Hawk44 (Reply 6):

Was this because of the noise restrictors that had to be put into place?

Even without the hushkits, the B727 is too expensive to operate compared to the B737NG or A320. The difference in operating costs is large enough to pay for the purchase of the new airplane.
 
hawk44
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:03 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 7):
Even without the hushkits, the B727 is too expensive to operate compared to the B737NG or A320. The difference in operating costs is large enough to pay for the purchase of the new airplane.

No wonder WN didn't keep them around
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Hawk44
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MD11LuxuryLinr
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:04 pm

Like others have said..

yeah, 3 engines.. but were talking about JT8Ds here. Loud and inefficient when compared to the high bypass engines of late. Same reason why NW and Delta are accelerating the retirement of the DC9s and 732s.. Higher fuel prices and less efficient engine technology.

Quoting Hawk44 (Reply 6):
Was this because of the noise restrictors that had to be put into place?

It certainly doesn't help the performance on the engine.

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 5):
Could a B727 fly with only its 2 side engines on and the middle reartail engine off?

Throttled back to idle maybe.. not off. The windmilling without oil pressure would destroy the engine. The aircraft wasn't designed to cruise on two engines. With an engine out, the max cruising altitude is lessened which means higher drag and even more fuel burned.
Caution wake turbulence, you are following a heavy jet.
 
jdaniel001
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:26 pm

Quoting Hawk44 (Reply 8):
No wonder WN didn't keep them around

WN only temporarily leased them for route expansion because they couldn't get 737's fast enough.

I loved the 727. I was easy to load and unload and push.
We Are UNITED!
 
Capt.Fantastic
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:26 pm

727 ... ahhh, Great airplane, great design, sexy look! Wing was designed for shorter runways.

I believe a few crashes in the late 60s were attributed to pilots underestimating the power and flying characteristics of the 727. There was a crash of a United 727 in Salt Lake City and a few others I believe, in which the crew was not familiar enough with this airplane.
 
N867BX
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:42 pm

Here in MSP we can still fly them when going on vacation. Thank you Champion Air!
 
jc2354
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:03 pm

Didn't FedEx redo the cockpit for 2 man operations? Or, am I off my medicines again?
If not now, then when?
 
Indy
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:16 pm

Aren't the jets rated for some many pressurizations as well? Maybe they were reaching their limits. I assume the DC9's that NW owns are headed that way as well for the same reason.
Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
 
N867BX
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:18 pm

Quoting Jc2354 (Reply 13):
Didn't FedEx redo the cockpit for 2 man operations? Or, am I off my medicines again?

I think you are off your meds, but I'm not absolutely positively about that. Maybe I picked the wrong week to quit drinkin.
 
September11
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:25 pm

I am sure there are more & more parked 727s out in the desert


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[Edited 2005-04-15 07:27:38]
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nosedive
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:25 pm

Quoting Jc2354 (Reply 13):
Didn't FedEx redo the cockpit for 2 man operations? Or, am I off my medicines again?

Wrong 3 Holer

Quoting Indy (Reply 14):
Aren't the jets rated for some many pressurizations as well? Maybe they were reaching their limits. I assume the DC9's that NW owns are headed that way as well for the same reason.

I doubt the DC-9's are headed out anytime soon. Some yes, massive retirement no.
 
jacobin777
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:32 pm

Used fly on ATA 727s from MDW-LGA back in the 90's (back when MDW was considered a "trashy airport" and ATA was considered "American Trash Air")....they were fun to be on!!
"Up the Irons!"
 
Beckaru
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 3:00 pm

My Dad's cousin is a retired captain from AA. (Retired in 1990.) He flew 727s, 707s, and DC-10s. I talked to him about the 727s being retired and he said it was a workhorse and a nice bird, but really isn't as efficient as the more modern craft.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 3:27 pm

Economically Difficult to Maintain.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
apodino
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:16 pm

You can fly a 727 engine out, but only to ferry it to a maintenance base. I had to do one about 7 years ago. No big deal.
 
speedbird128
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:14 pm

Hi

I once had a B727-200 (ZS-NWA) fly from PLZ-JNB on two engines (1&3) as a ferry flight due to a rather large bird being roasted during the landing on arrival.

The B722 is not known for it's good climb performance, and on two engines you can just imagine  Smile.

BAW128
A306, A313, A319, A320, A321, A332, A343, A345, A346 A388, AC90, B06, B722, B732, B733, B735, B738, B744, B762, B772, B7
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:24 pm

727's were retired because the of having 3 engines, the need for 3 crew members, inabilitly to fly Trans-Cons, directly competing with the A320 & 737NG's, fuel burn rates, increasing maintenance costs, and the fact they were simply getting old.

The downturn in traffic post-9/11 is primarily what accelerated their retirement as airlines looked to shed excess capacity, aircraft, and cut costs. In the United States here is their retirement dates:

US: 2000
UA: Oct/Nov 2001
AA: April 2002
NW: Jan 2003
DL: April 2003

The NW DC-9's will not have the same fate because of the fact the fly with a 2 person cockpit crew, don't yet have an ideal direct replacement, NW's cost of ownership, the way NW utilizes them and the routes they are flown on, and the fact they are a heck of lot more durable than the 727's. NW invested a significant about of money to refurbish the DC-9 fleet in the late 90's.
 
NWA1978
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:42 pm

Quoting Jc2354 (Reply 13):
Didn't FedEx redo the cockpit for 2 man operations? Or, am I off my medicines again?

I believe that was ups. They also replaced the engines. so the arguement of the 727 not being fuel efficient is not valid any longer. When you compare the cost of a new plane (can anyone say $40MM?) to the cost of a re-engine and 2 man cockpit (a.k.a. glass) and the fact most of these birds were owned and paid for, well you get the point. It could be done for the same reason as NWA's dc9's. They are paid for. So any additional upkeep cost or cost of fuel is outweighed by the fact they are owned and paid for.
 
Orion737
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:49 pm

The 727 was largley shunned by British airlines. Only Dan Air and laterly Sabre operated them. I loved the 727 and many were prematurley retired. The aircraft was sound and who cares if it was a bit noisier. I have a Soda Stream that makes more noise than these whining Airbus narrowbodies.
 
NWA1978
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:56 pm

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 25):
The aircraft was sound and who cares if it was a bit noisier.

Thats the problem with us, we all love the rumble of the 727 at full thrust! Although the people who choose to live next to the airports want to complain all the time. Didnt anyone tell them that living next to an airport could be load? I always assumed this was common sense. I always loved spotting the NWA 727's at KMSP. Ahh, the good ole days!!
 
Orion737
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:02 pm

I can tell you the estate agent wouldnt have told them about the noise. They would have to be pretty thick though to not realise that living near an airport would mean loud noise!

If I want to hear a loud noise now, I turn on the hoover. The aircraft of today sound like a 7 old girl screaming for sweets and thats at full take off. The rest of the time they sound like guinea pigs.
 
skibum9
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:21 pm

Quoting Apodino (Reply 21):
You can fly a 727 engine out, but only to ferry it to a maintenance base. I had to do one about 7 years ago. No big deal.

While in the 727 sim, I had to fly it with a two engine failure after take off. So that could be done as well, however you weren't going anywhere but back to the airport.
Tailwinds!!!
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:29 pm

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 23):
US: 2000

US' 727s after 1995 were restricted to Shuttle service duty.

One needs to keep in mind that the last 727 rolled out production 21 years ago. Fuel prices or no fuel prices, 9/11 downturn or no 9/11 downturn; retirement of the type was eventually due to happen.

Worth noting: the 757 was originally touted as the successor to the 727 back when it came out in 1982.

[Edited 2005-04-15 14:33:53]
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:39 pm

Quoting NWA1978 (Reply 24):
It could be done for the same reason as NWA's dc9's. They are paid for. So any additional upkeep cost or cost of fuel is outweighed by the fact they are owned and paid for.

Actually, NW recently announced that it was accelerating the retirement of some more of its DC-9s due to the higher fuel prices making the type too expensive to fuel.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
DAYflyer
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:59 pm

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 29):
Worth noting: the 757 was originally touted as the successor to the 727 back when it came out in 1982.

I believe it was originally touted as the replacement for the 707, not 727.
One Nation Under God
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:04 pm

Quoting DAYflyer (Reply 31):
I believe it was originally touted as the replacement for the 707, not 727.

In all likelihood, it was probably touted as a replacement for both the 707 and 727.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
Biggles
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:07 am

One other thing..RVSM certification. Being restricted to FL280 is very fuel inefficient and the cost of upgraded avionics and certification isn't cheap.
 
SA006
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:05 am

Nationwide Airlines of South AFrica ( CE ) still operate 4 727-200's (ZS-OZP , ZS-OZR , ZS-ODO , ZS-OOO) and 1 727-100 (727-95 ZS-NYY). I have flown OZP ODO OZR and NYY and I must say the 727 is an awesome aircraft. And its great to see CE are still using a 727-100.

-SA006  wave 
Proudly South African
 
SATL382G
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:10 am

Quoting NWA1978 (Reply 24):
I believe that was ups. They also replaced the engines. so the arguement of the 727 not being fuel efficient is not valid any longer. When you compare the cost of a new plane (can anyone say $40MM?) to the cost of a re-engine and 2 man cockpit (a.k.a. glass) and the fact most of these birds were owned and paid for, well you get the point. It could be done for the same reason as NWA's dc9's. They are paid for. So any additional upkeep cost or cost of fuel is outweighed by the fact they are owned and paid for.

I think UPS disagrees....


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N1120A
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:07 am

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 5):
Is it true that from places like LPB CUZ and other high altitude airports a B727 performs better when taking-off than a B737/A320 ?

Of course. It has amazing take off performance. Hence, the 757's performace.

Quoting Hawk44 (Reply 6):
What year did most airlines pull them off routes?

In the US, most airlines retired their newest 722s soon after 9/11

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 5):
Could a B727 fly with only its 2 side engines on and the middle reartail engine off?

Like said before, it is not certified to carry pax like that. You can only ferry

Quoting Hawk44 (Reply 8):
No wonder WN didn't keep them around

WN had a capacity crunch in the early 1980s when they expanded west. That is why they needed them. They carried more people and better hot/high performance in PHX. When the 733s came on, they no longer needed them.

Quoting MD11LuxuryLinr (Reply 9):
Quoting Hawk44 (Reply 6):
Was this because of the noise restrictors that had to be put into place?

It certainly doesn't help the performance on the engine.

The Hushkits really don't hurt performance all that much

Quoting MD11LuxuryLinr (Reply 9):
Same reason why NW and Delta are accelerating the retirement of the DC9s and 732s.. Higher fuel prices and less efficient engine technology.

Actually, DL has slowed the retirement of their 732s because they are cheap and the costs are really not all that bad. As for NW, those DC-9s are not going anywhere. The reason for the retirements of the -10s is because of the cost of retrofitting RVSM equipment.

Quoting Jc2354 (Reply 13):
Didn't FedEx redo the cockpit for 2 man operations? Or, am I off my medicines again?

They have done many of their DC-10s, making them MD-10s and getting a common type rating with the MD-11.

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 25):
The 727 was largley shunned by British airlines.

That is because they had to buy the Trident

Quoting NWA1978 (Reply 24):
I believe that was ups. They also replaced the engines. so the arguement of the 727 not being fuel efficient is not valid any longer.

Even with the Tays, they are still 3 engined and still burn a lot more fuel than a 737/A32S

Quoting DAYflyer (Reply 31):
I believe it was originally touted as the replacement for the 707, not 727.

No, it was more a 727 replacement, hence the take off performance and slightly shorter range than the 707.

Quoting SATL382G (Reply 35):
I think UPS disagrees....

Those are mostly 100s from what I could tell. They still have a great deal of -200s. Also, their 757PF purchase was to partially replace 722s
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
tockeyhockey
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:12 am

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 18):
MDW was considered a "trashy airport"

your use of the word "was" is confusing me. you mean "is", right?
 
PanAmDC10
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:12 am

I wonder if the 727 would be able to use the engines that are on the 717, they would be much more fuel efficient. Or would they be too big to fit the center engine housing?
 
FX1816
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:52 am

Quoting SATL382G (Reply 35):
I think UPS disagrees....

Those are mostly 100s from what I could tell. They still have a great deal of -200s. Also, their 757PF purchase was to partially replace 722s


Actually UPS does not operate any of their own 722s. They still do operate some 721s domestically and in Europe, but not many.
 
stirling
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 3:14 am

Quoting Tockeyhockey (Reply 37):
Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 18):
MDW was considered a "trashy airport"

your use of the word "was" is confusing me. you mean "is", right?

Midway is a lot better now than it was 10 years ago...
Delete this User
 
ckfred
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 3:34 am

The 757 was originally designed to be the 727 replacement, while the 767 was supposed to replace the 707. EA talked Boeing into stretching the 757, so that it ultimately become a 707 replacement, particularly on long-haul and transcon routes. With the 767-300, the 767 series wound up as the DC-10/L-1011 replacement.

PSU.DTW.SCE:

A friend of mine flew 727s with AA for 5 years. He would probably argue the durabilty issue. One of the reasons that AA kept the 727 for so long is that it didn't need heavy maintenance as often as other planes. The interval between C-checks for a 727 was greater than the MD-80, even though the 727s were, on average, about 10 years older and had flown more short routes.

One other reason for retirement of the 727 was avionics. They were light years behind the 757, 767, and even newer 737s.
 
Accidentally
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 3:46 am

One of my greatest friends is a 757/767 capt. He flew every seat in the 727 and went directly to captain on the 7-5 in '96.

He's told me a few times that if AA still had them, and flew out of NYC, that's what he'd rather fly today.

He loves the 7-5, but says the 727 was really a pilots airplane.  Smile
Indianapolis, IN
 
N1120A
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 4:24 am

Quoting PanAmDC10 (Reply 38):
I wonder if the 727 would be able to use the engines that are on the 717, they would be much more fuel efficient. Or would they be too big to fit the center engine housing?

Not only would they be too big for the center housing, latching them on to the side would require structure adjustments

Quoting FX1816 (Reply 39):
Actually UPS does not operate any of their own 722s. They still do operate some 721s domestically and in Europe, but not many.

Thanks for that. I brainfarted
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
DC3CV3407AC727
Posts: 313
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 5:08 am

We happy few at ChampionAir plan on keeping the classic Boeing rocket on line at least thru '06, allegedly A320s are on the horizon. For the record the 727 is the finest handling jet ever made,and one of the loudest,I will never understand why EA tried to call them Whisperjets,but to me the crackling roar of the JT8D is a paean,an ode to joy,an affirmation.There is still life in the old girl yet.And one further aside all of our ships are RVSM compliant.
the rumble of round engines is like music to me,likewise the thunder of thr JT8D
 
MD80Nut
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 5:24 am

I read an article many years ago where it said the 757 was originally called the 727-300X during the design phase. It was going to be a stretched 727-200, but as they kept refining the design it became a twin and so many things were going to be different they decided to re-designate it as a new plane, the 757.

Cheers, Ralph
Fly Douglas Jets DC-8 / DC-9 / DC-10 / MD80 / MD11 / MD90 / 717
 
MD88Captain
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 5:26 am

Awesome airplane! But it is now a relic. It was built like a tank, but that makes it heavy. Its engines are inefficient. The airframes are very old, which means they need very expensive heavy maintenance visits. They guzzle gas, they need an engineer, they are loud. It was a great airplane though. The finest airplane that I have ever had the priviledge to fly.
 
IGUY
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 5:33 am

Cost of operation killed them. So loud and depending on the runway they could set off car alarms in the parking lot @ ISP  dollarsign   dollarsign   dollarsign   dollarsign   dollarsign   dollarsign 
 
LRGT
Posts: 675
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 5:33 am

Quoting MD11LuxuryLinr (Reply 9):
NW and Delta are accelerating the retirement of the DC9s and 732s

Why so soon???  Wink
...actually DL is keeping the 737-200's longer than they expected.

Quoting DAYflyer (Reply 31):
I believe it was originally touted as the replacement for the 707, not 727.

No, the 727 as originally stated. Yes, its REPLACEMENT was developed 25 years ago. That should tell you something!

Quoting N1120A (Reply 36):
They [UPS] still have a great deal of -200s.

Get your facts straight!

Quoting PanAmDC10 (Reply 38):
I wonder if the 727 would be able to use the engines that are on the 717, they would be much more fuel efficient. Or would they be too big to fit the center engine housing?

This is NOT cost effective! GIVE IT UP...the model is DEAD!
Don't bring up the NW DC9's unless you have to!
 
Cruiser
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RE: Why Retire The 727?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 5:56 am

Quoting Lrgt (Reply 48):
This is NOT cost effective! GIVE IT UP...the model is DEAD!

I think you need to get your facts straight. In some situations, it IS cost effective. Donald Trump's 727 is an example. It sits around most of the time, but he can use it when he needs it. He got a great price on it originally, thus making it ideal for his purposes. Now, if he flew it everyday, then fuel costs would likely dictate what type of plane he had.

So, the 727 is cost effective in some situations, and is still flying. I admit it is quite a niche, but there you go. If he bought a plane today, he might go for a used 767 as the founders of Google did.
Leahy on Per Seat Costs: "Have you seen the B-2 fly-by at almost US$1bn a copy? It has only 2 seats!"

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